Lots!!! of Basil this harvest! So I am on the path to find and discover new recipes to use Basil
I have put it out there to a Facebook group for ideas. What do YOU do with your tons of Basil? My favorite of all time recipes for basil is over pasta, fresh with tomatoes, a little olive oil and fresh parm. But I could explode if I eat that every night. I am looking for different ideas!
I am hearing all about Basil Ice Cream, so here are two recipes and a Basil Gelato recipe. I Would substitute with all organic eggs and fruits, and organic coconut palm sugar, pink salt, coconut milk or goat’s milk for my own recipes, but these give you a start. I would experiment! Please let me know how you like them.
There are benefits of not letting this green beauty go to waste. Please take a second to read Basil’s Bio at at the end of this post. It packs a punch. I LOVE MY BASIL!
Roasted Strawberry & Basil Ice Cream with a Honey-Balsamic Reduction – thank you to http://www.reclaimingprovincial.com/2013/07/16/roasted-strawberry-basil-ice-cream-with-a-honey-balsamic-reduction/ for this gorgeous recipe!
(adapted from The Perfect Scoop)
1 quart of fresh strawberries
half a dozen-ish basil leaves
1 cup of whole milk
2/3 cup of sugar + 2 tbsp, separated
2 cups of heavy cream, divided
6 large egg yolks
1 vanilla bean
zest of 1 small lemon
pinch of salt
honey-balsamic reduction (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 375°. Clean and whole strawberries, then cut in half. Toss with the 2 tbsp of sugar, then arrange on a baking sheet. Roast for around 25 minutes, or until the berries have released a good amount of their juices. Remove from the oven and let cool, then puree in a food processor or blender. (Or you can just mash them if you don’t mind larger strawberry bits in your ice cream.)
Combine the whole milk, 1 cup of heavy cream, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan and heat until warm, then remove from heat. Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds into the milk mixture, and add the pod as well. Bruise the basil leaves and add them too, along with the lemon zest. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a large bowl and set a strainer on top. Prepare an ice bath big enough to hold the large bowl. Strain out basil, lemon zest, and the vanilla pod, then rewarm the milk mixture and beat together the 6 egg yolks in a separate bowl. Once the milk mixture is warm, temper the eggs by slowly whisking it into the eggs a little at a time. Once you’ve incorporated the two, pour everything back into the saucepan.
Stir constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer into the large bowl of heavy cream, and add the strawberry puree. Transfer bowl to the ice bath and stir until cool.
Chill the custard in the fridge overnight, then process in your ice cream maker as per the manufacturer’s instructions. When ice cream is finished churning, add a layer to the bottom of a large tin. Add a drizzle of the honey-balsamic reduction, then lightly swirl in with a chopstick or knife. Add another layer if ice cream and repeat. Continue until all the ice cream is in the tin.
1 1/4 cups of balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp of honey (I highly recommend using a raw honey — the flavor is so much better)
Add the balsamic to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer until it has reduced by about 2/3. Remove from heat and stir in honey. Let cool completely (ideally to fridge temp) before using.
Lemon Basil Ice Cream ~ Raw Food Recipe from http://www.rawon10.com/2013/08/lemon-basil-ice-cream-raw-food-recipe.html
5 ripe bananas ($.75)
juice and zest of one lemon ($1.49)
Another Basil Ice Cream Recipe I found Makes about 3 cups from http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Basil-Ice-Cream-230779
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup well-chilled heavy cream
- Special equipment: an instant-read thermometer; an ice cream maker
Bring milk, basil, 1/4 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, stirring, then remove from heat and let steep 30 minutes. Transfer to a blender (reserve saucepan) and blend until basil is finely ground, about 1 minute.
Beat together yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until thick and pale, about 1 minute. Add milk mixture in a stream, beating until combined well. Pour mixture into reserved saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture coats back of spoon and registers 175°F on thermometer (do not let boil). Immediately remove from heat and pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl. Set bowl in a larger bowl of ice water and stir until cold, 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in cream and freeze in ice cream maker. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, at least 2 hours
MAKES 1 QUART
2 cups basil leaves
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
¾ cup sugar
1 tbsp. lemon zest
¼ tsp. salt
6 egg yolks
Combine basil, milk, cream, sugar, zest, salt, and yolks in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a 2-qt. saucepan and heat gently until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and pour through a fine strainer; chill in the refrigerator. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Serve garnished with fresh basil leaves.
