How to dry and preserve your own spices for future use

Herbs differ from spices in that they are made of the leaves of vegetation, while spices can be seed products, bark or other parts. Herbs have a more delicate taste than spices. Thus, they might be more appealing to children, whose taste buds are more severe. The most frequent herbal products are basil, burnet, bay leaf, chervil, cilantro, chives, dill, marjoram, lovage, mint, parsley, oregano, rosemary, savory, sage, sorrel, thyme and tarragon. If you aren’t familiar with many of these, there is no time like the present to introduce yourself to some potential favorites. If interest doesn’t inspire you, try any of these other reasons to get acquainted with herbs.

Having the ability to preserve food does not stop with the usual fruits & vegetables. There is a coordinator of other produces that merge well with protecting nature’s bounty. Take natural remedies as an example.

Herbal selections have been preserved since the starting of energy. Explorers have found out valuable herbs and spices in the tombs of the historical Egyptian pharaohs. Precisely the same concepts as used in the industry production of containers of herbal remedies will connect with those you make at home except yours will be fresher and more than likely healthier. No more do you have to dash to the grocer’s cabinets to get your thyme or oregano if you can create your supply easily at the comfort of your house.

In my own home, we use a whole lot of herbal selections and spices to liven up our foods. If you were to check our pantry, you’ll think you were in the spice team of the neighborhood grocery store. We’ve rack after rack of both fresh and store-bought products.

We have found that it can be very inexpensive to dry our herbs instead of purchasing them in the supermarket. Some we develop ourselves while others we simply buy and dried in our dehydrator. Regardless of how one runs about getting their herbal remedies, one thing is for sure; it is a fairly simple technique to protect them for your future use. Let’s quickly review the two methods used for preserving herbs, so they don’t lose their flavor.

First, there is the freezer method. Some individuals brag this technique along as they contend that this retains the herbal selections essential oils superior to any other means. If you freeze the herbs or spices, you certainly do not need to blanch them first. Simply rinse them under cold water and remove those leaves mounted on the stem and dried them. Once the drying process is complete, you can offer them in a Ziploc carrier and place them in your refrigerator.

Another method used is drying the herbs and this is the technique which I favor. I take advantage of my dehydrator as soon as these are complete I place them in an air-tight container. If there is the opportunity that I’ll not use them up in an acceptable amount of time I am going to place an air absorber in the box as well. This will take away the air and stop the herb blend from heading bad.

 

 

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Growing Herbs Indoors

Herbs provide for more savory dishes as well as a healthy mind and body through herbal medicines and teas.

Indoor gardening realizes the beauty of outdoors to the convenience of your indoors and also pleasure avid gardeners who have less space and time to work with than their full-time counterparts.

Starting an indoor herb garden is also very easy when you come to think of it.

You only need to choose a location with plenty of sunlight, containers with good drainage, good potting soil and organic fertilizers and, of course, the right choice of herbs. Well, here are five easy-to-grow herbs that you can start with.
Basil

This is one of the simplest herbs to care for as it can thrive with very minimal care.

However, just like most herbs, basil requires plenty of sunlight to grow well.

Thus, you must place it in an area receiving maximum sunlight such as a window facing the south or the west.
If this is not possible, you should purchase grow lights or use ordinary fluorescent lights to replace natural sunlight.
Basil has bright green leaves that add beauty to a kitchen windowsill and add flavor to Italian dishes especially pasta. Its flavor has been compared to sweet peppers.

Cilantro

This herb can be grown indoors under certain conditions.

It must receive at least four hours of bright sunlight daily, its soil is kept moist at all times and its leaves are harvested regularly.
Just be sure to pick the leaves or snip off the stem as you need it but leave the rest of the plant as it is.
Cilantro has a distinctive and pungent earthy flavor that has been compared to a blend of sage and lemon.

Its bold, lingering flavor highlights the savory taste of curries, stir-fries and soups as well as salads, sauces and vegetable dishes.
Dill

The dill is the easiest herb to grow because it can germinate quickly, grow quickly and be harvested quickly in a few weeks’ time.

However, it needs plenty of sunlight during the daytime hours so be sure to provide the said source of nourishment.
Dill is very aromatic but can quickly lose its flavor during the drying and cooking processes.

