Green Mountain Harvest Hydroponic offers tender, sweet, baby basil. Making pesto and eating basil never tasted so good. Why eat basil?
Health Benefits of Basil (Herb)
*Disease preventing and health promoting properties.
"Basil herb contains many polyphenolic flavonoids like orientin and vicenin. These compounds were tested in-vitro laboratory for their possible antioxidant protection against radiation-induced lipid peroxidation in mouse liver.
Basil leaves compose of many health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol, citronellol, linalool, citral, limonene, and terpineol. These compounds are known to have anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties.
The herb is very low in calories and contains no cholesterol. Nonetheless, its is one of the finest sources of many essential nutrients, minerals, and vitamins critical to optimum health.
Basil herb contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene, vitamin-A, cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
Zea-xanthin, a yellow flavonoid carotenoid compound, is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea where it found to filter harmful UV rays from reaching the retina. Studies suggest that common herbs, fruits, and vegetables that are rich in zeaxanthin antioxidant help to protect from age-related macular disease (AMRD), especially in the older adults.
100 grams of fresh herb basil leaves contain astoundingly 5275 mg or 175% of daily required doses of vitamin A.Vitamin-A is known to have antioxidant properties and is essential for vision. It also required for maintaining healthy mucosa and skin. Consumption of natural foods rich in vitamin-A has been found to help the human body protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Vitamin K in basil is essential for the production of clotting factors in the blood and plays a vital role in the bone strengthening and mineralization.
Basil herb contains a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids, which helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese utilized by the human body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
Basil leaves are an excellent source of iron. Its fresh leaves carry 3.17 mg/100 g (about 26% of RDA) of iron. Iron, being a component of hemoglobin inside the red blood cells, is one of the chief determinants of oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood."
How do you store basil so it lasts?
Don’t put it in the fridge. Basil prefers 50 degrees.
Here's how you store it instead (from Eating Well): put it in a glass of water on your counter
Step 1: Take your cut basil out of the packaging, and trim the last inch off the stems. This allows the stems take drink up the water.
Step 2: Place the basil in a cup with a few inches of water
Step 3: Store in a small corner of your counter. Change water every few days. Should last over a week this way.
Two other ideas for storing: freezing and drying.
If you know your bunch of basil isn't going to hang on much longer or you just want to preserve the sweet taste of summer, freezing is the way to go. Before you throw it in the freezer, blanch it first. Blanching sounds fancy, but it just means dipping your basil in boiling water briefly, then moving it to ice water to stop the cooking process. Blanching preserves the bright green color of the basil. Without it, frozen basil turns an ugly brownish black.
Dry off your blanched basil leaves before they are frozen to minimize freezer burn and ice buildup. You can freeze your leaves whole or chop them up and freeze them combined with a few teaspoons of water in ice cube trays (that's our preferred method).
4. Dry It
DIY dried basil beats the pants off of the store-bought stuff that's been sitting on the shelf for who knows how long. You don't need any fancy equipment to dry basil either. Just spread out the basil leaves on a baking sheet and let them dry in the coolest setting of your oven (200 degrees or less) for 2 to 4 hours or until very dry and crumbly. The only trick here is to make sure the leaves are really, truly dry. If there is even a hint of moisture, it will get moldy in storage.
Let the basil cool, then crumble and store in a tightly sealed container. It will last this way for a year or more. And one more thing to note: Once dry, basil is more potent than it is when fresh. If you're using a recipe that calls for fresh basil, but you're using dried instead, cut the amount back by a third.” (Eating Well.
*For informational purposes only. Nothing on this website is a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always talk to your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.