Get answers to your nutrition and healthy eating questions. Visit www.eatrightontario.ca or call us toll-free at 1-877-510-510-2.
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If you are concerned about how much sodium you are eating, cooking with herbs means being able to use less salt but keeping all the taste! Herbs add great flavour and aroma to food. They can grow just as well inside as out, and growing your own herbs is usually cheaper than buying them from the grocery store. Put your salt shaker away and experiment with the many different plants and varieties that you can grow.
Visit a local nursery or gardening store. You can buy young plants or seeds, or consider buying an herb kit. These kits may come with tools (such as a small shovel), pots, seeds or a variety of seedlings (young plants) to help you get started.
Learn if your herb is an annual or a perennial:
Many herbs we buy were first grown in the Mediterranean where the climate is hot, dry and sunny. Your herbs may grow best under the same conditions. Place your herbs in windows that face south or west so they get the most sun. The heat from the sun will also help the herbs develop essential oils, which is what gives herbs their great flavour.
Don’t over water. Too much water can cause the herbs to wilt and lose their flavour. Most herbs probably will not need to be fertilized. A plant that has been fertilized so that it grows very big may actually lose some of its flavour. Look for fertilizers that are specially made for herbs.
Choose clay, wood, ceramic or plastic containers with drainage holes. Some herbs require fairly large pots while others don’t mind a little crowding. Check with your garden centre or ask a Master Gardener for more information.
When the weather warms up, consider moving your plants to your yard, deck, balcony or outdoor window box. If transferring to a larger pot, add fresh soil. Transfer back inside before the first frost.
Watch your garden grow and then bring the rewards back into your kitchen!
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