Megan Callahan, MS, RD, LD
Hy-Vee Corporate Registered Dietitian

June 6, 2020

Spice up your life with fresh herbs! They can be as easy to grow and use as 1-2-3. They may be best known for the flavor they add to the culinary world, but they may also provide disease prevention and improved health. Herbs have long played a part in healing the body, mind and soul.

FOR YOUR HEALTH & IN THE KITCHEN: Herbs are packed with plant-based antioxidants called polyphenols, making them one of the main sources of antioxidants in our diet today. Green leafy herbs like basil are rich in vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting, and can be added to any pasta dish or seafood and makes a delicious pesto. Oregano and rosemary help fend off not-so-friendly bacteria, and oregano is a great addition to any Italian or Greek dish. Rosemary is part of the mint family; sprinkle fresh rosemary leaves into diced sweet potatoes with olive oil, garlic and paprika for a delicious dish.

Cilantro is coriander’s leafy herb sibling and has been shown to help with digestion. Cilantro adds flare to any Mexican-themed dish. Thyme has a strong flavor and is a popular meat seasoning. Thyme is also packed with vitamins A and C which are beneficial for eye and immune health. Toss a fresh sprig of thyme in tomato soup or a chunky stew. Parsley – often mistaken as cilantro – is packed with antioxidants and vitamin C. Chop parsley and use it to top salads or pasta dishes.

GREEN THUMB TIPS: Check out your local Hy-Vee garden center for all of your herb garden needs like garden pots, potting soil, seeds and herb plants. Find a spot that will get plenty of sun for your plants. A kitchen window, front porch, back patio or a raised garden bed would be the perfect spot for an herb garden so you have your own herbs right at hand when you need them. Herbs usually require little maintenance, therefore water generously and snip or pinch off herbs for all of your culinary needs!

Herbed Tomatoes
Serves 8

All you need:
1 lb. fresh tomatoes sliced or wedged
2 tbsp shallot, finely chopped
2 tbsp Gustare Vita red wine vinegar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp Hy-Vee honey
1 tsp finely chopped fresh basil
1 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
Hy-Vee salt and black pepper, to taste
¼ cup crumbled goat cheese

All you do:

  1. In medium bowl combine tomatoes, shallot, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, basil, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. Toss until tomatoes are coated. Stir in goat cheese. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 hours.

Recipe source: This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.