Thus, freezing them and adding them just before the dish is to be cooked is the best ways to ensure that the herb retains its flavor.
Rosemary

This is an herb that is beautiful, durable and useful. Rosemary is attractive with its flowers in white, pink, purple or blue and evergreen foliage; it stands out in an indoor garden.

It is also resistant to dry soil and pests, which makes it very durable indeed. Just make sure that you grow it in neutral to alkaline soil with average fertility.
And with its culinary and medicinal values, rosemary has its fair share of uses. You can use it in many Mediterranean cuisines as well as in barbecues, thanks to its bitter, astringent flavor.

With these four herbs, you can now cook your flavorful dishes while enjoying the view of nature from your kitchen windowsill even when you are amidst high-rise buildings.

 

 

 

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Herbs from Seeds

Herbs are very rewarding plants that one can grow. Apart from providing tasty additions to every kind of food that you cook, these plants can function as beautiful ornamentals and can produce flowers that are very attractive thus decorating your landscape. The easiest route of acquiring herbs is purchasing them from online or from your local garden center. However, it is also possible to grow them from seeds. Growing herbs from seeds provides you with a much wider selection of the varieties that you can grow and is also cost-effective. Ny herb can be grown from seed so long as the conditions are right.

How to grow herbs from seeds

There are certain basic needs of growing herbs from seeds, they include:

Grow light

It is advisable to use a grow light set up so that the herbs grow under some artificial lights. This is beneficial as it ensures that plants that are stocky and short become well-adapted to growing outdoors. The timer for the lights should be fourteen hours a day and they should be at a minimum distance of 2 to 4 inches from the top section of the herbs.

Seed starting mix

Use a seed starting potting mix when growing herbs from seeds. This is because it is much lighter compared to the regular potting soil thus easier for germinating seeds to poke through it. Herb seeds are generally very tiny and that is why it is ill-advised to use a heavy mix that will hinder sprout. The last thing you want is for your herb seeds to rot prior to germination.

Plastic trays

Clay pots do okay but plastic trays are much better, and these should be equipped with some small cells to start off the herbs well. In addition, the small cells of the plastic trays allow you to sow the herbs in a similar growth requirement to one another. As they grow, you can later transfer them to much larger pots. However, it should be noted that there are certain herbs that do not like transplantation such as parsley. Therefore, such herbs should be started off in large pots to avoid transplantation.

Warm room

The pots or trays where the herb seeds are sown should be placed inside a warm room or outside where there is direct sunlight. Alternatively, you can use a heating mat to supply bottom heat to boost germination. The cells should be covered with a clear plastic to trap soil moisture. After germination, the plastic can be removed, and the plants kept under artificial lights.

Organic fertilizer

Lightly spray organic fertilizer in liquid form to the herb seedlings so that they grow green and strong. This should be done on a weekly basis and it should be diluted properly.

Transplantation

The herbs should be transplanted to large pots individually.

The tips above on how to grow herbs from seeds are not exhaustive as there are many more.

Top herbs

The following are some of the top herbs to grow from seed:

• Basil

• Chives

• Cilantro

• Dill

• Parsley

• Oregano

• Sage

• Thyme

Conclusion

Growing herbs is fairly easy because they require little maintenance after they are established. They will supply your spice jars generously for as long as you grow them.

 

 

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Seasoning Vegetables

Vegetable meals are often considered to be bland and boring, and a repetitive vegan menu can sometimes turn your meals into something that you dread. By adding a colorful selection of herbs and spices to your dishes, you can breathe new life into your mealtimes! From delicious, spicy baked treats to tasty dips and salads, there is no reason to ever again label vegetable recipes as dull. A hint of lemon juice and garlic will enhance the natural flavors of any vegetable dish while a dash of cumin and paprika will add a unique taste. Fresh herbs, ginger and dried spices will add dimension and increased nutrients to dishes while a dash of salt will soften the natural bitterness of some vegetables and bring the recipe together.

There’s no point for everyone to disagree or to contest which is best for there are lots of ways and diverse methods in seasoning this seasonal produce. Lucky for us indeed to have known these cooking techniques so each can satisfy oneself when it comes to texture and flavor. Let me share with you dear readers these vegetable seasoning techniques and guides to make you cook your veggies perfect in texture and flavor.

