Monday, December 2, 2013

Top 3 Herbs to Grow in Your Apartment

Let's be honest, a lot of us don't know how to cook. Ramen noodles, microwavable soup, and cereal are the go-to's. Sure, some of us will cook a chicken breast or grill up some veggies every now and then, but when it comes down to it, cooking takes some extra planning. 

Living in an apartment, we don't have the luxury of having our own outdoor gardens. Don't let this stop you. There are plenty of herbs that can be easily grown inside an apartment that add extra flavor, without the extra calories. Growing herbs will not only add an opportunity for a variety of flavors in your dish, it will also add money in your pocket. Herbs can cost up to $5 for one bundle, but when you buy a small plant to grow, it will be a gift that keeps on giving at one low price. 

Herbs can be intimidating. I know. There are literally hundreds of herbs at our disposal. Instead of shying away from the unknown, grab it, read about it, try it. Take advantage of this healthy, flavorful way of cooking. Which herbs are the most popular? Which are the best for growing indoors?

1. Fennel: This herb adds a very strong and distinct flavor to your dishes. It is a versatile aromatic vegetable that can be used in numerous dishes. It is widely used in Italian, French, and Mediterranean cooking. It is a great flavor to add to any roasted meat or stew. The 3 parts of fennel: the white bulb, green stalks, and green dill-like herbs (all parts are edible). The bonuses of fennel? It requires little light and produces little, bright yellow flowers! Who couldn't use a little extra natural color in their kitchen? Click here for 12 ways to cook with fennel.

2. Basil: Almost every pasta recipe calls for fresh basil. It's a staple item in the Italian cooking world. Toss it in your salad, sprinkle it over grilled pizza, or spice up your meatballs with this wonderful herb. Quite honestly, it's hard to find a dish that isn't improved by a handful of this bright green, fragrant herb. Also, this is another herb that requires little sunlight. Click here for several recipes using basil.

3. Oregano: This is an herb that should already be in your kitchen. Almost one out of every five recipes call for this warm, aromatic herb. Try it sprinkled over a chicken breast with some fresh squeezed lime. A plus side to this herb is that it's preferred dried out, as opposed to fresh. So if you're worried about accidentally killing the thing, that's totally okay. Click here for more about cooking with oregano.

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