Grow.Bar Organic Seed.Kit® - Basil Blends
The culinary herb basil is scientifically known as Ocimum basilicum , and is also sometimes called sweet basil (or even "Saint Joseph's Wort" in some English speaking countries). It's in the mint family (Lamiaceae) and is most likely native to India. The plant has been cultivated there for more than 5,000 years, proving it's usefulness and sustainability. And it's an annual crop commonly found in Italian and Southeast Asian cuisine, with a ton of varieties. The type of basil you find in most Italian food is "sweet basil", which offers a slightly different flavor profile than "lemon basil" or "Thai basil" often found in Asian dishes.
The most commonly used varieties in Mediterranean cuisine are Genovese, purple and cinnamon basil. Outside of the kitchen in Europe, basil is placed in the hands of the dead to keep them safe on their new journey. And in India they often put basil in the mouth of dying loved ones to make sure they reach their next destination safely. Even in ancient Egypt and Greece people believed basil could open the gates of heaven. The word "basil" itself comes from the Greek word "basileus", meaning king, and is still considered a "king" amongst the herbs in the culinary world today.
Scientists have been studying the health benefits of basil for a long time, and there's plenty of research proving that some of the elements found in basil oil have potent antioxidant, antiviral and antimicrobial properties. It may be used in cancer treatment, as well as being traditionally used to treat stress, asthma and diabetes in some parts of the world. Most of the studies showing cancer-fighting agents is still being performed on mice, however there are many signs of hope for the continued use of the ancient plant.
The essential oils found in basil leaves (like eugenol, citronellol, citral and terpineol) also have anti-anflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. And the leaves are very low in calories. It's a no-cholesterol plant and is "a very good source of vitamin A (through its concentration of carotenoids such as beta-carotene). Beta-carotene is a more powerful anti-oxidant than vitamin A, and not only protects epithelial cells (form the lining of numerous body structures like blood vessels) from free radical damage, but also helps prevent free radicals from oxidizing cholesterol in the blood stream" (whfoods.com).
Our basil microgreen Organic Seed.Kit® is delivered complete with all you need to start growing basil in your Grow.Bar® (including 100% organic fertilizer and seeds). Our basil blends can beused in a variety of ways, from homemade pesto sauce and pasta garnish (pictured above), to salads and smoothies, the uses for these mighty-but-tiny greens are endless. There are 60+ varieties of the basil plant, but we offer the following 9 options:
- Large leaf
All of our basil varieties all have a wonderfully pleasing aroma and the plant is normally a vibrant green. However, depending on the variety (like purple basil) the leaves may have hints of purple. The taste of the more common, sweet and organic basils will be bright and pungent, and with the other varieties the flavor profile will change slightly to reflect the name (such as lemon or cinnamon).
Grow.bar® Recipe - Watermelon Basil Smoothie
- 2 cups cubed watermelon (frozen or cold)
- 1/4 cup Grow.Bar® organic basil microgreens
- 2 Tablespoons chia seeds
- 3/4 cup organic apple blend juice (experiment to find your favorite)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 lime (juiced)
- Add the watermelon cubes, chia seeds, basil microgreens and lime juice to your food processor or blender.
- Pour about half of your juice of choice on top of the ingredients already and the blender and begin to blend on low speed.
- As the ingredients begin to mix, slowly add the water until blended smooth.
- Continue to blend to your desired consistency and thickness & then pour into a tall glass. Garnish with basil microgreens and thin slice of watermelon and enjoy!
What are some of your favorite basil recipes? Sign-up and share! We are always looking for new inspiration and we love hearing from our community. And don't forget to check out our products and to contact us if you do not see the basil variety you're looking for. Happy growing!