Spring is always a time of new beginnings. The air gets warmer and the sun hangs around longer in the day. We finally can break free from the constraints of winter's darkness and cold, especially with the help of spring renewal herbs.
Using easily accessible kitchen herbs is one of the best ways to ring in the new season. Freshening up cooking with delicious herbs like bay leaf, basil, and verbena will bring new energy into your home and open your mind and heart to the possibilities of the new season. Here are our favorite spring renewal herbs for ushering in the new season.
Spring Renewal Herbs
Bay Leaf: The Kitchen's Not-So-Secret Ingredient
As far as kitchen herbs go, bay leaf is fairly standard, though it seems the herb may be oft-underused. Adding bay leaves to your soups, stews, yummy risottos, and other dishes adds a depth of flavor, but also brings a sense of purification.
At the end of winter, it's easy to feel in a funk and groggy from the lingering winter. As the seasons change, cooking with bay leaves will help clear both your mind and your space so you're ready to take on the new season.
Cook with intention when using bay leaves. I like to make a good soup to savor the last moments of winter, like a classic creamy mushroom and wild rice. Most weeknights it's easy to frantically chop veggies with the TV on in the background, but use intention when incorporating bay leaf into your recipes this year.
Prepare your vegetables slowly, enjoy a glass of wine, and take in the delightful savory, herbal scent of bay leaf. While your soup simmers, take time for a journaling session, writing about how you want to use bay leaves to clear your mind and prepare for the next season.
Basil: A Versatile Renewing Herb
There's nothing quite like fresh basil. The herb is easy to grow at home, so there are a couple of ways to lean into the magic of basil during the transition from winter to spring.
Basil offers protection, making it the perfect herb to lead you into a new season. With each new season comes risks and new experiences. Use basil to guide you through this spring and you'll have no trouble channeling your inner confidence to succeed in this new season.
You might consider starting your own herb garden by planting basil this year. If it's still cold where you live, start the basil indoors and then move it outside. Make sure to keep the soil moist and not to overcrowd the plant, if growing in pots. As you prune and harvest the herb, take your time and work to be fully present in the moment.
Cooking with basil can also bring you closer to the herb's magical properties. Usher in spring by pairing basil with fresh strawberries and a sweet, tangy balsamic reduction. As you prepare this decadent treat, consider why you might need protection in the upcoming season.
Lemon Verbena: Brighten Up Your Cooking
Round out your spring herbal practice with lemon verbena, an herb known for its relationship to success. Using lemon verbena in tandem with bay leaves and basil will help you kick off the spring season feeling empowered.
Lemon verbena is a versatile herb that's especially delicious in drinks. As the weather gets warmer, there's nothing quite like a cool, fizzy drink. Let the herbs' bright flavor anchor a drink's flavor, like a gin and tonic. Again, take time to focus on the process of creation. Engage all of your senses in making your drink and then enjoy it while breathing in the beautiful spring air.
Adding lemon verbena to your cleaning routine is another way to allow its renewing energy to work magic in your home. Even a bit of lemon verbena essential oil in a homemade household cleaner can bring the energy of success into your home.
Never made an all-purpose cleaner? Just add 3 parts water, 1 part vinegar, and some drops of essential oil to a spray bottle.
Opening yourself to the magic of spring renewal herbs will make a difference in your approach to the season. Set your intentions in the kitchen and watch as bay leaf, basil, and lemon verbena continue to guide you for the next few months.
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