Cooking Healthy with Basil

Basil is probably the most popular and versatile fresh herb used today in cooking. Even when someone is use to only dried herbs, they seem to gravitate to fresh basil. The popularity of Mediterranean cooking has brought attention to this delicious tasting herb, and it has found its way into many dishes across the country. It has been a valued herb in certain parts of the world for centuries. In fact in India it is known as the icon of hospitality, and in Italy it is considered the symbol of love.

The World's Healthiest Food, Basil, is known to support health on many levels. Its volatile oils have been used as a valued essential oil for centuries. And it makes a flavorful infused tea, in addition to the nutritive properties when used as food. In fact, this unassuming herb has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties while stimulating digestion. Just goes to show you can't underestimate the power of our simple foods and herbs. Just when you think you are simply flavoring your dish and enjoying the sweet, pungent flavor of basil it goes to work giving your body extraordinary support for its health and well being. Read about the many benefits of basil in our nutritional profile, it will surprise you.

Because I love Mediterranean food so much I use a lot of basil in my cooking. We have it in many of our recipes. However, I have been mixing it with other herbs such as cilantro and mint for a fresh tasting combination when cooking some Mexican or Thai flavored dishes. No matter what, I make a point of adding basil toward the end of cooking so it retains its essence and flavor. In fact, I do this with most fresh herbs that I use. They are better added at the end and sit for just a minute or two to infuse the flavors. Here are a few recipes that use basil from our "Good Tasting Healthy Recipes." They will give you a variety of ways to enjoy this revered herb, basil.

Southwestern Salmon and Black Beans
Mediterranean Snapper
Tomato Dendelion Salad
Pasta with Clams

This page was updated on: 2002-11-22 08:37:11
© 2002 The George Mateljan Foundation