Body Detoxification with Basil
Basil is widely used in cooking today and has become one of the most popular herbs available. It is used in many types of ethnic cooking. Being a versatile herb, you will find its flavor as part of Italian, Vietnamese and Thai cuisines. Its unique taste gives it a gentle but aromatic flavor. Basil adds warmth and a hint of spicy aniseed flavor to foods.
A well known use for basil is its wonderful pairing with tomatoes. The compliment works well both in raw applications such as salads like the Italian Caprese, or cooked and warm in such dishes as tomato sauce.
It is the main ingredient in the thick green sauce known as pesto, which is created by pulverizing fresh basil leaves with pine nuts, olive oil, grated parmesan cheese and garlic. Pesto has a distinctive flavor and is often used as a dipping sauce or with pasta.
Basil can be readily found in its fresh form or as a dried herb. Generally, the fresh form of basil is considered superior to the dried, as with most herbs. You can make your own dried basil by drying it slowly on the lowest setting of the oven. When it becomes crisp, crumble it and store it in jars that are airtight. However, much of basil’s flavor will be lost when it is dried. A better preservation method is to puree it and freeze it into ice cubes. When you are ready to use them you can simply drop them while still frozen into whatever you are cooking.
Since fresh basil can be expensive to purchase, you may wish to grow it on your own. It is simple to grow and much more cost effective. Since basil is a great herb for beginning growers, one needs to simply find a sunny spot for it to flourish. The ideal way to grow basil is in a small pot close to your kitchen. This way you can pluck some leaves off as you need them.
To ensure a bushy plant, be sure to pinch out leaves as it grows. Remove the young leaves at the top. This will encourage that the plan grow sideways. Since basil is an annual plant, once the cold weather hits it will die quickly. To prolong its life, at the first sign of cold bring it inside.
Mainly used for culinary purposes, there are some medicinal uses for it as well. It has minor antiseptic properties and like its cousin, mint, is a good aid for digestion. In terms of cleansing, it can help to detoxify the body.
Many varieties of basil can be found. The most popular is the Genovese type which is the typical flavor and aroma you will find in Italian cooking. There is also a purple-leaved basil. This type is often used in Asian cuisine.
Whether you grow it or buy it, basil is a tasty herb that is a great arsenal in your culinary toolbox. It is a great cleansing herb for body detoxification and delicious to boot!