Want to improve your health with a food that can keep you young and taste good, too?

Let me introduce you to one of my favorite fresh herbs, basil.

Besides being very aromatic, the flavors of this tasty herb that’s also a member of the mint family can range from clove to citrus.

Sweet basil is a big part of most Italian recipes.

And, its influence is strong in the whole of Mediterranean cuisine.

Other types, like lemon basil and thai basil find their way into Indonesian, Thai, and Vietnamese dishes.


Basil King of Herbs

Known as the “King of Herbs”,  ancient Egyptians used it for embalming their mummies and the Greeks viewed it as a symbol of mourning.

In fact basil got its name from Greek which means “king” or “royalty”.

The herbal king has been cultivated for more than 5,000 years.


Sweet Basil Is King in America

For Americans, the most popular and familiar basil is sweet basil.

Find it year-round in the places that you shop for groceries.

Or grow your own.

You just need a windowsill with warmth and at least 6 hours of light each day.

And keep it well-watered.

Native to tropical regions from Central Africa to Southeast Asia, it is a tender plant.


Flavor, Freshness, and Health All in One Place

Thanks to its phytochemicals, basil may help prevent certain types of skin, liver, oral, and lung cancers.

Studies have shown that it also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects, and contributes to cardiovascular health. It is rich in vitamins A, K, and C as well as magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium. So another name for basil would be the king of medicinal plants.

What’s not to like about this beautiful and aromatic herb.

Try fresh basil in my pesto recipe.

The blending or processing of this herb into its ingredient state is a big part of the flavor experience.

Become acquainted with its fragrance and deep, satisfying taste.

Buy it fresh and toss its torn leaves into your salad or soup.

Basil is rich in history and health benefits.

Add it to your shopping list this week.

Feel great and live like a king.

Need a recipe idea?  Try my basil pesto.

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Chef Sandra's Top 10 Fruits and Vegetables for Weeknight Cooking

Top 10 Fruits and Vegetables for Weeknight Cooking

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