Monday, August 27

Good Eating Monday: Basil

Greetings in this last week of August.
I live on the Gulf Coast. Guess what?  Big ol' storm.
The outer most feeder bans of Tropical Storm Isaac reached here this morning, though the center is still 2 days away. It's cloudy, slightly, little gusts of wind and sprinkles of rain.
New Orleans is 242 miles away from us and the far eastern edge of the storm is still over the Florida Peninsula.
I noticed a lot of people buy ribs and other cook-out meat when we were at Walmart Saturday. That's what people do here. They put their grill in the garage with the door open and cook out, watching the wind and rain.
Friday my husband got on the roof with a tube of roof sealant in a gun to assure everything was tight. Sunday I did a quick mow over the areas of the back yard especially prone to sponginess and puddles. Today we cleared the patio of chairs and pots and I replaced some of the stake-lines on my very tall Hibiscus and rose trellis with some new nylon cord we picked up this weekend. (It's actually catfish line with a tensile strength of 330 lbs---I figured that ought to do it! Plus it's green.) I also through a thicker nylon cord I had on hand around my Pink Floozy pampas and staked her so she won't flop over on the neighbors yard---though it was a straight line storm that did that last year.
So, we're cozy in the house, ready for rain and wind. It will be sort of a mini 3 day stay-home vacation for us, because the base is closed down for the next couple days, so my husband is staying home. 
Today's Healthy Eating Topics is Basil.
This is a very common spice available dried or fresh at your local grocery.
It is also among the easiest to grow and comes in a huge variety.
 If you do grow it, it will self-seed and give you a new crop every year!
Sweet Basil
The type you'll encounter fresh at the is generally "Sweet Basil."
It was large, oval leaves that are somewhat wrinkled looking.
Other types you can get especially from a seed catalog include:
purple basil, cinnamon basil, lemon basil, lettuce leaf basil, lime basil, Thai Siam Queen basil, Marseille basil & globe basil.
At a nursery cinnamon, sweet, globe and purple are most common.
(Globe basil has tiny leaves and forms a small, round bush--thus the name. It makes a pretty border in a flower bed.)
Health Benefit:
The main benefit of having plenty of basil in your diet is it can help reduce stress and also can help your body stay young by neutralizing free radicals.
How to Use It:
You can use basil fresh or dried in anything. Use it generously.
Add it to your scrambled or fried eggs or omelets.
Add it to soups, stews, casseroles.
Use fresh leaves on top home-made or frozen pizza.
Add it to meatloaf or burgers along with garlic and oregano for an Italian flare.
Shake some dried basil over your salads.
Buy the feta cheese flavored with basil.
Of course, use it in all your Italian dishes.
Sp
rinkle it on top of your garlic bread if you buy it ready made or add it to your garlic butter spread if you make your own.

Sprinkle it on top of your baked potato.
Or make a seasoned butter with basil for any use.
Eat up me hearties, yo-ho!


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