Flavor from Your Garden – Have you made the decision to go green in your life and start living a more sustainable lifestyle? Maybe it’s not so much about eco-friendly choices, rather you’re just looking to live a healthier and cleaner lifestyle in general.
If so, planting a garden where you can grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs can be a wonderful option. You will be able to take pride in growing your own ingredients. In addition, you will feel that peace of mind knowing exactly how you grew them: organically and free from chemicals.
But even with all your best intentions, sometimes your garden items can be a little lacking in flavor. If that’s the case, there are tips you can use that will boost the flavor. Let’s take a closer look.
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Get Creative with Combinations
Sometimes the solution is as simple as the combinations you are using. Maybe you’re not being creative enough in the flavor profile. Perhaps you’re playing things a little too safe. This is where herbs and spices can really make a huge impact.
You can take those items you have worked hard to grow and drastically boost the flavor simply by adding the right herbs and spices.
What Are You Growing?
Let’s say you are growing beets — they tend to pair best with warm, fragrant, and spicy herbs and spices. Examples would include coriander, cloves, chives, cumin, basil plant, ginger, caraway, sage, allspice, thyme, and tarragon.
It will require a little sampling and trial and error on your part to find the right flavors.
When to Harvest Beets So They Are Just Right
Guide to Growing a Rosemary Plant
Flavor from Your Garden with Herb and Spices to Plant with Vegetables
Other popular herb and spice pairings with vegetables include:
There are many herbs and spices to consider when you plant carrots. Think about mild and strong flavors as they work well.
Some pairings with carrots to optimize flavor are mace, cinnamon, rosemary, basil, ginger, paprika, nutmeg, thyme, sage, coriander, garlic, and dill to name a few.
When planting cabbage in your garden, opt for coriander, caraway, fennel, mint, curry, dill, ginger, thyme, nutmeg, or parsley.
If you want to plant cucumbers, you should think about adding hot and spicy herbs or refreshing herbs such as mint, mustard, basil, dill, tarragon, rosemary, coriander, garlic, and chives.
Cucumber Plant Growing, Caring, and Harvesting Tips
To optimize the flavor of home-grown fruits, you should also planting them with flavorful herbs and spices. In particular, tomatoes, do very well with oregano, thyme, basil, sage, lemon balm, and mint.
Don’t Pick Too Early
Then there is the question of when you should pick the items you are eating. There’s a secret to getting the best flavor from the fruits and vegetables you grow.
Pick garden items when you’re ready to eat them for the best flavor.
This tip will help ensure you are getting great-tasting garden items. They will have time to naturally ripen to optimize their flavors. The moment you pick vegetables and fruits, the taste starts to alter. In fact, it happens so fast that within a few hours you can notice a difference.
The whole point of having your own garden is to enjoy fresh ingredients. Nothing tastes better and fresher than something you grew yourself.
What About Your Soil?
Did you also know that your soil will help to determine how flavorful your garden items are? Ideally, you want to use soil that is very rich in minerals and nutrients. You can achieve this by using as much organic matter as possible — up to 20% of the soil’s total composition.
Add organic matter to your soil
When you think about adding organic materials to the soil, think about what you already have. You can compost.
This can include compost from your kitchen scraps — even better when they are organic and the scraps from what you already have planted and reaped yourself.
You will also maximize your soil when you can include dried leaves, grasses, and tree bark. When you can enrich your soil with natural materials, you won’t need to rely on fertilizers.
In addition to enriching your soil with compost and organic matter, add mulch. This will help in insulate your soil.
Placing mulch strategically will help to keep your plants’ roots cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. If you buy mulch, be sure to read what it contains.
Look for certified mulch which will be free from harmful ingredients. How to Start a Compost Pile
Get Some Recipe Help
Finally, you may want to get a little help where recipes are concerned. Just because you know what herbs and spices to pair with the various ingredients, doesn’t mean you’ve got a great recipe in mind.
Some simple and quick online research can yield dozens if not hundreds of mouth-watering recipes. Pay particular attention to how long to cook the fruits and vegetables.
Some are at their peak when sauteed, steamed, or simmered. You will want to be sure to not overcook them.
Following the recipe will ensure the best flavor as well as help retain the nutrients. It’s important to know when to add fresh herbs and spices to the dishes.
In many cases, it’s best to add them at the end of the cooking time. Some you will want to simply chop and add as a garnish — no cooking required.
Also, when trying to maximize flavor, consider if something you grew is best enjoyed raw rather than cooked.
Of course, proper food prep will be required in order for that recipe to be successful, which means having the right kitchen tools. When chopping fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices, sharp knives are a must as well as a solid cutting board, preferably made from wood.
Keep in mind with wooden cutting boards you will need to care for them with specific products and only some are food safe.
Amazing Results and Fabulous Flavors
There is a lot you can do to enhance your garden to magnify the flavors. By using each of these produce-growing garden tips, you’ll be able to enjoy incredible flavors from your garden.
When you can grow them yourself, you will really be able to take your recipes to the next level of creativity. Start with an easy to grow herb, such as basil. Then learn how to harvest basil so you’ll have lots of leaves.