Keep It Fresh

Keep It Fresh

Keep It Fresh

I grew up in the 80s and 90s - the pinnacle period of convenience food, when people thought frozen food was EVERYTHING.

My mom was definitely one of those people. She tried, she really did. But she was a single mom to me and my brother and a really…well…terrible cook. Most everything she tried came out burnt and we ended up eating TV dinners or cereal four nights a week. I didn’t start learning about proper nutrition and fuel until I hit my 20s. I started experimenting in the kitchen and took cooking courses to foster my newfound love of cooking. By the time I hit my 30s, I was the resident household chef!

One of the things lacking most in my diet growing up was anything fresh. My mom was a self-proclaimed vegetable hater, so we never ever had any fresh veggies in the house. Occasionally, we had grapes, but that is the only fresh fruit I ever remember having at home. My mom considered “fruit” the corn syrup-laden stuff at the bottom of low-fat yogurt cups!

So you can imagine, stepping into the cooking scene as a fresh-faced 22 year old, coming from frozen and canned everything, I had no idea what do with fresh produce and how to cook with it. Fresh veggies intimidated me.

Enter herbs.

Fresh herbs helped transform cooking and gave me a tool to explore enhancing and flavoring veggies as I dove into the world of cooking. Don't get me wrong, bottled spices, seasonings, salts and sugars are amazing too. They have the ability to make or break dishes (we have a whole shop full of spices & seasonings that you can shop!), but fresh herbs really take dishes from convenience to 5-star. The taste of fresh is just unparalleled.

Here's the low down on how to best use some of the most common fresh herbs:

Basil: Fragrant and floral, with both hints of pepper and sweetness fresh basil is perfect for topping salads, tomatoes, pizza and pasta. For best results, remove stems and add leaves right at the end of cooking.

Chives: Light garlicky flavor make chives perfect for finishing dishes. Sprinkle on top of eggs, potatoes skins or dips!

Cilantro: Cilantro can be eaten raw or cooked and adds a zesty, refreshing flavor to dishes. A must for topping tacos, cilantro is also a perfect edition to sauces, soups or anything else you want to add a pop of freshness to.

Mint: Mint isn’t just for desserts – try adding to fruit salad or pesto for pastas. And of course, mint makes an delightful garnish to lemonades, water and cocktails.

Rosemary and Thyme: Rosemary and thyme are classic herbs, popular to add to hearty dishes like chicken, beef and potatoes. But they can also be used for breads and for flavoring salads and grilled veggies.

And speaking of fresh herbs, if you're in Fort Collins or Denver area and stop by our shops to buy our products in person, you can check out an array of fresh herbs in adorable pots. Not only do they make our shops smell amazing, but they're available for purchase and use in your next culinary adventure!