Summer is a great time to garden, but it can also be a challenge. With so many plants growing at once, it’s easy to lose track of which ones are thriving and which ones are struggling. One way to make sure your garden stays healthy and productive is by swapping plants that aren’t doing well for healthier ones with similar growing habits or requirements. Today we’ll look at the benefits of swapping summer herbs—like sage and thyme—with other herbs that can be used in the kitchen just as easily but have different growing requirements.
What are herbs?
Herbs are the leaves of plants used for flavoring food and beverages. They can be fresh or dried and are often sold in bundles or bottles.
Herbs have been used as food, medicine, and decoration since ancient times. Some herbs are native to the UK, while others were brought here by foreign settlers.
The main groups of herbal plants in this country include cooking herbs (like thyme), medicinal herbs (like lavender), and decorative ones (like marigolds).
We should swap these summer herbs
Swap cilantro for parsley
Cilantro is certainly a useful herb, but its popularity has made it hard to find. You’re better off using parsley for your summer cooking instead. Parsley is much more tolerant of heat than cilantro, meaning it can grow in the garden year-round. It also has a longer shelf life and requires less water to grow than cilantro does.
Parsley’s versatility is another reason why it should be in your kitchen all the time: unlike cilantro, which is best used fresh (and can become bitter if cooked), parsley’s flavor mellows when dried or frozen so you don’t need fresh at all times. This means you can use it in everything from soups and sauces to salads and even desserts.
Swap basil for oregano
We may want to consider swapping your basil for oregano. The flavor of oregano is stronger than that of basil, though it’s more versatile when it comes to the dishes we can use it in. It pairs well with tomato-based sauces and other kinds of pasta, including macaroni and cheese (honestly, who doesn’t love that?), as well as pizza sauce. We’ll also find it useful in Greek and Mexican food.
Because oregano has such a full flavor profile—it contains notes of lemon, mint, thyme, and marjoram—it can be used in a variety of cuisines, making it an even better choice than basil if you’re cooking at home or ordering out at a restaurant where there are multiple options available on the menu. As far as pregnancy goes: while there isn’t much research about how safe oregano is for pregnant women yet (it’s not classified by the FDA), many experts agree that eating small amounts shouldn’t pose any risk to either mom or baby; however larger amounts may cause side effects like stomach upset or heartburn when consumed regularly over time.
Swap thyme for sage
Thyme is an herb with a reputation for being versatile. It can be used in cooking, teas, and more. Sage isn’t as popular during the midsummer months but it’s still an important ingredient for fall and winter cooking.
Sage has been used for thousands of years to help improve memory and brain function. It’s also been used for its antibacterial properties against wound-healing infections. Thyme is better at preventing morning sickness in pregnant women due to its ability to reduce inflammation caused by allergies or hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy.
Why do we swap herbs?
These are all great reasons to swap out some of your usual herbs and spices for summer herbs, but there’s another big reason as well: fresh herbs are a lot more fragrant than dried ones. When you add dried oregano or thyme to a dish, they tend to lend their flavor more subtly than the fresh variety does. That’s because drying removes moisture from the herb leaves, which decreases their ability to release their essential oils into the food. If you want your food to smell as delicious as it tastes, opt for fresh.
Summer herbs are great for cooking, but sometimes a little too much of a good thing can be overwhelming. Maybe you’ve tried an herb that was just too strong and didn’t agree with your palate, or maybe you’re looking to expand your repertoire but want something with less bite. Whatever the case may be, we hope this list has given you some ideas on how to incorporate summery flavors into your meals without feeling like they are overpowering or unpleasant.