For this badge program, the use of the word “herbs” covers both herbs and spices unless otherwise noted.
1. Herbs vs. spices.
Do you know the difference? Herbs come from the leafy part of a plant and usually from a plant without a “woody” stem. Spices come from seeds, fruits, roots and bark and tend to be from tropical plants. Some plants provide both herbs and spices. Do a little investigation about the herbs and spices you use to find out where the come from and which category each falls into.
2. Explore herbs in your area.
Find out what herbs are in your local supermarket and / or farmer’s market. Check both fresh and dried varieties. What dishes that you enjoy could you put these herbs into? Are there any native plants that can be utilized in your recipes?
3. Explore non-local herbs.
Find herbs online, via mail order or even from another town. Again, check the fresh and dried varieties. How can you incorporate them into your cooking?
4. Explore herb variations.
You can find recommendations for replacing one herb with another. Look at your favorite recipes and see what you might change. Purchase an herb or two to find if they will compliment your dish. Try replacing one herb with another or adding one that you feel might add to the dish’s flavor. Keep track of your experiments and note whether you liked the result.
5. Experiment with dry vs. fresh herbs.
Try replacing dry and fresh herbs in one or more of your dishes. What are the differences? Which do you prefer?
Mix herbs to make your own unique rub for the meat of your choice. Use recipes from others or make your own. If you don’t eat meat, create mixes for your vegetables.
7. Grow your own herbs.
Perhaps you want to grow something you buy all the time or found something online you love that you can’t get fresh locally. Try growing your own herbs. Find others in your area who also grow their own herbs. Can you trade with them to increase your variety?
8. Drying and storage.
Try drying and storing your herbs. Explore different techniques and storage systems.
9. Share your special blends.
Share some of your herbs with others or invite friends over for a taste to let them explore herbs too!
Sites to Explore