Tag Archives: basil

health

Herb Spotlight: Basil

basil-leafBasil, often referred to as the “King of Herbs” is known for its strong, pungent, and sweet-smelling aromatic fragrance. Native to India, it has been cultivated some 5,000 years ago. Traditionally used in Southeastern Asian cuisine, basil is also prominently featured in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine.

 

 

Health Benefits

The health benefits of basil is numerous. Rich in antioxidants, it also contains one of the highest concentration of Vitamin K, as well as copious amounts of Vitamin A and C. In addition, basil is an anti-inflammatory and swelling agent. Studies have found that  “extracts of O. tenuiflorm (Holy basil) were shown to reduce swelling by up to 73%, 24 hours after treatment”. Other health benefits of this amazing plant include anti-aging properties, stress reducer, and anti-anxiety reliever. The list goes on.

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Growing and Cultivation

Basil is an herb that makes few demands. It does best in warmer climates, but can be grown almost anywhere indoors. Provide the plant 6-8 hours of sun, and keep the soil from drying out (easily prevented if growing in a hydroponic system).

Harvest basil by pinching leaves off the main stem when it reaches a height of 6 inches or more. Beware not to damage the main stem as it will not grow back.

Although you can dry the herb, we recommend freezing basil to preserve the herb’s nutrients and flavor. Of course, the best option is to harvest basil 5-10 minutes before cooking time. Just a pinch of freshly picked basil is guaranteed to spice up your favorite dishes!

Check out the main Droponic website to grow your own basil today!

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recipes

Pineapple-Basil Smoothie

I’m not sure that I would order this just based on the name. But believe me, you’ll be pleased by this herbal concoction. Pineapple has so much sweetness and flavor on its own, and it marries well with the peppery, anisy basil. Very little else is required (no banana in this smoothie). I like to use kefir, but yogurt will work too. Pistachios and chia seeds bulk up the drink nicely, and the pistachios contribute to the pale green color.

Featured in: Drink Your Greens.

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup, tightly packed, basil leaves
  • ¼ ripe pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks (about 6 ounces)
  • ¾ cup plain kefir or yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 heaped tablespoon pistachios
  • ½ teaspoon chia seeds
  • 2 or 3 ice cubes

PREPARATION

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend at high speed for 1 minute, or until smooth.
  2. Serve & Enjoy
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