Rosemary

Looking like a small sprig from an evergreen tree the wonderful smell and assertively pine-like fragrance and pungent flavor of rosemary goes a long way to flavor to chicken, lamb, pork, salmon and tuna dishes as well as many soups and sauces. As an evergreen, rosemary is available throughout the year.

Rosemary grows on a small evergreen shrub belonging to the Labiatae family that is related to mint. Its leaves look like flat pine-tree needles, deep green in color on top while silver-white on their underside. Its memorable flavor and unique health benefits makes it an indispensable herb for every kitchen.

Nutritional Profile

Rosemary is a good source of vitamin A (in the form of provitamin A carotenoid phytonutrients).

Health Benefits

Rosemary contains substances that are useful for stimulating the immune system, increasing circulation, and improving digestion. Rosemary also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that may make it useful for reducing the severity of asthma attacks. In addition, rosemary has been shown to increase the blood flow to the head and brain, improving concentration.

How to Select and Store

Whenever possible, choose fresh rosemary over the dried form of the herb since it is far superior in flavor. The springs of fresh rosemary should look vibrantly fresh and should be deep sage green in color, and free from yellow or dark spots.

Just like with other dried herbs, when purchasing dried rosemary, try to select organically grown herbs since this will give you more assurance that the herbs contain no pesticide residues and have not been irradiated (among other potential adverse effects, irradiating rosemary may lead to a significant decrease in its carotenoid content.)

Fresh rosemary should be stored in the refrigerator either in its original packaging or wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel. You can also place the rosemary sprigs in ice cube trays covered with either water or stock that can be added when preparing soups or stews. Dried rosemary should be kept in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark and dry place where it will keep fresh for about six months.

History

Rosemary is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae along with many other herbs, such as oregano, thyme, basil, and lavender. The name rosemary derives from the Latin ros meaning “dew” and marinus meaning “sea” – “sea dew.”

The herb has been hailed since ancient times for its medicinal properties. Rosemary was traditionally used to help alleviate muscle pain, improve memory, boost the immune and circulatory system, and promote hair growth.

Nutrition Chart

Rosemary, fresh | 2 tsp | 4.20 g | Calories: 6

NUTRIENTAMOUNTDRI/DV (%)
Vitamin C0.92 mg1
Vitamin A6.14 mcg 1
Vitamin B20.01 mg 1
Vitamin B30.04 mg 0
Vitamin B60.01 mg1
Manganese0.04 mg2
Folate4.58 mcg1
Iron0.28 mg2
Copper0.01 mg1
Magnesium3.82 mg 1
Omega-3 fats0.02 g1
Omega-6 fats0.02 g0
Calcium13.31 mg1
Phosphorus2.77 mg0
Potassium28.06 mg 1
Sodium1.09 mg0
Zinc0.04 mg 0
Protein0.14 g0
Carbohydrates0.87 g0
Fiber0.59 g2

Tips for Preparing and Cooking

Tips for Preparing Rosemary

Quickly rinse rosemary under cool running water and pat dry. Most recipes call for rosemary leaves, which can be easily removed from the stem. Alternatively, you can add the whole sprig to season soups, stews and meat dishes, then simply remove it before serving. Great with eggs, beans, and potatoes, as well as grilled meats.

The Healthiest Way of Cooking With Rosemary read: Recipes.

Source: http://www.whfoods.com

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