When Simon & Garfunkel sang about parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, they weren’t thinking about your kitchen – but maybe they should have been! Herbs are a fantastic way to add flavor and nutrients to any meal, but fresh herbs can be pricey at the grocery store. Growing your own is affordable, convenient, and delicious! And you don’t need a sprawling back yard to do it – your windowsill and a few flowerpots will do the trick.
Here are our top picks for your homegrown herb garden:
This aromatic herb offers up a host of benefits:
- Contains abundant antioxidants that can help prevent the damage caused by free radicals
- Shakespeare praised it as a memory booster
- Contains compounds that support cognitive function.
Add it as a seasoning to sauces and roast meats, or make a stimulating tea.
Growing Tip: This hardy evergreen plant doesn’t need much from you – just a bit of sun and water!
Occasional cough? The traditional herb for that would be thyme, an herb with properties that also support respiratory health. Its distinctive flavor has earned it a spot in French, Italian, and Mediterranean cuisine, so use it abundantly!
Growing Tip: Thyme stays relatively small, so it’s perfect for a sunny windowsill.
Basil contains iron, as well as antioxidants that support your body’s natural detoxification process. From pesto to caprese salads, basil adds a warm, fragrant, even spicy flavor to any dish.
Growing Tip: This herb likes it hot, so stick it somewhere with plenty of sun. Indoors actually works well for basil, as sunny exposure and a window can act like a greenhouse. If your green thumb is feeling a little more ambitious, basil is a great companion plant for tomatoes.
A member of the allium family (along with garlic and onions), chives are packed with antioxidants and other nutrients such as choline. Chives are a great addition to omelettes, soups, and sauces.
Growing Tip: A small pot and a sunny windowsill is all you need, and chives are perennial, which means you’ll be harvesting from the same plant year after year.
Mint is good for digestion and occasional nausea, and freshens the breath. This fragrant herb made a name for itself as a key ingredient in mojitos, but there are plenty of other ways to use it; add mint to cool water, make fresh mint tea, or use it in salads and sauces. Yum!
Growing Tip: If you’re growing it outside, watch out – mint will take over, so you may want to confine it to a pot.
Parsley is much more that a garnish. It provides a wealth of nutrients, including folate, vitamin c, iron, and vitamin K – just one tablespoon offers more than half of your RDI of vitamin K. It also helps support your immune system and kidney function. The fresh, bright flavor of parsely enhances any dish, from salads to stews to rice.
Growing Tip: Parsley in known for being a slow growing plant, but it’s easy, and doesn’t require too much sun.
Sage is Ian antioxidant, and is associated with immune boosting and improved memory. Sage has a wonderful, peppery flavor that pairs well with hearty roasts (think stuffing).
Growing Tip: Slightly high maintenance, sage is a herb that needs frequent watering and lots of sunshine.
Do you have any of these herbs growing at home already? How do you use them in your cooking?