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If you are on a quest to improve your quality of life, consider the benefits of starting an indoor herb garden. Not only do you enjoy greenery in your kitchen and the pleasing aroma of nature’s finest, but you can also enjoy the taste and health benefits of the plants when you add them to your meal prep.
Whether you decide to grow parley to sprinkle in your homemade spaghetti sauce or you are looking for herbs that can be dried and turned into a nutritional tea blend, here are few of the easiest, tastiest, and healthiest herbs to grow in your windowsill.
As a member of the onion family, you can get a lot of use of chives. They make great indoor plants because of their compact growth habits. Chives grow in clumps with hollow stems, and you can grow either the garlic or onion varieties easily indoors. Chives make a tasty addition as baked potato toppings, soups, breakfast omelets, or sprinkled on top of cooked meats. In general, chives prefer moist soil with full or partial sun. Trim or harvest your chives about two inches from the base of the plant to encourage new growth.
If you have a warm, sunny spot in your kitchen, basil makes an aromatic addition to your décor and spice cabinet. It is a tender annual herb that needs to be kept away from areas that are too cold and draft. Its ideal temperature is about 75 degrees. This is a fragrant herb that makes a delicious pesto base, though it does well when paired with cheeses, vegetables, and tomato-based dishes. If you want to keep the plant bushy and full, make sure you harvest the basil when it has three sets of leaves. Start by removing the top two sets and leave at least one set of leaves on the stem.
In spite of the pleasing taste that cilantro brings to fresh salsa and Mexican dishes, most people either have a strong love or a strong dislike for the herb. With a bit of a peppery zing, it makes a great addition to spicy dishes. While many associate the taste with salsa, cilantro is a popular herb in Asian and Mediterranean cuisine as well. Cilantro grows well indoors if it has full sun or light shade, but it takes about three to four weeks after seed planting before you will be able to harvest any of the herb. Early harvesting does lend to more full cilantro plants.
Though not a good choice for those who own cats, mint makes a refreshing addition to a variety of beverages and desserts. It is also an iconic part of many lamb dishes. There are several varieties of indoor herbs in the mint family, with spearmint potentially being the most common for cooking purposes. Peppermint and chocolate mint are also indoor favorites. Catnip is a part of the mint family, so your indoor cats will be attracted to the potted herbs and have the same reaction as if they were playing with a catnip toy. Mint prefers moist soil and morning sun, making it ideal for east-facing windows.
Though it may look a lot like cilantro, the aroma and taste of the herb are quite different. Parsley has a long taproot, so it needs a tall pot if it is to grow well. Parsley is perhaps the most common herb used among all culinary cultures, and its versatility is just one of the reasons to grow it indoors. The leaves usually get thrown into a variety of dishes, but the stem can be used to flavor soup stock. Your parsley will do best in an east or south-facing window, and it does prefer a cooler temperature than most other herbs. Harvest your parsley starting from the outside at the base, as new growth originates from the center of the plant.
As an excellent roasting herb, rosemary adds the appearance and scent of evergreen to your kitchen. The leaves bring the most flavor when chopped and added to a recipe, but you can include a whole sprig in a pot of soup for extra flavor. Rosemary likes to be kept dry but prefers full sun and cool temperatures.
Adding the herbs to your windowsill will bring a new aroma to your kitchen. They will also bring new taste sensations to your meals.