Friday, 3 December 2010


Basil/Basilikum/罗勒[luó lè]

Nutrition Value:
Basil is an excellent source of vitamin K and a very good source of iron, calcium and vitamin A. In addition, basil is a good source of dietary fiber, manganese, magnesium, vitamin C and potassium.

The unique array of active constituents called flavonoids found in basil provide protection at the cellular level. In addition, basil has been shown to provide protection against unwanted bacterial growth. These "anti-bacterial" properties of basil are not associated with its unique flavonoids, but instead with its volatile oils, which contain estragole, linalool, cineole, eugenol, sabinene, myrcene, and limonene.

Tips on how to use basil:
1. Combine fresh chopped basil with garlic and olive oil to make a dairy-free variety of pesto that can top a variety of dishes including pasta, salmon and whole wheat brushetta.

2. Enjoy a taste of Italy by layering fresh basil leaves over tomato slices and mozzarella cheese to create this traditional colorful and delicious salad.

3. Adding basil to healthy stir-fry, especially those that include eggplant, cabbage, chili peppers, tofu and cashew nuts will give them a Thai flair.

4. Purée basil, olive oil and onions in a food processor or blender and add to tomato soups.

5. Enjoy a warm cup of invigorating basil tea by infusing chopped basil leaves in boiling water for eight minutes.

When can baby be introduced to basil?
Baby can be introduced to basil by 8 months, but we introduced it to J when he is around 10 months old when he can join us for table food. We had salmon pasta with pesto sauce made of basil.

Using spices and herbs in baby's foods is a great way to offer interesting flavors without the use of sugar or salt.

Additional Information:

Fresh basil is used a lot in Danish cooking, which took its influence from Italian cooking. Its fragrant leaves are made popular as the main ingredient in pesto, the mixture of basil, pine nuts and parmesan cheese (see next picture for recipe).

Basil now grows in many regions throughout the world, but it was first native to India, Asia and Africa. It is prominently featured in varied cuisines throughout the world including Italian, Thai, Vietnamese and Laotian.


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