Research studies on basil have shown unique health-protecting effects in two basic areas: basil’s flavonoids and volatile oils.
DNA Protection Plus Anti-Bacterial Properties
The unique array of active constituents called flavonoids found in basil provide protection at the cellular level.Orientin and vicenin are two water-soluble flavonoids that have been of particular interest in basil, and in studies on human white blood cells; these components of basil protect cell structures as well as chromosomes from radiation and oxygen-based damage.
In addition, basil has been shown to provide protection against unwanted bacterial growth. These anti-bacterial properties of basil are not associated with its unique flavonoids, but instead with its volatile oils, which containestragole, linalool, cineole, eugenol, sabinene, myrcene, and limonene. Lab studies show the effectiveness of basil in restricting growth of numerous bacteria, including : Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus,Escherichia coli O:157:H7, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.Essential oil of basil, obtained from its leaves, has demonstrated the ability to inhibit several species of pathogenic bacteria that have become resistant to commonly used antibiotic drugs. In a study published in the July 2003 issue of the Journal of Microbiology Methods, essential oil of basil was even found to inhibit strains of bacteria from the genera Staphylococcus, Enterococcus and Pseudomonas, all of which are not only widespread, but now pose serious treatment difficulties because they have developed a high level of resistance to treatment with antibiotic drugs.Studies published in the February 2004 issue of Food Microbiology, have shown that washing produce in solution containing either basil or thyme essential oil at the very low concentration of just 1% resulted in dropping the number of Shigella, an infectious bacteria that triggers diarrhea and may cause significant intestinal damage, below the point at which it could be detected. While scientists use this research to try to develop natural food preservatives, it makes good sense to include basil and thyme in more of your recipes, particularly for foods that are not cooked such as salads. Adding fresh thyme and/or basil to your next vinaigrette will not only enhance the flavor of your fresh greens, but will help ensure that the fresh produce you consume is safe to eat.
The eugenol component of basil’s volatile oils has been the subject of extensive study, since this substance can block the activity of an enzyme in the body called cyclooxygenase (COX). Many non-steriodal over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS), including aspirin and ibuprofen, as well as the commonly used medicine acetaminophen, work by inhibiting this same enzyme. (In the case of acetaminophen, this effect is somewhat controversial, and probably occurs to a much lesser degree than is the case with aspirin and ibuprofen). This enzyme-inhibiting effect of the eugenol in basil qualifies basil as an “anti-inflammatory” food that can provide important healing benefits along with symptomatic relief for individuals with inflammatory health problems like rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel conditions.
Nutrients Essential for Cardiovascular Health
Want to enrich the taste and cardiovascular health benefits of your pasta sauce? Add a good helping of basil. Basil is a very good source of vitamin A (through its concentration of carotenoids such as beta-carotene). Called “pro-vitamin A,” since it can be converted into vitamin A, beta-carotene is a more powerful anti-oxidant than vitamin A and not only protects epithelial cells (the cells that form the lining of numerous body structures including the blood vessels) from free radical damage, but also helps prevent free radicals from oxidizing cholesterol in the blood stream. Only after it has been oxidized does cholesterol build up in blood vessel walls, initiating the development of atherosclerosis, whose end result can be a heart attack or stroke.
Free radical damage is a contributing factor in many other conditions as well, including asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. The beta-carotene found in basil may help to lessen the progression of these conditions while protecting cells from further damage.
Basil is also a good source of magnesium, which promotes cardiovascular health by prompting muscles and blood vessels to relax, thus improving blood flow and lessening the risk of irregular heart rhythms or a spasming of the heart muscle or a blood vessel.
In addition to the health benefits and nutrients described above, basil also emerged from our food ranking system as a very good source of iron, and calcium, and a good source of potassium and vitamin C.
Basil is a highly fragrant plant whose leaves are used as a seasoning herb for many different types of foods. Basil has become one of the most recognizable herbs ever since pesto, the mixture of basil, pine nuts and parmesan cheese, has become popular.
Basil has round leaves that are oftentimes pointed. They are green in color, although some varieties feature hints of red or purple. Basil looks a little like peppermint, which is not surprising since they belong to the same plant family.
