One of the staples of our clean eating lifestyle is using fresh herbs in lots of dishes we make. Herbs add flavor without the fat, make food more interesting and are super easy to use. One of things I love is that you can easily grow your own. Each spring I like to buy seedlings and plant them outside in pots, in my urban garden. This year I’ve been growing parsley, basil, thyme and cilantro. I love the ease of being able to go outside and snip a tablespoon or two for a recipe.
Another benefit of fresh herbs is that you can save a lot of money when you grow your own. A basic tenet of the clean eating lifestyle is to be kind to the environment. What’s better than growing your own and not having to incur the cost of packaging and transportation to get them to you — this is locally grown food at its best! It’s a simple way to stretch your dollars, be eco-friendly and give you time to commune with nature.
There are times, however, when I may need more than just a tablespoon or two of my favorite herbs. My approach is to maximize use of the herbs by creating a series of recipes where I can use them all up and not waste them. If you’re like me, I just bet you’ve had moments in the past where, despite your best efforts, you managed to let your leftover herbs go bad.
Avoiding waste is really simple — you’ve got to have a solid meal plan that builds them into a variety of dishes. I always begin with the end in mind and start my meal planning with some good old brainstorming about how I’ll use the herbs. One of my favorites, cilantro, is so easy to use in a variety of recipes. In fact, you can see what I mean by checking out this video on how I’ve made three different recipes from one bunch of cilantro.
You can check out the mango salsa recipe that I mentioned in the video. It’s so good! And even though summer is over, I’ll still sometimes buy a mango and whip some up. I’m also a big fan of juicing herbs along with other fruits and vegetables and sprinkling them on my salad, when leftover.
What do you do to use up your fresh herbs and ensure they don’t go bad? What are some favorite ways you use herbs as part of a clean eating lifestyle?