I always remember my home economics teacher at school drumming into the class…
“presentation first girls, taste second, garnish is everything”
It was always about presentation! Even if my quiche collapsed or my Victoria sponge didn’t, rise as long as they were embellished with something beautiful on top, all was forgiven!
I have always carried the wise words of Mrs Lowe throughout my culinary journey and presentation is still a big thing for me, I’ve even been known to garnish beans on toast with a nice sprig of parsley! Herbs can totally transform a meal not just aesthetically but in taste as well, and turn even the simplest of salads into a delicious, stylish masterpiece . But the more I delved into the world of herbs I realised that they are some of the most health nutritious foods on the planet and here are two of my cherished favourites…..
CORIANDER (the wonder herb) Coriander, also known as Cilantro, doesn’t just bring a nice finishing touch and aroma to your plate. These beautiful green leafs are abundant with nutritional benefits. Modern science might have just started to explore the benefits of coriander, but it has already been a major part of ancient medicine. Back in the day, coriander seed oil was used as an analgesic, aphrodisiac, digestive, fungicidal and a deodorant. The Chinese believed that consuming coriander seeds could grant immortality!
It is one of the most commonly used garnishes and one of my absolute favourites. I love the smell and no longer push it to the side of the plate or toss the limp leaves in the bin after a meal, Coriander has a big place on my plate these days and is loaded in my salads at the moment, here’s why…
♥ Coriander is one of the richest sources of vitamin K which has a strong role in bone mass building by promoting osteoporotic activity in bones.
♥ The herb is a good source of minerals like calcium, potassium, manganese, iron and magnesium.
♥ Coriander leaves are a powerful natural cleansing agent effectively used to cleanse heavy metals and toxic agents from the body. The disinfectants present in coriander leaves help to detoxify the body. The antioxidants in the leaves are the best remedy to wash out toxins from the body after smoking and help to repair tissue damage in the lungs.
♥ It helps diabetic patients to maintain healthy levels of insulin in the blood and lower blood sugar.
♥ Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and coriander provides 30% of the daily recommended levels of vitamin C.
♥ Coriander is now said to be playing a major role in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain.
POWER PACKED PARSLEY Just like coriander, lets not think of parsley as just a pretty little Mediterranean herb that lends a sprinkling of colour to your plate. It’s a storehouse of nutrients.
I think of parsley as a ‘hard core’ herb, it’s been around for over 2000 years and has some serious time tested health benefits. For me parsley has quite a strong taste but I’ve finally plucked up the courage to add it to my juices, its a hard taste to mask!
So what are the health benefits…….
♥ Parsley is great for flushing out excess fluid from the body and helps to support kidney function.
♥ Eating parsley daily can help with relief from joint pain as it contains anti-inflammatory properties. Parsley has been shown to be particularly effective against rheumatoid arthritis.
♥ Parsley is a very good source of folic acid, one of the most important B vitamins. The folate in parsley is a superb nutrient for cardiovascular health and it helps protect blood vessels.
♥ It is rich in Vitamin C, K and A which means parsley keeps your immune system strong, heals the nervous system and tones your bones.
♥ Parsley is good for your digestion as it has a high fibre content. This helps food move through the digestive tract and controls blood-cholesterol levels.
Flat leaf parsley can often look like coriander so keep you eyes on the label when you buy it.
Basil, dill, rosemary, mint and sage are also a rich source of nutrients high on my hit list, and I always try to go for fresh.
So this really is a simple one!
Take action now and get these two super herbs into your life and don’t just use them as garnish because you will be doing yourself the biggest health injustice! I really encourage you to explore the world of fresh herbs and if you’ve got green fingers start growing them. Imagine, you could have some of these nutritious powerhouse herbs simply growing on your windowsill ♥
Have a wonderful week