I have had two Rosemary shrubs growing outdoors for a few years now, and it has been a simple process to get a final product “herb”. I decided to grow Rosemary because I really enjoy the flavor on foods, especially when sprinkled on chicken. When I eat meat, I eat lots more chicken than beef (being health conscious) and therefore I normally go through a fair amount of Rosemary. At the grocery store, Rosemary might cost around $4 for a spice jar, so growing your own does save money. When I dried my first batch of Rosemary and tried it out, I was very surprised at how much better the flavor was than grocery store. Really, it is a lot better!
Rosemary is a great additive flavor for chicken, pork, lamb, and salmon as well as many soups and sauces. Rosemary actually grows on a small evergreen shrub and the leaves look like flat tiny pine needles. The Rosemary leaves offer a great health benefit because they are a highly effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, and also increases blood flow to the head and brain, improving concentration. This book, Essential Guide to Growing and Cooking With Herbs, will be a great addition to your library and will help you with all things herbal from growing tips to usage.
The Rosemary shrub branches or sprigs can be cut and then used “fresh” by removing the individual leaves, or use the entire branch for things like tossing into a soup to extract the flavor, etc… Rosemary can also be dried, after which the little leaves are easily removed from the branch by simply running your hand down the length of the branch. They can then be crushed into smaller pieces (if you want them smaller) and kept in a sealed container for use at any time.
So if you like Rosemary herb, I highly encourage you to go buy yourself a little Rosemary shrub (or two) and enjoy the wonderful flavor of fresh grown Rosemary. You will be shocked how good it is.
If your winter temperature drops below 30 degrees F, then you will need to grow it in a pot so you can bring it indoors for the winter. If you do that, be sure to keep the Rosemary pot near a sunny window because it will need a good 6 to 8 hours of sun per day.
Hang the Rosemary branch to dry. First rinse the freshly cut branches in cool water. Then, tie several together with a string and hang indoors for several weeks. I love the initial aroma in the room when I hang the branches.
Remove the leaves from the branch or sprig. After the leaves are dry and brittle, hold the tip of the branch with one hand, and then with the other hand loosely wrap it around the branch and slide down from top to bottom. Most of the little leaves will come right off.
Crush the leaves smaller. After the leaves are removed, you can crush them smaller by simply picking up a handful and crushing in the palm of your hands until they are as small as you want. Store in an airtight container.
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