Times are tough. Money is tight and seems to be getting tighter for us all. Going to the grocery store is shocking. I can’t believe it usually costs $50 or more for a couple of bags of groceries. And I have heard many people say they can’t even go to the store without spending that much. What is the answer? How can you save dollars while still serving flavorful meals to your loved ones? One answer is by growing herbs. Sound surprising? Maybe. But…
When was the last time you purchased a small canister of an herbal seasoning blend at the store? Remember the price? Those little canisters are pricey to say the least– and are not usually of the highest quality. Who knows what type of conditions they have been exposed to. (Light and excessive heat will destroy the flavor and color of herbs as they affect the essential oils.) And who knows how long ago they were picked and processed? They will do in a pinch. But why not ensure you use the highest quality product at the lowest price and blend your own mix? Or even dry and use a single herb at a time? You can also pick and dry the leaves throughout the growing season eventually ending up with enough for multiple canisters from a single plant.
Another way to save money with herbs is by creating your own herbal vinegars. These flavor-filled gems can be created easily with just a few basic ingredients and can add tons of flavor to your dishes.
Perhaps my favorite way to save money with herbs is by growing and using Stevia. Stevia is a natural sweetener that has been used in its native country of South America for years. The green leaves of the plant are about 30 times sweeter than cane sugar, but are safe for Diabetics to consume and can help the rest of the population decrease their sugar consumption naturally. The leaves of Stevia are simply dried and then used whole or processed into a powder via a coffee or spice grinder and added to a recipe. Money saved and health status improved. A nice trade-off for the price of a plant or two!
Herbs can also be grown to create fresh and flavorful teas, honey, oils, jellies, etc., in the kitchen. In addition, they can also be utilized to improve health, nurture the body, clean the house, etc. The possibilities are endless. Learning how to use them is an enjoyable pastime and is an avenue available to everyone who can grow a plant. Growing and using herbs is also one of life’s simple pleasures. A pleasure I will be sharing on The Simple Heart of Life blog. Stay tuned.