There are more than 60 varieties of basil, all of which differ somewhat in appearance and taste. While the taste of sweet basil is bright and pungent, other varieties also offer unique tastes: lemon basil, anise basil and cinnamon basil all have flavors that subtly reflect their name. The scientific name for basil is Ocimum basilicum.
Basil now grows in many regions throughout the world, but it was first native to India, Asia and Africa. It is prominently featured in varied cuisines throughout the world including Italian, Thai, Vietnamese and Laotian.
The name “basil” is derived from the old Greek word basilikohn, which means “royal,” reflecting that ancient culture’s attitudes towards an herb that they held to be very noble and sacred. The tradition of reverence of basil has continued in other cultures. In India, basil was cherished as an icon of hospitality, while in Italy, it was a symbol of love.
How to Select and Store
Whenever possible, choose fresh basil over the dried form of the herb since it is superior in flavor. The leaves of fresh basil should look vibrant and be deep green in color. They should be free from darks spots or yellowing.
Even through dried herbs and spices like basil are widely available in supermarkets, you may want to explore the local spice stores in your area. Oftentimes, these stores feature an expansive selection of dried herbs and spices that are of superior quality and freshness compared to those offered in regular markets. Just like with other dried herbs, when purchasing dried basil, try to select organically grown basil since this will give you more assurance that it has not been irradiated (among other potential adverse effects, irradiating basil may lead to a significant decrease in its vitamin C and carotenoid content.)
Fresh basil should be stored in the refrigerator wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel. It may also be frozen, either whole or chopped, in airtight containers. Alternatively, you can freeze the basil in ice cube trays covered with either water or stock that can be added when preparing soups or stews. Dried basil should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place where it will keep fresh for about six months.
Tips for Preparing and Cooking
The Healthiest Way of Cooking With Basil
Since the oils in basil are highly volatile, it is best to add the herb near the end of the cooking process, so it will retain its maximum essence and flavor.
Basil is an excellent source of vitamin K and a very good source of iron, calcium and vitamin A. In addition, basil is a good source of dietary fiber, manganese, magnesium, vitamin C and potassium.
For an in-depth nutritional profile click here: Basil.
In-Depth Nutritional Profile
In addition to the nutrients highlighted in our ratings chart, an in-depth nutritional profile for Basil is also available. This profile includes information on a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.
Introduction to Food Rating System Chart
In order to better help you identify foods that feature a high concentration of nutrients for the calories they contain, we created a Food Rating System. This system allows us to highlight the foods that are especially rich in particular nutrients. The following chart shows the nutrients for which this food is either an excellent, very good, or good source (below the chart you will find a table that explains these qualifications). If a nutrient is not listed in the chart, it does not necessarily mean that the food doesn’t contain it. It simply means that the nutrient is not provided in a sufficient amount or concentration to meet our rating criteria. (To view this food’s in-depth nutritional profile that includes values for dozens of nutrients – not just the ones rated as excellent, very good, or good – please use the link below the chart.) To read this chart accurately, you’ll need to glance up in the top left corner where you will find the name of the food and the serving size we used to calculate the food’s nutrient composition. This serving size will tell you how much of the food you need to eat to obtain the amount of nutrients found in the chart. Now, returning to the chart itself, you can look next to the nutrient name in order to find the nutrient amount it offers, the percent Daily Value (DV%) that this amount represents, the nutrient density that we calculated for this food and nutrient, and the rating we established in our rating system. For most of our nutrient ratings, we adopted the government standards for food labeling that are found in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s “Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling.” Read more background information and details of our rating system.
Nutrient Amount DV
vitamin K 48.01 mcg 60.0 153.7 excellent iron 1.18 mg 6.6 16.8 very good calcium 59.16 mg 5.9 15.1 very good vitamin A 262.50 IU 5.2 13.4 very good fiber 1.13 g 4.5 11.6 good manganese 0.09 mg 4.5 11.5 good tryptophan 0.01 g 3.1 8.0 good vitamin B6 0.06 mg 3.0 7.7 good magnesium 11.82 mg 3.0 7.6 good vitamin C 1.71 mg 2.9 7.3 good potassium 96.12 mg 2.7 7.0 good
Rule excellent DV>=75% OR
Density>=7.6 AND DV>=10%
very good DV>=50% OR
Density>=3.4 AND DV>=5%
good DV>=25% OR
Density>=1.5 AND DV>=2.5%