Spices

Spices don’t just make our food taste great; they also contain an array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The more comprehensive variety of spices that you use, the more interesting the flavor combinations will be. Cloves and paprika are great alternatives if you are looking to add something different. To get the best aroma and flavor from your selected seasonings, infuse them with whole food fats to avoid overpowering your dish. Purees and starchy vegetables are best served with a generous dash of spice while whole spices can be used to infuse delicious soups.

Herbs

Loaded with vitamins, herbs are the ideal contribution to any meal! With added health benefits, they can turn a tasteless recipe into something fresh and delicious. Ideally, fresh herbs should be used in salads, dips, smoothies, and sprinkled onto warm dishes for that added punch of flavor. Alternatively, dried herbs can be crushed to release more flavor and are great to use during the winter months in sauces and vegetable stews.

Combinations

Spice combinations can add depth to the most basic of vegetable recipes, turning them into delightful indulgences! Sesame oil and ginger are best suited to green leafy vegetables, mushrooms and broccoli, while tomato sauce is best prepared with basil, oregano and marjoram. Ideal for rich risottos and pasta, thyme, parsley and bay leaves add a fresh flavor while cumin, coriander, ginger, turmeric and cayenne are ideal ingredients in which to coat spicy potato wedges, chickpeas, and sweet potato. Cayenne and cumin can be paired with tomatoes, kidney beans and mushrooms. For that delicious baked treat, combine cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger to create the perfect gingerbread or cinnamon rolls.

The ideal accompaniment of herbs and spices are the perfect component of an exciting and tasty meal. From sweet treats to delicious main courses, don’t be afraid to add a generous dash of herbs and spices that will enhance the natural goodness of your vegan dish.

 

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Seasonings to keep in your kitchen

Seasonings and spices are some of the ingredients that many people like to use for their food. There are different kinds with different flavors depending on your taste. Some spices are only used specifically for certain foods while some can be used in almost all the recipes. Irrespective of your taste, there are some spices that you must have in your kitchen to ensure all the food you prepare if the best.

Here is a list of the must-have seasoning in the kitchen:

• Bay leaves

These are best when they are whole and dry. This ensures that they can be easily ground into powder. They can be used in almost all the recipes because they have a silent flavor and they are used to complement other spices.

• Red pepper

They are the mostly used spice especially when preparing hot sauces and soups and even flavoring pizzas.

• Cumin

It is best to find whole cumin seeds and grind them to give the powder. The ground cumin seeds have a flavor that is unique and cannot be replaced by any other spice. The ground powder is used especially in the making of baked bread and cakes. It is also used to spice up beans and other popular cuisines in the Middle East.

• Nutmeg

The powder from the nutmeg is used to spice up vegetables and other foods that are savory like eggs. This is a must have spice especially when one of your family members or friends is a vegetarian.

• Smoked paprika

This is a spice that has a deep flavor that cannot be missed in any cuisine. This is quite different from the old paprika because it has been smoked. It is sweeter and an be used in almost any cuisine.

• Garlic

Many people have been using the whole cloves of garlic for spicing food. This is quite affordable and readily available in all the convenient sores and markets. However, the ground garlic is the best as compared to the garlic cloves. This is because the ground garlic is able to add flavor to the food without having to add bulk into the food.

• Rosemary

This is a spice that has a very distinct flavor and aroma. The aroma and taste of the rosemary does not fade as the spice is being cooked. This is therefore used in preparation of foods that require a lot of time to prepare. Rosemary can also be used in spicing up tea.

• Sage

This is not a very commonly known spice to many people, but it is very popular in the areas of Greece and England. In America, the spice is mostly used in stuffing. The spice goes very well with fatty meat and therefore it is mainly used during baling and roasting meat.

Conclusion

Spices are essential in any kitchen because their main purpose is to improve the favor of food. In addition to improving the flavor of food, some of the spices have healthy benefits to the body. Increasing the body metabolism, improving the circulation of blood and even detoxifying the body are some of the advantages of spices.

 

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10 Homemade Seasonings

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