BASIL

BASIL

Ocimum Basilicum
Common Sweet Genovese • Thai • Purple
Lamiaceae: Mint Family

 

**Holy Basil, Tulsi is listed separately.

 

Taste: Sweet • spicy-peppery • floral anise

 

Use: Fresh is best
Eat: fresh leaves • flowers
Infuse: fresh leaves • stems • flowers

 

Medicinal Properties
Antioxidants • Vitamins • Minerals
Digestive • Anti-Inflammatory • Insecticide
Immune supportive • Antibacterial
Calming to nervous system • uplifting
Essential Oil Aromatherapy

 

GROWING BASIL
30+ different varieties
Annual warm-weather herb
Plant seedlings after the last frost
Grow in beds • containers • planter pots
Soil Basil likes moist, fertile soil well-drained
Sun Full sun 6+hrs
Water regularly to keep moist • mulch
Harvest leaves by pinching stem just above new leaf nodes to encourage growth
Companion Plant with tomato • tomatillos • peppers • asparagus • chamomile • beetroot • chillies
Basil Attracts • bees
Basil Repels mosquitoes carrot fly, asparagus beetles whiteflies • flies

 

Culinary & Medicinal

BASIL
♣ green herbaceous, sweet-spicy, slightly peppery leafy herb; hints of lemon, clove, anise, mint
♣ cooling, fragrant, refreshing, uplifting, stimulating, awakening
♣ fresh is best; you can dry it, but you lose all those beautiful top note flavour qualities
✲ flowers have a delicate spicy flavour – use as a garnish
♣ high in essential oils the flavour will decrease with heat, add basil at the end of cooking or use raw

 

FOOD FLAVOUR PAIRINGS
Herbs: parsley, basil varieties, mint, chives, cilantro, sorrel, chickweed, nettle, ginger, hibiscus 
Vegetables: tomato, zucchini, peas, beans, potatoes, avocado, leafy greens, eggplant, mushrooms
Fruits: raspberries, strawberries, citrus, watermelon, peaches, rosehip, lychee, gooseberries
Nuts & Seeds: walnuts, pine nuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds
Beans & Grains:  white beans, fava, quinoa, wheat, rice, oat groats, 
Non-Dairy: coconut milk & cream, tofu, cashew
Dairy: mild creamy cheeses, cream, sour cream, parmesan, pecorino
Animal: eggs, salmon, sardines, smoked fish, shrimp, scallops, lobster, chicken

 

CREATE
Mix in and top salads, at the end of cooking soups, grains, pasta dishes: add flavour with benefits
Blend fresh in sauces, dips, dressings, juices, smoothies, icecreams, sorbets to capture flavours
Infuse in creamy based desserts – coconut, cashew, dairy
Steep, soak, extract; water, iced & herbal teas, honey, vinegar, shrubs, alcohol, tinctures, elixirs
Shake into cocktails – peach, basil & bourbon is a personal favourite!
Clean use in cleaning products due to antibacterial, antiseptic, antimicrobial, antiviral properties 

 

STORE
Keep
fresh basil unwashed wrapped in cotton or paper towel in a sealed container in the fridge or a vase of water
Freeze in icecube trays blended pesto style: stir into soups, cooked dishes, sauces once defrosted
Infused in honey, vinegar, alcohol 

 

MEDICINAL
♦ basil is cooling, an excellent herb to use in summer or when you are feeling the heat
♦ basil is calming to the nervous system, helps relax nervous tension and anxiety-related symptoms
♦ aid digestions, acid reflux, gas and bloating, stomach cramps, nausea, 
♦ relieves headaches, coughs, colds and fevers
♦ supports the immune system, natural detoxification and helps balance blood sugar
♦ boosts mental health and alertness, calming, clarity of thought – aromatherapy 
♦ anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal
♦ use topically as an insect repellant
♦ antioxidant, phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals
♦ essential oil, top note, eugenol gives basil that clove/anise smell