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Chase Away the Winter Blues with Fresh Herbs

I find the winter “blues” typically hit me right after the holidays.  The days are short, the temps are cold and unfortunately we’ve still got a few months before it begins to warm up and the first signs of spring appear.  One of the things I miss during the cold weather is the abundant availability of fresh herbs I have in the summer.  During the warmer weather it’s easy to grow them in pots on the back porch or in the garden–not so in sub-freezing temperatures.

This year I decided to give one of those indoor herb gardens a try after seeing them as part of a post-holiday sale.  The version I got contained basil, oregano, parsley and cilantro, but there are some that have up to 12 different herbs included.  In fact, you can order some that already have the herbs grown so that you just maintain the existing plant.  Since I just started my garden, I don’t have any herbs for use yet, but I’m definitely looking forward to a little taste of spring when they’re grown!

If you’re not familiar with using fresh herbs, it’s very simple and worth exploring.  I love adding fresh basil to salads, especially those that include tomatoes.  Salsa and guacamole aren’t the same without fresh cilantro and chopped, fresh parsley is the perfect touch to many pasta, fish and chicken dishes.  I’m including a recipe for Easy Vegetable Focaccia from the Fruits & Veggies–More Matters recipe database.  It calls for either dried or fresh oregano and basil–definitely go with the fresh versions of these herbs, you’ll love the added flavor!

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