Featured Garden Herbs and Spices

Oregano Know Your Herbs and Spices

Oregano_Mai2008Oregano is a big part of the Mediterranean diet that has proven health benefits. This herb is high in antioxidants and easy to digest. You will find this herb in a Italian dishes as a versatile flavor enhancer. The aroma of oregano is one of the most recognizable in the culinary world.

Culinarily speaking, oregano has a similar taste to marjoram, sort of earthy and fragrant and pairs well with tomato dishes. Maybe you have noticed most pizza shops have a jar of it on their condiment bar. It is often used along with rosemary, thyme, basil, marjoram and garlic in many Italian dishes.
Oregano is easy to grow with few insect enemies. It is a hardy perennial that needs to be kept trimmed back or can easily take over an herb garden. Fortunately it works well fresh or dried.
Pick this herb fresh as needed or dry and even freeze for later use. If you purchase dried oregano use it promptly it does become less flavorful over time.
I like to use oregano in tomato sauces of course, but it is a member of the mint family like basil. This means it pairs well with lemon for beef, pork and chicken dishes.
Oregano shows up in a lot of spice rubs paired with assorted peppers and garlic. It works just as well in wet marinades and salad dressing. Just remember that a little goes a long way.
Here’s a breakdown of all the good nutrition found in 100 grams of oregano: Dietary fiber- 107% (Percent of RDA) (RDA- Recommended daily allowance).
Folates- 69%
Pyridoxine- 93%
Vitamin-C- 83%
Vitamin-K- 518%
Iron- 550%
Carotene-ß- 4112 µg

Besides topping for pizza or a dash on spaghetti here are a few ideas for using oregano:

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Cindy's Recipes and Writings

As a professional cook, I love creating exciting new recipes on the job as well as at home. Assisting in teaching low-income families how to buy, store and prepare healthy food through Penn State’s alliance with Pennsylvania’s Supercupboard Program was very rewarding. During my 11 years with the Master Gardener program, I taught horticultural therapy to assisted living patients using healthful, fr
esh grown food as a focal point. . My hands-on programs and instruction helped hundreds of children and adults learn about where their food comes from and how important fresh food is for your body.
Currently I’m a cook at a college in Pennsylvania. We prepare everything we can from scratch, including our potato chips that tout the seasoning of the day!
Of course I write about food; it's in my blood!

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