Organic Culinary Herbs

Growing organic culinary herbs adds intense flavor to your everyday meals. Herbs are simple to grow and can enhance the flavor of a variety of foods without adding calories or fat. There are numerous organic culinary herbs to choose from. Some of the herbs are annuals, which do not return every year and others are perennials, which come back yearly. Choose herbs that will complement the meals you prepare.

Mint

Depending on what you intend to do with the mint, you can choose from spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint, banana mint, apple mint and even orange mint from the numerous choices available. Mint adds a refreshing tang to a variety of beverages including ice water, tea and punches. Organic culinary herbs such as mint also work well in desserts. Mint is a perennial herb, hardy in USDA zones 3 through 11, depending on the variety. Mint can be rather aggressive in the garden, so for best results, grow mint in a container.

Oregano

Oregano is a pungent herb that if used in excess can overpower most dishes. It is a staple of Italian foods such as pizza, spaghetti and lasagna sauces. Try adding oregano to roasted potatoes, pizza crust or garlic bread for a real taste treat. Pick oregano early in the morning, as soon as the dew has dried on the leaves. This is the time when the most essential oils are on the plant. The reason for doing this is because this is when the oregano leaves are most flavorful. As the sun hits the leaves, the essential oils begin to evaporate, taking with them much of the flavor. Oregano is a perennial herb that is a hardy in USDA zones 5 through 9.

Sage

Sage makes the list of popular organic culinary herbs because it is the main spice used when making homemade stuffing. That is not the only way to use sage, of course. Tea can be made from sage and it adds a special taste to meat. Toss a few sage leaves on hot charcoal or wood when you are cooking. The oils from the sage will permeate the meat or whatever food you are cooking There is more than one variety of sage, so read the tag to see which one you are buying. Pineapple sage not only has a pineapple smell, but also imparts a pineapple flavor to food. If you are looking to add color to the area you want to plant your sage, look for a variegated variety. Sage is a perennial herb that is hardy in USDA zones 4 to 11.

Keywords: organic culinary herbs, oregano, sage, mint

About this Author

Sheri Ann Richerson is a garden writer living in the Midwest. Her articles regularly appear in numerous gardening magazines. She is also the author of numerous books including "The Complete Idiot's Guide To Year-Round Gardening" and "101 English Garden Tips."