Many people are getting back to the earth, growing their own food, and that includes growing herbs to use when you cook what you grow.
When we think of culinary herbs, we usually think of harvesting and using their leaves. There are some herbs that not only have edible leaves, but useful seeds as well. These 5 herbs will give you a double bang for your buck.
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Cut green anise leaves whenever they are large enough.
Harvest seeds when they turn brown; wash and allow to air dry. Anise leaves are used in meats, salads, beverages, soups, game and poultry.
The anise seeds are used as flavoring in baked goods. Both seeds and leaves add a nice, licorice scent to potpourris and sachets.
This is one of the only herbs whose leaves and seeds have different names, with the leaves being called Cilantro and the seeds Coriander.
Cilantro leaves are only used fresh. Cut them when they are 4″-6″ tall. Harvest Coriander seeds when the seed heads turn brown. Use Cilantro leaves in salads, stews and as a chopped seasoning for vegetables like potatoes.
Coriander seeds have a smell and taste similar to a mixture of sage and orange. They are used extensively in Middle Eastern, Latin American, and Chinese cooking. Add Coriander seeds to baked goods, poultry dressings, and French salad dressing.
Dill leaves can be used as a seasoning, either fresh or dried. Dill seeds heads are harvested when they turn a light brown.
Most commonly used in making dill pickles, dill leaves can be used to flavor salads, fish dishes, sauces, and vegetables. Dill seeds are used in sauerkraut, baked goods, and to flavor vinegar.
Fennel leaves are used fresh. Harvest fennel seeds when the seed head turns brown, and dry in a paper bag. Florence fennel is grown for its bulb.
Fennel leaves and seeds have the taste of licorice or anise, and are used in cooking fish, vegetables, and in making cheese spreads. Fennel leaves and stems are used in the same ways as celery.
The seeds can be made into a tea that eases digestion, and is often used to quiet colicky babies.
Tender young Lovage leaves are harvested and used fresh. The celery- flavoried leaves can also be frozen for later use in soups, stews, and vegetables.
Lovage stems can be eaten raw like celery. The seeds are often used in breads, cakes, candies and salads.
There are so many types of herbs, and not everyone has the room to grow them all. When choosing which to plant, you can’t go wrong with these 5 double duty herbs.