Move over pesto and bruschetta! There are so many other ways to incorporate basil into our daily recipes to take advantage of its bounty of healthy antioxidants. Being a very good source of vitamins K, Basil has been studied for its anti-aging properties, contribution to bone health, and has been shown to reduce swelling and inflammation. Vitamin K is also essential for the body’s blood clotting ability (study). Lucky for us, we are making three easy basil recipes!
The easy recipes below call for “sweet” basil”. There are also less commonly used “citrus” basils (lemon and lime). These each have their own distinct scent and taste.
Blueberry Basil Martini (Vodka optional)
Blueberries are plentiful now so I thought I’d share this martini recipe mixed with basil and blueberries authored by the creative ladies at www.simplynotable.com . This easy 5-ingredient martini will have you and your guests sipping this delicious concoction in no time!
1) Muddle approx. 15 blueberries with 3 to 4 chopped basil leaves (using a mortar & pestle is easiest) until it’s a paste-like consistency
2) In a small pitcher, combine 15 oz. tonic water, 3/ shots of Vodka (optional), and juice from three-fourths of a lemon
3) Add the muddled mixture of blueberries/basil
4) Chill for two hours and serve with (optional sugar-rimmed) martini glasses
Basil Brown Rice
- Simply add fresh chopped basil (to taste) plus a pinch of your other favorite bottled herbs, such as parsley and oregano, to a bowl of cooked, whole-grain brown rice.
- I mix it up with a tblsp. of olive oil and sea salt to taste.
- You can also add red/yellow sweet peppers and cherry tomatoes for extra healthy flavor!
Classic Combo: Tomato/Basil/Mozzarella
There are literally hundreds of variations on this classic mix.
- The basic options: Mix cherry tomatoes with freshly torn bits of basil (to taste) and chunks of mozzarella
- Or, just layer fresh basil leaves over sliced tomato & mozzarella.
- Then drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and pepper to taste.
- If you really want to up the flavor then add chopped onion and garlic!
(photo source: theitalianfork.com)