Herbs are something I’ve been adding into our meals for as long as I’ve been cooking. I started off with dry herbs, and now that I’ve been gardening more, I love the fragrant smell, and flavor of fresh herbs. I want our children to be familiar with varieties of herbal recipes, and especially their medicinal benefits for both mind and body.
This year our lemon balm and parsley have taken over the garden. So, I thought I better start using it up! I found a few different recipes for compound butter, and made a simple variation of my own.
Lemon balm is said to be helpful in relieving stress, reducing anxiety, boosting cognition, relieve nausea and minimize menstrual cramps, and supporting restful sleep. While that’s a quite a lot, I believe variety is the key. And, with all the varieties of herbs to choose from, we’ve got endless ways to nourish our minds and bodies, while keeping foods and flavors interesting. Variety is the spice of life! And my motto, ”everything in moderation.”
Parsley is another herb I use often, in pasta sauce, eggs, and soups. Parsley is rich in vitamin A and C, and is often labeled as a powerhouse in its disease-fighting properties, with its high nutritional value.
I am a firm believer in cutting out counting calories, and instead, counting the nutrient density of our foods. In particular, parsley is rich in flavonoids, which may potentially lower risk of colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Both fresh and dried have varieties of benefits. Herbal remedies have long been used for various ailments. As always, consult with your doctor when taking any medications, to avoid potential interactions.
Here is a simple compound butter, which may be added to pastas, meats, or veggies:
- 1 stick butter, creamed (i typically buy kerrygold)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon balm, finely chopped
- fresh (or dried) garlic
- dried parsley
- dash of lemon zest, grated very finely
- sea salt to taste
- stir well and let sit one hour for best flavor
This was so simple to make, and paired perfectly with a dish of pasta and side salad. Wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate or freeze. I didn’t involve the kiddos in this recipe, although I did create an assembly line of fresh foods for them to choose from.
I think it’s helpful to allow kids to choose which foods they like, by presenting them with different options, making meal time flow more smoothly. I hope you’ll find some use for this simple, no sweat recipe, and mostly, enjoy it with your loved ones!