Cooking with Herbs

Raquel Kaelin

American College of Healthcare Sciences

 

 

Cooking with Herbs

 

For the past few years, I have been teaching cooking classes, or as I like to call them -culinary nutrition classes. In my classes, I have explored concepts of scratch-cooking to defining the nutritional benefits of specific ingredients used. This Summer, I will launch a series of classes held in collaboration with a friend and local Herbalist, focusing on recipes that utilize healing herbs. So far, one of my favorite culinary herbal recipes I have created is my “Maple Rosemary Roasted Nuts”. The recipe is found on my website here: https://lovingcuisine.com/recipe/maple-rosemary-roasted-nuts/.

When choosing herbs to cook with, there are a multitude of wonderful options. Sometimes I will select an herb based on its flavor profile, while at other times I am choosing to highlight an herb’s medicinal benefits in my culinary quests. For this recipe, I chose rosemary and thyme for both their medicinal and flavor additions. Rosemary has been called the “herb of rememberance” and is also known for its vast antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (American Botanical Council, 2008). In addition to it’s healing benefits, rosemary imparts a fresh, citrusy and earthy flavor into a recipe.

The other herb used in my recipe is thyme, which also has a history of use in herbal medicine and culinary practices. The active constituent in thyme, thymol, has demonstrated antibacterial activity and also has been used to treat bronchitis (The American Botanical Council, 2006). Thyme’s history in the culinary world stems from the Mediterranean parts of our world. The flavor profile of thyme adds a sweet, woodsy and somewhat peppery taste to a recipe.

Cooking with herbs is a wonderful way to expand the aromas of a dish as well as the medicinal value. Herbs have been a part of our history for years and it is up to us to continue to learn how to grow, responsibly forage and properly cook with herbs to really get the most out of the value they offer to us.

 

References

Henson, S. (2008, Jun. 30). Rosemary is “well-endowed” to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease. The American Botanical Council. Retrieved from: http://cms.herbalgram.org/herbclip/355/review020383-355.html

Oppel, M. (2006, Mar. 15). Review of Thyme (Thymus vulgaris). The American Botanical Council. Retrieved from: http://cms.herbalgram.org/herbclip/300/review44454.html