savory

   Savory is an herb from the mint family, native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean. There are two varieties of savory: winter savory (satureja montana) and summer savory (satureja hortensis). Winter savory is a perennial herb available all year round. Summer savory is an annual herb and has a milder taste than its winter counterpart.  Savory has been used since the time of the early Romans as a seasoning herb and for medicinal purposes.

COOKING WITH SAVORY

     Winter savory has a strong,  peppery taste similar to that of thyme. It should always be cooked and used in hearty meat or bean dishes. It is particularly suited to wild game.

   Summer savory has a more mild, sweeter flavor and is mostly used in soups, stews, sauces, and marinades. Summer savory adds flavor to just about any type of beans, and accents well with vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, asparagus, and peppers. Savory can be added to chicken, fish, lamb, beef, pork, eggs, and omeletes. Try on potatoes, tomatoes, salads, and cheese.

   Savory can be used fresh or dried. To use fresh, pick the leaves as needed before the plant flowers.  You can dry savory by picking bundles and hanging them upside down in a dark, ventilated location. When dry, strip off the leaves and store in an airtight container. You can also put dried leaves in a vinegar jar and use as a marinade, or freeze.

HEALTH BENEFITS

• Rich in vitamins A, C, B-complex, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and selenium.
• Savory oil contains thymol and carvacol, which contain antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.
• Contains dietary fiber which helps reduce bad cholesterol.
• Savory oil is used to treat rheumatism, headaches, intestinal worms, and nausea.
• Drink tea infusions to help with diarrhea, nervousness, and digestive problems.
• Savory tea mixed with other herbs is effective in treating colic, tuberculosis, urine retention, and coughing.
• For menstrual and abdominal pain, prepare  savory tea baths.
• For those watching their salt intake, savory can be used as a salt substitute in recipes.

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