*For those who are new here, please note that you can click here and check the previous days. Also, this challenge is not a strict diet plan but a series of mini-challenges to establish healthy Mediterranean diet habits. I do include links and suggestions for recipes, if you want a menu plan you can go here for a 5-day mix and match plan. For a longer comprehensive 14-day plan along with 100 recipes you can consider my new book.
Hello everybody!! It’s Friday and almost the end of week 2 of our challenge. Today I want to focus on herbs. I find they are a bit overlooked in terms of health benefits, but they are in fact an important aspect of the Mediterranean diet.
Herbs are used in cooking, but drinking them is a significant part of the Mediterranean Diet. This is an age-old practice which studies have shown can contribute to the longevity seen in these areas. Analysis of these herbal teas shows that they are rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. The key here is that herbal tea is consumed every day not only when you are feeling under the weather. These teas also offer relief from coughs, sore throat, stomach aches and also count towards your hydration needs.
They are consumed usually twice a day. I suggest midmorning and afternoon or evening. I generally consume them plain without sweeteners, and sometimes with a bit of honey when I have a sore throat.
Mediterranean Herbal Teas
- Mountain Tea (also known as sideritis or ironwart)
Cooking with herbs
Herbs are everywhere in the Mediterranean diet and are used generously! They are added in meat dishes, vegetables, dips, soups and of course salads. They are a source of antioxidants and when combined with other ingredients such as olive oil, legumes and vegetables there is a nutritional interaction that increases their antioxidant activity even more.
Mediterranean Herbs for Cooking
- Parsley: Very versatile, can be added almost everywhere; in stews, meats, soups, pasta and grains
- Basil: A key ingredient in pasta sauce, pairs perfectly with tomatoes, used for pesto, in salads, as a topping on toasts and pizza. Can accompany lemonade and watermelon.
- Oregano (Dry): One of the most popular herbs, pairs well with olive oil, lemon, tomatoes, potatoes, chicken, red meats.
- Mint: Used in almost all ground meat recipes and in savory pies. Pairs well with feta.
- Dill: Pairs well with yogurt (used in tzatziki), savory pies filled with greens- pites, spinach, lemon, lettuce and seafood.
Make a conscious effort to include more herbs in your diet. Here are a few recipes that showcase herbs.
Herbal Mediterranean Recipes
These unbelievable delicious traditional Greek zucchini patties are made with plenty of herbs and feta and are so easy to make.
This is the easiest and most refreshing cucumber salad you will ever make. A tzatziki style dressing gives it that extra punch.
Juicy stuffed mushrooms with a herbal, crunchy, mediterranean inspired filling.
This super-easy, flavorful parsley recipe is perfect as a dip or as a sauce for pasta and meat.
Get a burst of olive flavor with these simple- to- make appetizers.