Culinary herbs are so often overlooked as medicine. But great power lies in our humble spice jars and kitchen windowsill plants, including basil!
Loaded with carotenoids as well as vitamins K and C, basil is also antibacterial. It’s used to ease nausea and cramping, and for irritability, depression, anxiety, and sleeping problems. Externally, basil repels insects and soothes insect bites.
I recently picked up a huge bunch of basil at Hutchins Farm in Concord for my next batch of pesto. As a summer herb, basil’s culinary reputation is renowned, especially in partnership with tomatoes. However, there is another fruit that may give tomato some competition for basil’s affections: the blackberry. Yes, it’s a legit and uniquely refreshing combination (blackberry basil pie, anyone?).
It being 90 degrees and all, I decided to test out the combo in a nice, cold smoothie. I used fresh blackberries that I froze overnight, cold water, farm-fresh basil leaves, and a frozen banana. A dash of vanilla ties it all together (optional).
Blackberry Basil Bliss
1 to 1.5 cups frozen blackberries
5 large fresh basil leaves or 10 small-medium (or to taste)
1 cup cold water
Dash of vanilla
Combine and blend on high.
What other unexpected or unique ways have you used basil?