8 Herbs to Grow in your Kitchen*
If you take the plunge and decide that you're going to grow herbs in your kitchen, please make sure that you have a windowsill with good light (or grow lights), good soil and containers that drain well to give your herbs the best chance of producing well for you.
Now you'll be asking, what are the best herbs to grow?
Here's a list of 8 herbs that you can grow in your kitchen:
One of the most common herbs and often thought of as a garnish (especially curled parsley).
My favourite is Italian Parsley, sometimes called flat parsley. Its leaves look similar to celery tops.
Parsley has a fresh flavour that is a great enhancement to green salads and many meals. You can, of course, simply use it as a traditional garnish to pretty up your meals--but there are so many more uses for parsley than simply looking pretty on the side of the plate.
The herb is also full of vitamins and minerals and anti-oxidants. It's great thrown into a morning smoothie, or chopped up finely and added to soups or stews.
Harvest the leaves when they are dark green and make sure that you remove the flowering stems to help extend your harvest.
Confining mint in a pot is always a good idea--it has a reputation for invading the garden.
There are hundreds of varieties of mint, but peppermint and spearmint are pretty hardy mints and either variety should grow well indoors.
There's nothing quite like picking a few mint leave and throwing them in a glass of iced water with lemon, or steeping them in boiling water to make a refreshing herbal tea.
Oregano is another prolific growing herb that likes to take over the garden if allowed. It will do well in a pot in the kitchen. Traditionally used in Greek or Italian dishes and a super herb for using with any tomato based recipes or for popping on top of a pizza.
You don't need a lot of fresh Oregano because it has a strong peppery flavour.
Oregano is proven to have antiviral and antibacterial actions and is full of antioxidants. Another great bunch of reasons to be including it in your meals or popping a sprig in your daily herbal tea.
It wouldn't be summer in our house without the scent of Basil wafting through the kitchen.
Basil is the base of pesto and it is also a fantastic addition to green summer salads, or tomato salads. It can also be added to fruit salads or frozen fruit sorbets.
There are many varieties of Basil, Thai, Purple, Greek or Lemon basil to name a few. Even if you don't use them in your cooking, Purple Basil would look spectacular on your white kitchen bench top.
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It's no surprise that Chives have a mild onion flavour because they come from the onion family. Other close relatives are garlic, shallots and leeks.
I happen to think that they are beautiful herbs and I'm always particularly taken with them when they flower. The flowers are edible too and look fantastic in a salad.
They're actually a clump of tiny bulbs that grow individual tubular leaves. Harvest by trimming the chives close to the base. They are perennial (which means that they go dormant in winter) but will come away again in spring.
You can add finely chopped chives to butter or cheese spreads, sprinkle them as a garnish over most savoury foods and also add them to soups and stews.
Rosemary is a small mediterranean shrub that has thin pine-like leaves that sprout from a woody stem.
It's traditionally used to flavour meats, but I love to use it in my plant-based meals when I want to add a balsamic, woody flavour to the food.
Rosemary is a natural antiseptic and it can be used in many home-made herbal cleaning products.
A tiny sprig of Rosemary is also a fantastic addition to a hot lemon & honey tea on a cold winter's day.
When I think of Sage, I always think of my mother's sage and onion stuffing. Sage is another aromatic herb that can have a bitter taste. That bitter flavour means that it is great for improving digestion, so sage goes well with lots of fatty foods.
I try not to eat too many fatty foods, so most of my sage ends up being dried these days and used in herbal smudge sticks.
Sage can be added to winter tea recipes to aid against colds and flu because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action.
Purple sage is a pretty little plant and would look good in any indoor herbal collection.
Another Mediterranean herb that loves the heat, Thyme will thrive in warm, dry conditions, so will grow well inside the house as long as it has lots of light.
Its delicate leaves and tiny pink flowers make it one of my favourite herbs.
My favourite varieties are Pizza Thyme and Lemon Thyme and both get liberally thrown through vegetable sauces and on top of pizzas.
Thyme pairs well with many of the other herbs listed above.
One of the many wonderful reasons for growing lots of varieties of herbs is that you can experiment by mixing the flavours of these beautiful plants together.
You'll discover your favourites and go back to them over and over again.
Once you've experimented with cooking with your herbs and become more familiar with each of these plants, do some more research about them. You'll be amazed when you learn all the great things that these wonderful herbs can do for you.
*Every single one of these herbs will grow extremely well in your outdoor 'Kitchen Herb Garden'