What does Basil taste like? How is Basil produced? Is Basil Healthy? We will try to answer all those questions and a lot more in this article.
We will also answer some queries related to Basil so that you can easily add the aromatic herb to your daily diet.
What Is Basil?
Basil, also known as Great Basil, is a culinary herb part of the Lamiaceae family.
Basil is tender and is used in several cuisines globally.
In the Western Cuisine, the word Basil refers to a variety known as Genovese Basil or Sweet Basil.
Basil comes from the tropical areas of Southeast Asia and Central Africa.
What Does Basil Taste Like?
Basil is a robust herb; it is spicy but not bitter.
Fresh Basil has a strong and unique flavor, with a hint of mint and pepperiness.
Due to these properties, Basil can add freshness to dishes and sauces.
However, Dried Basil is different; its taste is similar to Oregano and is mellower.
While Fresh Basil is suitable for presentation and salads, the dried varieties of Basil are good for soups and sauces.
How Is Basil Made?
To prepare Basil for consumption, take a few Basil leaves, and stack them on top of each other.
Put the largest leaf at the bottom of the stack and hold the leaves in a tight cylinder.
With the help of a sharp knife, cut the Basil leaves as thinly as possible.
Move from one end of the cylinder to the other end.
Rid all the ribbons from the Basil before you use it.
How Do You, Cook Basil?
Before you cook Basil, you must ensure the herb is thoroughly washed and patted dry under running water.
The leaves are often torn or removed from the stem and then finely chopped or cut into Chiffonade.
Basil can be used as a whole and as a garnish or added to a pizza.
Thicker Basil stalks and stems should be eliminated because they have a bitter flavor; however, small stems are perfect for all dishes.
Large veins and stems of Basil contain compounds that can turn the pesto dark and brown, so the best thing to do is remove the stems before making a sauce.
To achieve an intense flavor profile, you should add Basil leaves at the end of the cooking process.
The oils will dissipate if the Basil leaves are exposed to heat for an extended period.
If you are using Dried Basil, you should include it at the start of the recipe so that the herb can infuse with the ingredients and soften up.
Basil is perfect for flavoring infused oil, and Basil flowers are also used to make tea or Basil flower oil.
What Do You Eat Basil With?
Here is what you can try with Basil:
You can go the traditional route and pair the Basil with delicious pesto sauces.
Use the pesto as a sauce for fish or as a condiment.
You can infuse olive oil with different Basil varieties.
This should not take more than a few minutes.
Do you have a few guests over? Use fresh Basil leaves and whip some delicious finger foods.
Here is what you can try:
- Basil Bruschetta, Mozzarella and Tomato
- Basil Farmer’s Cheese Bruschetta with Tomato and Black Pepper
- Basil Skewers, Watermelon and Tomato
- Basil, Tomato, Gorgonzola and Pizzette
- Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil
Make a batch of vegetable soup and add chopped Basil to give the soup a more seasonal flavor.
Some soups that you can try with Basil:
- Roasted Basil and Tomato Soup
- Basil and Summer Squash Soup
- Tomato Basil Soup
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Basil pairs well with salads and a wide array of seasonal vegetables.
Just chop the basil and toss it into your favorite salad.
Here are some salads that you can try:
- Basil, Mozzarella and Tomato Salad
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- Tomato Basil Salad
- Caprese Salad
- Basil, Corn, Tomato and Potato Salad
- Lemon Basil Salad
You can toss whole Basil leaves in the pizza once it is out of the oven.
Some pizza flavors that you can try:
- Grilled Everything Pizza
- Margherita Pizza
- Fresh Herbs Pizza
- Thin-Crust Caprese Pizza
- Basil, Onion and Mushroom Pizza
- Fresh Tomatoes and Basil Pizza
Seafood And Fish Dishes
Basil and Tomato are a match made in heaven.
Combine halibut or shrimp for a delicious seafood dish.
Here is what you can try with Basil and tomatoes:
- Corn and Grilled Shrimp with Pesto Orecchiette
- Shrimp and Pesto Pasta
- Salmon, Basil and Lemon with Whole Wheat Spaghetti
- Stir-Fry Thai Shrimp with Basil and Tomatoes
- Basil, Cherry Tomatoes, Caper with Pepitas and Halibut
Adding a bit of Basil leaves can give your sides an uplift.
- Basil and Sausage stuffed Tomatoes
- Basil and Roasted Peppers
- Lemon Basil Potatoes
- Basil and Olive with Sautéed Asparagus
You can also add Basil leaves to cocktails.
Muddle basil into a berry or cherry-based drink to balance the sweetness out.
- Fresh Strawberry Balsamic Basil Daiquiri
- Lime Basil Rum Fizz
- Watermelon Basil Spritzer
- Blackberry Spitzer
Is Basil Good For You?
Here are the health benefits that Basil offers:
Can Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Making Basil a part of your diet can reduce or maintain your blood sugar levels.
A study, which was conducted on rats that had diabetes, concluded that Basil was able to lower the blood sugar levels in the rats.
Basil also can potentially prevent the long-term effects of high blood sugar levels.
Can Reduce Inflammation
Basil has several essential oils, such as citronellol, linalool and eugenol, which can control and lower the inflammation in the body.
These oils can also decrease the risk of dangerous diseases such as arthritis, bowel issues and heart diseases.
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Can Improve Mental Health
In Ayurvedic medicine, Tulsi is a popular herb, and studies indicate that it has several benefits; one of them is the potential to improve mental health.
Basil has many compounds that can alleviate depression and anxiety, increase your thinking capabilities and reduce the risks of age-related memory loss.
Reducing The Risk Of Heart Diseases
The Eugenol oil in Basil can block the calcium channels, lowering the blood pressure levels in the body.
The essential oils in Basil can lower the Triglycerides and Cholesterol levels in the body.
Basil is also rich in magnesium, which can improve blood flow, allowing the blood vessels and muscles to relax.
Can Prevent Infections
Basil has many antibacterial properties, and the essential oils in Basil can fight against the bacteria in the body.
These bacteria-fighting capabilities of Basil make it useful for individuals with skin, urinary, respiratory and abdominal infections.
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How Many Nutrients Is In Basil?
In a 5-gram (2 tbsp.) serving of freshly chopped Basil, you can find:
- Protein: 0.2 grams
- Calories: 1
- Fat: 0 grams
- Fiber: 0.1 grams
- Carbohydrates: 0.1 grams
- Sugar: 0 grams
There are also a wide array of vital nutrients in Basil, such as:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin K
Related Questions About Basil?
How To Store Basil?
How you store Basil depends on how you bought it.
Fresh Basil variety should be stored in a fridge, in damp paper towels and a plastic bag.
These Fresh Basil leaves can last up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Dried Basil, though, should be stored in a dry and cool place, where it can last for up to 5 months.
What Is The Texture Of Basil Like?
Fresh Basil leaves have a rubbery and smooth texture and are easy to tear.
Dried Basil has a crunchy texture and looks a lot like Oregano.
This article discusses Basil’s aspects, such as its taste, health benefits, how it is cooked, what foods to pair with it, etc.
Hopefully, this article will motivate you to make Basil a part of your diet.
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