Basil is an herb that is used for culinary purposes i.e. for cooking. Even though associated mostly with Italian or Mediterranean cuisines, it actually originated in India. Apart from these cuisines even Thai and Vietnamese cuisines use basil to flavor their food. 1. The best way to use fresh basil is to tear it into pieces and add it at the last moment to salads, pizzas or pastas. The reason behind this is that basil contains volatile oils which get destroyed on over cooking.
2. Generally basil is associated with Italian food because one of the most famous dishes, Pesto pasta, has originated in Italy. It is a basil, cheese, pine nut, garlic and olive oil sauce used in Italian cooking for pastas, pizzas, dips etc.
3. Basil is also used to flavor soups, whether crushed or freshly torn, is also put over salads, starters and main course.
Full details of uses of basil here.
How to store basil
• Fresh basil should be packed in zip lock bags and stored in the refrigerator.
• You may, however, freeze fresh basil for later use. To do this, first blanch the basil leaves in boiling water for two seconds, refresh in ice cold water and then pat dry. Place in airtight bags in the freezer.
• 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.
Health benefits of basil
1. Tulsi has the power to reduce Inflammation
in the body. It helps fights free radicals and reduces stress. Chew 10 to 12 leaves daily in the morning to keep stress at bay.Key Nutrients: Vitamin C
and essential oils like eugenol
2. Basil / Tulsi aids in digestion
by helping in the secretion of digestive enzymes during chewing.
3. Its high vitamin content is beneficial for skin too. It builds collage when consumed and its paste when applied topically contributes to a flawless smooth skin
. It provides a natural cure to skin irritations and is also a good home remedy for acne.Key Nutrients:
Click here to know more about the Benefits of Basil, Holy Basil (Tulsi)
. Nutritive Information for Basil / Holy Basil:
1 cup of chopped basil / holy basil is about 20 grams
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.
Energy - 5 caloriesProtein
– 0.6 g
Carbohydrate – 0.5 g
Fat – 0.1 gFiber
– 0.3 g Vitamins:
316.4 mcg of Vitamin A
= 6.59% of RDA (about 4800 mcg)
3.6 mg of Vitamin C
= 9% of RDA (about 40 mg)
13.6 mcg of Folate (Vitamin B9)
= 13.6% of RDA (about 100 mcg)
83 mcg of Vitamin K
= 69% of RDA (about 120 mcg) Minerals:
35.4 mg of Calcium
= 3.54% of RDA (about 1000 mg)
0.6 mg of Iron
= 3% of RDA (about 20 mg)
3.65 mg of Magnesium
= 8.5% of RDA (about 350 mg)
11.2 mg of Phosphorus
= 1.8% of RDA (about 600 mg)
59 mg of Potassium
= 1.25% of RDA (about 4700 mg)