Welcome to our new Herb Spotlight Series where we walk you through the variety of herbs you can grow with The Halo and how to make the most of your herbs! Today we are starting off with Basil, one of our favorite herbs known for its vast usage across many cuisines.
Basil is found to be rich in anti-oxidants and vitamins, including:
- Vitamin K, vital for helping your blood to clot
- Vitamin, important for growth and development and the maintenance of your immune system.
Aromatic Basil is a versatile herb that can be blended into pesto, topped on pizza, scattered fresh on salads and much more. Known to lovers of Italian food, this versatile herb also adds colour and flavor to curries, soups, and noodles in Southeast Asian cuisine. Basil is indigenous to India, where it has been cultivated for over 5,000 years. It was introduced to Europe in the 16th century, where it was used for medicinal purposes and in cooking.
How to grow
Plants of the pepper family grow best in the open air, although they can also be successfully grown indoors. Basil works very well in hydroponic conditions which is why we at Hydrogrow have included in our plant pods for you to grow at home with ease.
Look for fresh-looking leaves and stems when selecting basil and make sure to discard leaves that are wilted, yellow, black, or yellow-green. Harvest basil leaves as you need them, but don’t simply pluck them from your plants. To encourage proper growth, cut the stem toward the bottom so that only two to four leaves remain on the plant.
How to store and keep basil
The roots of fresh basil should be stored in water at room temperature as required in the Halo. After harvesting, you can store it in a sealed plastic bag wrapped in damp paper towels in your refrigerator's vegetable section. This will keep it fresh for three to five days.
Cooking with Basil
Adding basil to salads, sauces, and salad dressings brings out the best flavors in dishes. When cooking with basil, you can complement it with other spices such as garlic, marjoram, mustard, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper and rosemary to enhance the taste even further. Make sure to also add your fresh basil toward the end of the cooking process as heat can subdue its flavor and color.
When introducing this herb into your dishes, you can use this useful guide as a reference if you are not following a strict recipe:
(use the following amounts per 450 grams of food)
Vegetables, grains or legumes
Meat, poultry or fish
The Bottom Line
Whether its pesto, pasta or another culinary endeavor, Basil has myriad benefits alongside its taste. Freshly grown basil supports your immune system, heart health and stress levels all while adding flavour and balance to your dishes.