Basil is a herb which is highly fragrant. Walk into a greengrocers shop and you will be able to smell basil if he/she is selling it. Related to the tulsi (holy basil) family, it tastes different from the tulsi. The name basil is derived from the old Greek word basilikohn which means royal. The name denotes that in the ancient culture it was considered a noble and sacred herb. Basil reduces swelling and inflammation, is rich in antioxidants and has anti aging properties. It has anti bacterial properties and is a rich source of Vitamins A and C, iron, manganese, calcium,potassium and magnesium. Basil is widely used in herbal teas,sandwiches,soups, with chicken, fish, pasta, meat, in salads by adding the leaves to the salad, or in a dressing. I simply love the herb basil. I have tried growing it in a pot but have not succeeded. But will keep on trying. Did you know that you can use basil infused water to dab on your face to combat pimples. Add a few leaves of basil to 1 cup hot water. When it cools, dab it on your face using a cotton wool. Leave it for 10 minutes.
Our niece from Nairobi stayed with us for a couple of days with her hubby and daughter. She asked me what I wanted from Nairobi and the first thing I could think of was basil. I asked her to bring some for me, specifying that I just needed little and not too much. She bought so many bunches. Some I used to prepare pasta, some I used to make pesto and some I froze it, for future use. I left about a handful in the fridge to make a basil and mint lemon drink. However, the idea cropped up that why not add it to the fresh orange juice. I did that and loved the juice, it was cooling and full of fragrance and refreshing. Try it, am sure you will love it.
ORANGE BASIL JUICE
2 cups of fresh orange juice
10 to 12 basil leaves (about ½ cup)
- Chop the basil leaves roughly.
- Add the leaves and orange juice into a blender.
- Process till the leaves appeared crushed.
- Pour into serving glasses.
- Top with ice cubes and serve.
- Basil turns very fast compared to other herbs. To store them in the freezer for future use, wash the leaves, pat them try on a towel. Put them in a ziploc and put it in the freezer. Take out the required amount as and when you need it.
- Make pesto sauce and store in the fridge. Use the sauce when preparing pasta, chicken, fish, meat, sandwiches, salad dressings etc.
- Add fresh basil to your dish towards the end of cooking to preserve fragrance.
You may want to check out the following :
|basil mint lemon drink|
|pesto mushroom pie|
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