Despite the fact that I love fresh fruits and veggies and have a profound respect for nature, I’ve killed every plant I’ve owned. Sigh. I know – its bad. Ben has given me potted roses instead of cut bouquets due to it being better for the environment, but I have undone his good gesture in the end as the flowers fall off and the stems turn brown. My mother gave me a jade plant years ago for our house-warming….dead. I’ve been given orchids…dead. Tulips, Lilies, even a cactus…all dead. I don’t know what it is – I both over and under water, and over and under sunned!
But I’ve been determined to do something about this because I love cooking with fresh herbs. In Ayurveda, fresh herbs are said to have more vitality and life energy than dried herbs, so despite the fact their shelf life is less, I try to take my remedies fresh if I can.
So, I bought myself some spearmint, basil and rosemary and re-potted it to make a little window sill herb garden. I have been really vigilant about watering it every day and making sure the window is open sometimes to give it some real air circulation. I even find myself worrying about my new little herb buddies when they’re looking a bit tired or thirsty. Its been a month now, and the herbs have been going strong!
The best thing about my herbal trio is the delicious things I can make with them, upgrading any dish with a few strategic snips. They really came in handy this past weekend as we had a BBQ for Ben’s birthday and I made a delicious limeade as well as threw basil on just about everything. In Ayurveda, it is said that we should say a little thank you prayer to our plants before harvesting them, so I also tried to be very loving and utter a few kind words before makin’ the chop.
I highly recommend growing yourself some herbs if you haven’t already – below are two wonderful things you can make with mint-infused water.
1. Moroccan Mint Skin Toner – as I’m about to leave for Morocco in a few days, I’m prepping by eating Moroccan cuisine (hard work eh?). Mint is a yummy staple, and I’m looking forward to sipping mint tea (and fingers cross checkin’ out an argan oil field). Anyhoo, with a few mint sprigs you can make a wonderful skin toner that is both cooling and clarifying (perfect for my pending bout Moroccan weather). Just boil about two cups of water and a third to half a handful of mint leaves. I just throw them in our electric kettle….and tah-dah! Place this in the fridge overnight to cool down. You can put this infusion in a spray bottle to use as a fresh toner for the next three days, or you can use it on angry, reactive skin as a cooling compress.
2. Mint Laced Limeade – I got this idea from a middle-eastern restaurant that makes the most delicious drinks – fresh orange blossom (neroli) or rose lemonade and this wonderful limeade. I’ve made mint and limeade before with just lime juice, agave and chopped mint, but its not the same as it is here. It wasn’t minty enough. So now, I make the above mint infusion, cool it then add the juice of two limes, agave (or a good quality maple syrup) and stir. It was a huge it at our BBQ, and people were arguing over who got the last glass! You can spike it too if you want to dress it up.
Either way, the potent fresh mint has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties that calm pitta inside and out. And its so deelish! The freshness really makes a difference. Fingers crossed now, my mini herb garden will survive into the fall, when I’m gonna need to use the stimulating, warming and energizing properties of rosemary more than ever.