We all have our season when we thrive and feel our best. These seasons, (both literally and figuratively) should be embraced and enjoyed! Like all things in nature we are in a constant state of change and as sure as the sun will set, the season will pass. So let’s make the most of it!
Cooking with the herbs of the summer season has always been a happy time for me. It wasn’t until a herbal medicine course I took a year ago though, did I understand the true healing properties of very common every day herbs.
Here are a few of my favourite herbs of summer, their medicinal properties and ways you can use them. Enjoy!
ROSEMARY Two old gypsy’s at the Alhambra in Spain one summer told my sons and I that it was important to always plant Rosemary by your garden gate. We took their advice very seriously…mainly because we didn’t want to find out what would happen to us if we didn’t. Something about them being old... and wise... and gypsies…
To some this herb is thought to be more of a fall and winter herb but I disagree. Rosemary will add a pungent and sweet flavour to many foods and drinks. I often add it to my veggies, use it in marinades for a bbq, herbal vinegars and even use the branches as skewers for kebabs. Healing Properties of Rosemary: Circulatory stimulant, nervine stimulant, calming, improves digestion and concentration.
LAVENDER: For those who know me, you know how I feel about lavender. By July my Lavender is thriving and the bees in my garden are happy to visit. Enjoy fresh lavender from your garden as a calming infusion in tea and Jun of course. It also makes a wonderful addition to baking both savory and sweet. Healing Properties of Lavender help to relieve: headaches related to stress, depression, exhaustion, nervous debility and digestion. It promotes sleep and is a carminative and antispasmodic.
MINT In my 20’s my husband and I grew Mint in our garden for the soul purpose of using it in our drink of choice, the Mojito. Thankfully we have since expanded our horizons... oh to be young. I like to infuse mint in water/tea/Jun, use in summer salads, a garlicy tzatziki or tabbouleh but yes, I still love my Mojito. Healing Properties of Mint: Stimulates bile flow and gastric juices, relieves nausea, valuable in the treatment of fevers, colds and influenza, relieves premenstrual pain, migraine headaches, itching and inflammation.
BASIL When I think of Basil I think of two things: Summer and my Pico de Galo (Which can be enjoyed fermented, but that’s a tale of another time). Hello fresh produce, it just screams summer to me. Healing Properties of Basil: digestive aid, mild sedative, intestinal tract spasms relief, improves circulation.
Pico De Gallo
5 Cloves of garlic
5 larve Roma Tomatoes (chopped to your liking)
1 medium Onion (chopped to your liking)
1 Bunch of Basil, chopped
1 Bunch of Cilantro (optional)
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
3 Tablespoons of lime (or lemon) juice
1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Directions: Mix, chill, serve.
10 Sprigs Fresh Mint
2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
1/4 cup Honey
½ Vanilla bean
8 cups Original Jun
Directions: Add the honey to the 8 cups of Jun and blend until the honey has dissolved. Add the juice from the lemons, rosemary and the vanilla bean. Infuse as long as desired. Transfer to a container with the fresh mint and serve with a fresh sprig of rosemary over ice.
Add some spice to your life! From our kitchen to yours…Just Shut Up and Try It. 😉