Healthy Alternatives

We’re pretty much all aware of the chemicals in processed foods these days and try to buy organic when we can.

Unfortunately, there is often a price to pay.

Organic sauces and flavourings can be expensive and sometimes they aren’t necessarily as healthy as we want them to be. Added sugars, however natural, can cause insulin disruption in the body and – horror – also put on weight!

These five herbs are excellent healthy alternatives to flavour your sauces. A tin of tomatoes and a bunch of chopped coriander can make a delicious sauce, even better with fresh tomatoes of course!

Chives

You can eat every part of the chive plant. The edible flowers add colour to the salad bowl or use to garnish any recipe. The grass-like leaves can be cut up and added to cooked potatoes, salads, sauces and even sandwiches, and the bulb can be used in place of a mild onion. Chop finely and sprinkle over cheese on toast. Chives have similar healthy properties as onions but in a milder form.

Coriander (Cilantro)

The coriander plant is two plants in one – a spice and a herb. Chopped fresh coriander will add a mild curry taste to any dish, which means you can save on buying or making curry sauces. And the seeds can be used in pickling recipes. It’s been grown for many centuries as a medicinal and culinary herb. The Chinese believed it to have life-lengthening powers, and it has been referred to in history as an aphrodisiac.

Sage

Sage has been used as a stuffing or an accompanying vegetable to poultry dishes for eons! Sage and onion stuffing is easy to make and can be served with vegetarian meals, poultry dishes, crumbled into stews to thicken and flavour, or sliced and added to sandwiches. It is a strong tasting herb and should be used sparingly. It’s also been shown that a small glass of sage tea everyday will help with hot flushes.

Thyme

Add a little thyme to all ‘herby’ recipes. A few leaves tossed into a salad or sauce will liven up the taste buds.
Try adding a lemon thyme leaf to a long summer lemonade and a leaf or two to ice cubes. Thyme is also an excellent addition to fish or cheese meals. Drink thyme tisanes through the winter months to help prevent colds. A healthy alternative to cold and cough medicines.

Basil

Basil is known as the tomato herb and really does enhance the taste of your tomatoes. Use sparingly. Chop finely and mix into a tomato salad, or use the shiny leaves as an attractive, and edible, garnish. It is also a great addition to green salads throughout the summer. A pot of basil near an open window can help deter flies from entering your home. Rub the leaves occasionally to release the scent.

All these herbs can be grown outside in a moderate climate. If you have the space, create a herb garden – A place of tranquillity and healthy alternatives to create your own organic masterpieces in the kitchen.

Don’t know where to start? Check out the Herb Books and Herbs & Healing posts and you’ll be growing your own herbs in no time!

Happy Gardening & Eating!

Linda x

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