Fresh Basil

Fresh basil, commonly known as Ocimum basilicum, is a popular culinary herb native to Southeast Asia and the Mediterranean region. Prized for its aromatic, sweet, and slightly peppery taste, fresh basil is a central ingredient in many Italian, Thai, and Vietnamese dishes. Basil leaves are typically bright green and oval-shaped, with soft delicate texture suitable for delicate garnishing and quick cooking methods. Apart from its culinary uses, fresh basil offers numerous health benefits. The herb is a rich source of vitamins A, K, and C, and contains trace amounts of essential minerals like calcium, potassium, and iron. Moreover, it boasts various antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties that contribute to the overall well-being of the consumer.
CAL / 100G
fresh basil
Fresh Basil FAQ
Cooking with fresh basil often brings a fresh and aromatic quality to dishes. But people often make the mistake of treating basil like any leafy vegetable, adding it to the cooking process too early. The heat can quickly degrade the essential oils, which is where most of the flavor lies. To get the most out of fresh basil, you should add it towards the end of the cooking process or use it as a garnish after the dish is cooked. Never chop the leaves too finely—instead, tear them by hand to release their full flavor. Another tip is to infuse it in oils or butter to impart its flavor to other dishes. But remember, basil-infused oils should be used with caution because improper storage can lead to foodborne illnesses.
Can fresh basil be used instead of dried basil in a recipe?
Do you wash fresh basil before using it?
Can I cook fresh basil?
Why is my fresh basil turning black?
Can you eat fresh basil raw?
How do you chop fresh basil without bruising it?
Can fresh basil be added to soups?
How do you infuse fresh basil into oil?
Why does fresh basil turn brown?
How do I retain the color of fresh basil in my dish?
Expiration & Storage Tips
When does fresh basil expire?
Fresh basil can be a bit tricky when it comes to its shelf life. Unopened store-bought basil can last about 7 to 10 days in the fridge. However, once it has been opened or if you've grown your own basil, it's best to use it within a week. Reacting quickly to any sign of wilting is crucial to maximize the herb's freshness. Of course, freezing can help extend the basil's shelf life - properly frozen basil can stay good for up to 6 months with a slight compromise on texture and flavor.
How do you tell if fresh basil is bad?
Spotting bad basil isn't too difficult. If you notice any black spots or mold, your basil is likely past its prime. Slime or a darkening color can also indicate your fresh basil has gone bad. Oldest leaves tend to decay first, so starting from the bottom of your herb batch might be the key. Also, a noticeable loss of the typical fresh and slightly peppery aroma indicates that your basil is losing its freshness.
Tips for storing fresh basil to extend shelf life
- Store fresh basil stem down in a glass with water. Ensure that the leaves are well above the water level, and keep it at a room temperature to prolong its freshness. - Avoid storing fresh basil in a fridge as it can turn the leaves black. - If you must refrigerate, first loosely wrap the herb in a slightly damp paper towel and place it inside a loosely closed plastic bag. - Fresh pesto can be a fabulous way to utilize and store surplus basil. Made with olive oil, it can be easily frozen in ice cube trays for smaller doses, which can last up to three months. - Drying fresh basil can also effectively prolong its life, which can then be stored in an airtight jar. - If you need to freeze, blanch your fresh basil leaves for two seconds in boiling water, and immediately cool it in an ice bath. Pat dry before placing in a zip-top freezer bag and store it in your freezer. To use, simply thaw and use as you would with fresh basil.
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Health Info
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