At New Leaf Resort, we are passionate about helping people to lose weight and feel their best through healthy living. Many of our guests want to know more about how they can satisfy their cravings for delicious foods while making the most of the vital nutrients. Herbs are one of the best types of foods that can offer this. These small, yet beautiful plants, basil, mint, rosemary, lemongrass and the like, not only add flavour to foods, but they are rich in exquisite aromas and colours. Herbs also have incredible health benefits.
300 Different Plants Are Growing in Our Organic Herb Garden
Recently, at New Leaf Resort, we opened our hydroponic herb garden on Koh Samui, Thailand. Located on our resort grounds, we feature 300 different organic plants and herbs. It is our goal to teach guests more about healthy eating through a unique, hands-on experience. Guests will have the opportunity to pick their choice lettuce leaves and herbs for their detox graduation salad. These foods are fresh from the plant, and taste better than anything you can buy at a local market. Not only is this an exciting way for guests to complete their detox, but it also teaches them about growing healthy food at home. The team at New Leaf Resort plants the seeds, nurtures and develops each plant until it’s ready to be transferred into our state of the art hydroponic system. Some of our organic plants include, but are not limited to:
- Various Lettuces
- Kaffir Lime
In addition to these fresh organic herbs, we are also growing fruits like dragon fruit, passionfruit, and guava. Guests love their ability to walk through the gardens, observe the plants growing, and taste the final product all while enjoying a healthy holiday in Thailand!
The Benefits of Herbs
Many people see herbs as more of a garnish rather than an important culinary ingredient to healthy, delicious foods. When you start to look at herbs in this way, you open the doors to a new world of flavours and aromas.
Herbs have been used in culinary cuisine and traditional medicine for thousands of years. Often the herbs were made into a tea or tincture; however, some were added to various dishes and desserts. In Thailand, for example, lemongrass is a staple herb that can be found in many different Thai dishes, such as Tom Kha (Coconut Soup). Lemongrass is grown in our garden, and we teach guests how to use it during our weekly cooking classes!
While herbs have various benefits, nearly all of them add a burst of flavour to dishes and allow you to cut back on your salt consumption. Many herbs also have high amounts of vitamin C, K, and A. The real benefit of herbs lies within their abundance of protective polyphenols. These unique compounds, found in herbs, provide anti-inflammatory effects and are rich in antioxidants. Furthermore, there are many studies suggesting polyphenols can reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and other common medical conditions.
How You Can Store Your Herbs
We hope to encourage our guests to start consuming more herbs. The best way to have herbs available every day is to grow your own. This can be done in your garden, in pots, or specially made herb gardens. Grow what you like, snip as desired, and enjoy them as much as you would like.
- You should not buy or use herbs that are very wilted or yellowing.
- The best herbs should be bright in colour and perky
- Wash, dry, and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- For long term storage, herbs can be chopped, placed into water, and frozen in ice cubes. These cubes can be added to stocks, soups, stews, and other dishes.
If you cannot access fresh herbs, dry herbs are a great alternative. These are easy to keep on hand and as beneficial as fresh herbs. A good rule of thumb to know about is that if you typically use one tablespoon of a fresh herb, you can use about one teaspoon of the same herb dried.
8 Ways to Use Your Herbs
One of the best benefits of herbs is that you don’t need too much instruction or culinary skills to use them. Add the ones you like to foods you already make. Here are eight ways to help you get started with more herbs in your life:
- Add chopped fresh basil to your morning eggs.
- Use lemongrass and fresh ginger to make hot tea.
- Top up your healthy sandwich with fresh coriander or cilantro.
- Toss handfuls of herbs like mint, basil, and parsley into your green salad.
- Rub fresh or dried rosemary onto your chicken or fish before cooking.
- Muddle fresh basil, mint, or rosemary in a glass and fill it with water and a twist of your favourite citrus fruit.
- Stir in fresh oregano, turmeric, or parsley into grilled or roasted vegetables.
- Add fresh mint and a hint of vanilla bean to freshly chopped fruit or yoghurt.
Herbs: The Bottom Line
There are an enormous amount of benefits to eating more herbs. We, at New Leaf Resort, encourage you to explore more flavours and aromas beyond traditional salt, pepper, and garlic. If you are interested in knowing more about New Leaf Resort and are inclusive programmes, please browse through our website or contact us for a personalised reply. Be sure to join us on our social media channels and sign up for our monthly newsletter at the bottom of this page. Let us know if you have any special requirements or needs advice on weight loss, detox or herbal solutions.