How to Enhance Holiday Cooking with Herbs
Whether you are hosting a holiday meal this year or looking forward to making some festive dishes to enjoy throughout the season, here are some tips and tricks to help you when it comes to including herbs in your own holiday cooking.
For many of us, the holiday season is filled with warm memories of special dishes, enticing aromas, and mouth-watering flavors. Sweetly spiced ginger (Zingiber officinale) snap cookies and cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) filled kugel baking in the oven, eggnog topped with ground nutmeg (Myristica fragrans), stuffing laced with sage (Salvia officinalis) leaves, and warm mugs of botanical-infused mulled wine hold a special place and make this season all the more heartfelt.
There’s no doubt about it—herbs add more than delicious flavor, aroma, and fond memories to holiday meals. Each herb has a myriad of wellness benefits as well. Here at the Herbal Academy, we love adding herbs to our cooking (myself included), and we are inspired to fill this holiday season with as many delicious, beneficial herbs as possible, right on our plates!
Getting Started Cooking With Herbs
With so many tasty recipes and scrumptious herbs to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start, yet adding herbs to foods can be as simple as sprinkling a bit of cinnamon on your bowl of morning oatmeal or including fresh leafy herbs or bitter greens in the lettuce mix for your next festive salad. You can also get fancy and create a stock of herbal products to pull from to enhance daily meals, such as herbed butters, vinegars, pestos, and so much more—each adds the amazing benefits of herbs to your holiday cooking.
Perhaps one of the best ways to get started is to add herbs to holiday dishes that you already enjoy making. Punch up your cookies with bits of candied ginger, cinnamon, cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), or even some rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and a pinch of lavender (Lavandula spp.). You can even add a new herb that you haven’t tried before to your stuffing or holiday dip, or throw some parsley (Petroselinum crispum) and sage leaves into your next salad for a pop of fresh herbal flavor.
20 Herbs to Enhance Your Holiday Cooking
Use this handy chart of 20 toothsome treasures as a reference while enjoying meal planning and cooking time in the kitchen!
Many of these culinary herbs have beneficial carminative properties that help to stimulate digestion and antimicrobial properties as well! Most of these herbs would also happily make tasty cups of tea and yummy infused vinegars to use in your holiday cooking. Experiment and have fun!
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