Winter Herbs You Can Grow Indoors

Indoor Herbs

Winter Herbs You Can Grow Indoors

During the winter, you might think it is hard to find fresh herbs and produce due to the harsh, cold temperatures, but that isn’t true! Many people continue growing herbs right at home, but choose to grow them indoors instead. Here are some different winter herbs you can grow indoors and have available all winter long.

Indoor Herbs

Mint

As you know, mint is one of the most popular herbs to use during the winter season. What you might not know, is that it is easy to grow and can be grown indoors! This is wonderful if you either don’t have much room outside on a patio to grow the herb, or it is the winter and you don’t want to spend much time gardening outdoors. While there are many varieties of mint that grow well indoors, peppermint and spearmint tend to be the best. Peppermint is usually better for indoor growing. You can start it with seeds in a pot that has soil, which is much better than starting from leaf cuttings. You can also get a plant already grown and keep it in your home where it is closest to a window with direct sunlight.

Rosemary

The next herb you can grow inside your home that is perfect for winter is rosemary. This is another popular herb to use during this time of year, and is one that is always easy to find. Rosemary can drown with too much water, so be careful you are only watering it when it looks to be too dry. This is also better to start growing from seed unless you are getting a plant already started to place in your window sill.

Parsley

So many traditional and classic herbs are not only available in the winter, but can be grown at home indoors. They provide a way to have fresh herbs available at all times, plus make your home smell amazing. Another herb you can grow indoors is parsley. This is also super easy to grow, even for people who are not accustomed to growing their own herbs. Parsley does grow a little slower, so keep that in mind when choosing when you want to start it and when you plan to harvest the herb leaves.

Oregano

Who doesn’t love some oregano? This is the ultimate herb for Italian and Southwestern dishes, along with any hearty meal you intend to make. You can use fresh oregano for everything from pasta sauce and lasagna, to adding more flavor to your soup or chili. It can also grow indoors, but you do need to make sure you get at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day.

The Best Herbs for Holiday Recipes

If you enjoy using fresh or dried herbs in your recipes, you can usually get them year-round. During the winter, the following herbs are easy to find even in the cold season, and really go perfectly with all your holiday recipes.

Rosemary

One herb you will see used often in winter recipes is rosemary. This is because it is ideal to use with various superfoods and other dishes you will prepare in the cold, winter months, plus you can grow it year-round. So, regardless of the climate you live in, you can find rosemary that is fresh even in the dead of winter. Rosemary is wonderful when used fresh for hearty dishes like beef and lamb, and also goes wonderful with chicken and vegetarian dishes. It also has some health benefits, including helping with digestive problems.

Basil

Another herb that you can use in the winter for your different recipes is basil. This is a very popular herb because it is easy to find and very versatile. There really is so much you can do with it, from making your own pesto at home, to adding it to various Italian dishes. It also goes great in Asian-inspired dishes and American favorite, so it is wonderful to have during the winter. You can use fresh basil, but don’t shy away from dried if that is all you can find.

Mint

This is such a wonderful herb to use during the winter, and you can find it just about all winter long, whether you grow it yourself at home or get it fresh from a local grocery store. Mint is on the stronger side, so keep that in mind when you are choosing what to use it in. While you might use multiple leaves of basil or twigs of rosemary, you really only need a single leaf of mint for the typical meal. Of course, this will depend on what you are preparing as well. The great thing about mint is that not only are there many food dishes you can make with it, but it is amazing for those fun holiday drinks.

Thyme

The last herb to consider for your holiday recipes is thyme. This is very similar to mint, both in how strong of an herb is, and how quickly it can grow both indoors and outdoors. Thyme is wonderful when you are making a meat dish like pork or beef, and adding sage to it as well. It is also a good compliment to lemon tones in your dishes, which happens to be a popular winter superfood.

Freezing Herbs

Tips for Freezing Your Herbs

If you are interested in growing fresh herbs at home, there may come a point when you just can’t use them all. Instead of letting them spoil, you can freeze them. This allows you to use them later for recipes and always have them available at home. Here are some tips and methods for freezing your herbs.

Methods for Freezing Herbs

First of all, you should know that there are a few different methods for freezing your herbs. While the most popular option is often to freeze them in oil, this is definitely not the only way you can do it. It helps to experiment with different methods until you figure out which one works best for you. Here are some different methods for freezing your herbs:

Freeze in oil – This is definitely the most popular method, and keeps herbs fresh and holds onto their flavor. What you would do is chop your herbs and place them in different compartments of an ice cube tray. Once in the tray, pour in oil like olive oil into each one until the herb is covered. Not only will you have the herbs frozen in something that locks in the flavor, but you can use the oil at the same time with whatever dish you are using. The drawback here is if you want to use them without the oil.

