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The benefits and harms of dried basil. How to make it at home or where to buy it?

The benefits and harms of dried basil. How to make it at home or where to buy it?



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What is Basil? Basil is the most popular spice that came to our continent from tropical Asia and quickly won the hearts of Europeans. Thanks to its individual, incomparable aroma, this spice very soon became one of the favorite seasonings among chefs in France, Italy, Germany and other countries.

The delicate greens of basil are stored for no more than a week, so the question soon emerged of how to preserve the fragrant herb for a long time in order to have it always at hand. This is how dried basil appeared, now an indispensable inhabitant of the spice departments of supermarkets and an invited guest everywhere - from an ordinary apartment to gourmet restaurants.

How is it different from fresh?

Basil, when dried, does not change its qualities, unlike many other spices. In dried form, it does not lose its unique taste, the aroma also does not change and even slightly intensifies.

Dried basil fully retains its beneficial properties, is not inferior to fresh basil in terms of the content of vitamins and microelements. The only vitamin that is being reduced is vitamin C.

The calorie content of dried basil is 230 kcal. per 100 grams, of which:

  • proteins 22.98 g;
  • fats 4.07 g;
  • carbohydrates 47.75 g.

Macronutrient content, each of which is necessary for the human body, per 100 g:

  • potassium - 2630 mg;
  • calcium - 2240 mg;
  • magnesium - 711 mg;
  • sodium - 76 mg;
  • phosphorus - 274 mg.

Trace element content:

  • iron - 89.8 mg;
  • manganese - 9.8 mg;
  • copper - 2100 mcg;
  • selenium - 3 mcg;
  • zinc 7.1 mg.

A photo

Next, you can see a photo of what dried basil looks like:

Benefit and harm

Beneficial features:

  • Basil, due to the content of various antioxidants, is able to have a beneficial effect on the human cardiovascular system, helps maintain youth and health.
  • It has antibacterial and antiseptic properties, heals wounds, relieves fever and strengthens the nervous system.
  • Modern medicine uses it as a means to combat stress, and the components of this plant are also included in drugs to improve memory.
  • The extract of essential oils of basil is capable of healing wounds, killing microbes, due to which it is often used in the preparation of gargle for sore throat, in bronchial asthma - as an expectorant.

Contraindications to the use of basil:

  • Basil greens contain mercury compounds, for this reason it is harmful to those suffering from diabetes mellitus, patients with increased blood clotting, as well as those suffering from hypertension, angina pectoris, and epilepsy.
  • Carefully and in moderation, it should be eaten by pregnant and lactating women.

Important: Like any plant rich in essential oils, basil can be a pretty strong allergen!

We talked about the benefits and dangers of basil here.

How to dry at home?

The lucky ones living in regions with warm climates can grow several harvests of basil a year and have a fragrant spice on their table all the time. If the climate does not allow such luxury, and the harvest of basil is considerable, the task of drying your favorite herb for the winter becomes urgent. Read about growing basil here.

How can this be done? Whichever method you choose, the first and most important thing is to harvest on time.

Basil can be any variety: green, purple, they are all good when dried, provided they are harvested before flowering. Read about the varieties and types of basil here.

The ideal time to harvest is in the morning, as soon as the dew has dried on the greenery. You should not harvest in the scorching rays of the sun or in the rain. Basil should be dried naturally if possible. Read more about how to dry the plant at home.

How to dry basil for the winter at home, see the video below:

Natural drying

You can spread the washed leaves on a clean cloth or baking sheet, cover with gauze from dust and put in a warm, dark, dry and always ventilated place for about a week.

The second option is hanging drying. Young shoots of basil need to be tied in bunches of 4-6 stalks, then hung on a rope in the attic or under a canopy. The main condition is the absence of direct sunlight and good air exchange in the room.

Drying will take approximately two weeks, readiness can be determined by the fragility of the stems: if it breaks, then it is dry, if it bends, we continue to dry.

Use of electrical appliances

If the natural drying method is not possible, you can use an oven or electric dryer.

  1. Before drying in the oven, the leaves should be washed and dried on a paper towel.
  2. After a couple of hours, when the leaves are dry, you need to lay them out on a baking sheet covered with parchment and send them to an oven preheated to 80-100 degrees.
  3. Leave the oven door ajar. Drying time is one and a half to two hours.

The good thing about an electric dryer is that it itself maintains the required temperature and at the same time provides ventilation of the raw materials.

Washed and dried leaves are laid out on the trays of the dryer and the temperature is set to 35-40 degrees. Drying takes about 4 hours and does not require owner control.

For more information on drying basil in an electric dryer, see the video below:

We talked about drying and other ways of storing basil in this article.

How to use and where to add?

The most extensive use of dried basil is, of course, in cooking. It can be used as an independent seasoning, for example, in combination with mozzarella cheese and tomatoes, and as part of multicomponent mixtures such as “Italian herbs” or “Herbs of Provence”.

In these mixtures, basil is combined with dried chopped garlic, rosemary, sage, peppermint and marjoram. These spices are actively used in cooking:

  • different types of pasta;
  • baking pizza;
  • serve as an excellent seasoning for meat dishes, especially lamb, as well as chicken dishes.

In addition to cooking, in everyday life, a decoction of basil is used to treat the oral cavity with stomatitis, sore throat, inhalations. To do this, brew 2 tablespoons of dry basil per 0.5 liters of water in a thermos. The broth will be ready after 5-6 hours.

To raise immunity, basil is brewed like tea, at the rate of 0.5 teaspoon per glass of boiling water. The drink is drunk throughout the day, adding sugar, honey or raspberry jam to taste.

Storage

After the end of drying, you should pick the leaves from the branches and grind them to a fine powder. Then pour into small, absolutely dry and clean glass jars and close tightly. It is advisable to sign the name of the spice and the date of preparation on the jar. Store dried basil in a dry, dark, cool place.

Attention: dried basil is preferably used within two years after harvesting.

Where could I buy?

Dried basil is widely available for sale both as an independent spice and in mixtures with other spices. Sold in packaging from 10 grams, can be packed in a paper moisture-proof bag or in a small glass jar.

You can buy this seasoning everywhere, from a small chain supermarket to a market or online store. The price of the smallest bag will be 15-20 rubles, a kilogram of dried herbs will cost 1000-1200 rubles.

In St. Petersburg and Moscow, a large selection of this spice from various manufacturers can be found in the hypermarkets Auchan, Lenta, Metro, Perekrestok.

Also dried basil is a very popular souvenir in the places where it grows, for example in the south of France and Italy. Tourists willingly buy inexpensive, fragrant bags as a gift to family and friends. The undoubted advantage of this souvenir is its light weight and versatility.

When buying dried basil, you should pay attention to the integrity and appearance of the packaging, shelf life, as well as the place of manufacture. On the market, you can additionally evaluate the aroma of the spice, the uniformity of the composition and the absence of foreign impurities.

Properly prepared dried basil will be an excellent helper in the kitchen, diversify the usual dishes, increase the immunity and vitality of all family members.


Watch the video: Grow Perfect Basil indoors! (August 2022).