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I love the Lord and my big crazy family. My husband and I have been together for 41 years. I am a mother of two grown children and a grandmother to four biological grandchildren and six others. I own and operate my own home care business primarily for the elderly. Many sites have been sold or did upgrades which messed up back links, if you find a broken link let me know and I will fix it.I have written online articles for Bubblews, Seekyt, TopicSpotter and Triond. You may still find some of my articles on Ehow/Demand Studio.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Basil: Grow and Dehydrate



Growing basil in the garden to use fresh and then dehydrating to preserve it quite simple to do. Basil growing next to your tomatoes is said to make them sweeter in taste and repel evil bugs. I am not sure if that is an old wives tale or if it is true, however, my husband enjoys doing this and I enjoy using it.
Using basil and tomatoes together is even better when you create Tomato Basil Soup using fresh garden vegetables.

Varieties of Basil:

It is important to know there are several varieties of basil with different tastes and flavors. Different varieties and types of basil also have different growing times; ranging from 50-80 days. Before deciding what basil to grow, do your homework; do you want it for teas, garnish, Thai/Asian recipes, pesto, salads or tomato sauce or soup?
Although basil is aromatic or fragrant, not all basil taste or look the same. There are green and crimson/purple and then there is green. Some have long pointed leaves, others rounded leaves in varying lengths.

Tomato Basil Soup Recipe

Nutrients in basil:

·       Vitamin K
·       Iron
·       Calcium
·       Vitamin A
·       Fiber
·       Manganese
·       Tryptophan
·       Vitamin
·       Magnesium
·       Vitamin C
·       Potassium
·       Calories-0

Web MD cautions people taking a blood thinner; such as Warfarin, to consult your doctor as you can get too much or too little of vitamin K. Vitamin K is not only high in basil but also in green leafy vegetables and spinach.

Dehydrating Basil Using the Oven Method:

1.     Since different of varieties of basil bolt or flower at different times; harvesting the basil before the flowering is suggested, however, not set in stone. If yours has flowered, that is quite all right. In the mid morning or before the heat of the day, harvest the basil.
2.     Shake the basil plants after cutting to shake loose any bad leaves, the dirt and any bugs.
3.     Turn on the oven, heating no higher than 200 degrees Fahrenheit while thoroughly washing the basil and sorting out any bad leaves.
4.     Using a cookie sheet lined with paper towel, place washed basil leaves on the first layer of paper towel. Place more paper towel over the basil and press down to remove any excess moisture. You can go as many as five layers deep.

Place the basil in the preheated oven and then turn the oven off. A couple of times during the day, to keep the basil drying, turn the oven back on to 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Let set in the oven with the door closed over night, check to make sure the basil is drying and not molding. In a day or two, you will have dehydrated basil.

Line Dry Method:

If you do not want to use the oven method, after the first year, I discovered I prefer to simply cut, shake, rinse and hang the bundles upside down to dry naturally. I cut it a little at a time, make small bundles and hang in my kitchen, over  my sink and in front of the window.

Conclusion:
With all those vitamins and zero calories, why would you choose not to grow, dehydrate and use the herb like Basil?

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