The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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May 6, 2014

Dietitian: Herbs can be healthy — and tasty — garden addition

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Dill: Used in cuisine with seafood, dipping sauces, potato salads and dishes, vegetables and pasta dishes. Has anti-microbial and antioxidant health benefits.

To preserve your herbs to use throughout the year, try freezing them. It is a quick and simple process that can be done with most herbs.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

■ First, start with the freshest herbs immediately after harvesting.

■ Next, be sure to clean the herb with running water, then drain. No need to blanch the herbs.

■ Then, chop the fresh herb and mix with water. This step works well in a food processor. Freeze the herb/water mixture in ice cube trays until needed.

■ Remember to label the ice cube tray or plastic bag with the date and contents.

■ Use within eight to 12 months for the best quality.

Frozen herbs can easily be added to dishes throughout the year. Add basil to pesto, pasta sauce or pizza. Add chives to mashed potatoes or homemade veggie dip. Add marjoram to a meat marinade. Add thyme to roasted vegetables.

April Graff, MS, RD, LD, is a reg­istered dietitian at both Mankato Hy-Vee stores and can be reached at AGraff@hy-vee.com or call 625-1107 or 625-9070. Send her ques­tions about food and nutrition, recipes, meal planning and healthy shopping.

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