I’m falling in love with basil. First of all, it grows really well here in forever sunny Arizona. Even if you neglect it, as I often do, it comes right back once I start to water it again, or, in different terms, once I start showing it love again.
Basil is antibacterial and antiviral. That means it can kill bacteria directly or (at the very least) inhibit bacterial growth and it fights viral infection. It also helps with digestion and relieves cramps. But my favorite part of it is that it soothes, calms, relaxes, and strengthens the nervous system. I need that.
These healing properties mean that right now is the perfect time to incorporate more basil into your life because it can help fend off sinus and bronchial congestion during the winter. In fact, if you suffer from any ailments that are exasperated by phlegm, eat more basil!
Basil can be prepared in a variety of ways, but my two favorite are to eat it raw, as in this salad, and by infusion, or tea. Yes, tea!
This recipe is a great snack or lunch and includes lots of garlic, which also has similar healing properties.
Let’s get down to business, shall we?
Gather yo stuff!
Unfortunately, the basil I used in this recipe was not grown in my back yard… but was purchased from the farmer’s market. But! I’m showing my plants love and they’re getting bigger every day.
Chickpea and Tomato Salad with Fresh Basil
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
about 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
25 large basil leaves, chopped
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon honey
pinch of salt
Toss all of the ingredients together in a bowl and mix! Allow to chill for about 20 minutes before eating.
It doesn’t get any easier, does it?
Now, what to do with all those basil stalks and trimmings that were browned? Make basil tea. Simply bring some water to a boil and drop the basil in. Turn off the heat and allow the basil to infuse for at least 15 minutes. Drink just like that, or sweeten with a little honey or maple syrup.
Drink up and enjoy the magic.