Freeze in water – You can also try this same ice cube method but cover them in water instead. The benefit here would be that when you want to use them, you can let the herb thaw out, dry it on a paper towel, then add it to your dish, without having the oil soaked on the herb.

Freeze alone – This last method is simply to freeze them on their own. You would chop up the herbs and place them in individual plastic storage bags, being sure to only have one type of herb for each bag so they don’t get mixed up.

Tips for Freezing Herbs

Regardless of which method you choose, there are a few things you need to do first. First of all, your herbs should be washed after you pick them, then left out to dry. Once they are dried, remove herb leaves from their stems and only chop up the herb leaves themselves. Make sure if you are storing them alone or in oil, they are completely dry before you attempt to freeze them. The only exception is if you are freezing them in water.

Tips for Growing Rosemary

One of the best herbs to find during the winter is rosemary. It can be ground outside or indoors, does great even during cold seasons, and is ideal for all those holiday recipes. If you want to grow rosemary at home, here are a few tips.

Growing Rosemary Outdoors

The first thing you should know about rosemary is that it can grow indoors or outdoors. If you live in a mild climate and can grow it at least partially outdoors during the winter season, then this is ideal. It isn’t mandatory, but consider your weather this winter, and see if it is possible. When you are growing it outdoors, you can still start it inside. Rosemary should always be grown from seed as that is when it cultivates the best.

Start the rosemary plant indoors before you get frost during the winter. It should be about 8-10 weeks before this happens. When the weather is warm, such as near the end of winter, you can then bring the rosemary plant outside to continue growing and thriving. If your plant is still growing well indoors, by all means keep it inside!

Growing Rosemary Indoors

Do you want to grow your rosemary indoors? If so, there are just a few things to remember. First of all, keep it near a window that has the brightest light in your home. This I show you know the herb is going to get the most direct sunlight. Perhaps you know it is brightest in the kitchen, or near a window in your living room – this is a good indication you have found the right spot. Your rosemary should get 6-8 hours of good sunlight each day to thrive indoors. If you’re still not sure, look for a south-facing window, and it usually provides enough sunlight. Rosemary needs a good amount o watering, but it can drown easily, so be careful not to water it too much. Also have excellent drainage so it doesn’t drown.

If you’re brand new to growing herbs, you can talk to the nursery where you buy the seeds. They are great for getting tips like choosing the right soil and pointing you in the direction of a pot that is a good size for your rosemary. Having fresh rosemary is amazing and truly makes all the difference, plus it is fun to grow herbs indoors even when the weather outside is cold.

How to Use Blueberries for Winter Recipes

While you can get many berries year-round, especially if you live somewhere with a mild climate, blueberries are especially tasty in the winter. They allow you to get tons of nutrients, including antioxidants and vitamin C, while also sweetening up dishes without using added sugar. Here are a few ways you can use blueberries for your winter recipes.

Make a Superfood Smoothie

This is probably the easiest way to use blueberries each day during the winter. While many people think of smoothies as something you enjoy during the spring or summer, they really can benefit you year-round. With a smoothie, it is easy to make, simple to bring with you to work or other functions outside the house, and contains tons of nutrients. They are perfect when you seem to fall behind on fruits and veggies, and want a simple way to get more of them in. You can make winter smoothies with fruits and veggies that are available this time of year, including blueberries. These berries taste great with many smoothies, from mixed berry to berry and pomegranate.

Use Them as Toppings

Another excellent use of blueberries in the winter is by using them as toppings. Blueberries are great because they are small, sweet, flavorful, and don’t require any cutting or chopping. Unlike strawberries where you have to remove the stem first, you can just throw blueberries on just about anything to make it taste better. Top breakfast foods like cereal or oatmeal, add them to the top of your smoothie bowl for a pretty and nutritious topping, or create healthier dessert toppings with your blueberries.

Make a Salad with Blueberries

You might not imagine a salad with fruit like blueberries, but this is actually one of the best ways to use them during the winter. You are getting so many nutrients and antioxidants not just with the berries, but the other veggies used in your salad. You can make a small, light salad for a side dish or lunch, or go extravagant with a big dinner salad. A good salad with blueberries is made with spinach, broccoli, feta cheese, blueberries, and cranberries. At this point, you can choose any dressing you want, add in more fruits and veggies, or even top with some chopped nuts.

If you are a dessert person, blueberries are wonderful when making baked goods like crumbles, pie, scones, and muffins.

Blueberries