Herbs in a Hurry!

Sunday evening I was at the grocery store doing our grocery shopping for the week and much to my dismay, they were out of all kinds of things.  Apparently our most recent polar vortex has begun to wreak havoc on the availability of produce. That and there were approximately one million people at the Harris Teeter. 

I needed fresh cilantro for one of my meals this week and they were out. I really, REALLY didn't want to make another trip to the grocery store this week , but I knew what to do about the cilantro situation. Enter, Gourmet Garden. Gourmet Garden are squeeze tubes of herbs that have been preserved in some oil, ascorbic acid and citric acid (I know that those two acids sound scary, but they are naturally occurring in citrus fruits). They can last for a couple months in the refrigerator so you have them on hand ready to go when you need them. I find this especially helpful in the winter when fresh basil is not as prevalent and the amount of recipes I use it in, not as frequent. Or maybe I have a recipe that calls for an herb that I only need a little bit of, this way the rest doesn't get wasted or tucked away in the back of the produce drawer eventually turning into barely recognizable brown sludge. In the grocery store I go to, you can find these over near the packaged herbs in the refrigerated case where they keep tofu, bagged carrots and salad greens etc. 

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Using herbs is not only a great way to flavor foods, it can lead to using less salt to flavor our food, and fresh herbs also increase the vitamin profile of our meal. So keep some of these in the fridge so that you don't have to forego the herbs!