Bay Leaves, Pickling Spices, Healthy Summer Recipes

Frontier Coop Herbs and Spices are my favorite for environmental, fair trade and sourcing reasons. I am very confident using the non-certified organic spices because they come from Fair Trade farms that use sustainable practices, but don’t have the organic certification. The certification is expensive and involves administrative costs that farmers don’t always have access to.

Buying bulk uses less packaging. Buying a pound of Frontier Coop Bay Leaf is impressive. You get a ridiculous amount of bay leaves. We have figured out different ways to use them. They are a natural ant repellant, so we placed them in strategic areas around the house to keep the little buggies away. Bay leaves also contain antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and carotenoids.

Dried bay leaves are typically used in sauces, stews, soups, and bouquet garni. They are removed after cooking. Our family summer recipe is ratatouille. You can be fancy with ratatouille, like cooking ingredients separately. Or, if you want to cook in moderation like me, just cook all the ingredients together, then season for taste. Bay leaves add a balsamic taste to the ratatouille.

Delphine’s Ratatouille:

Chop the vegetables approximately all the same size.

4-5 large tomatoes

1 medium onion

1 medium pepper

1 medium eggplant

2-3 zucchinis

1-2 cloves of garlic

2-4 bay leaves

2 spoons of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Simmer until all vegetables are cooked. Remove bay leaves and serve on rice, pasta, or couscous. Summer goodness!

Frontier Mild Sweet Pickling Spice Ingredients: Yellow Mustard, Cinnamon, Allspice, Dill Seed, Bay Leaf, Chili Yellow Mustard, Cinnamon, Allspice, Dill Seed, Celery Seed, Bay Leaf, Chili Peppers, Cloves, Caraway, Ginger.

Contains no sugar, but this is just the right blend of spices for seasoning bread-and-butter pickles and sweet pickles with diverse flavor. Perfect for beetz, carrots, and even your favorite fruit. Add this spice blend directly to the brine, or place in a tea ball or cheesecloth for easy removal. Season your vinegar or olive oil for a week with pickling spice to use as salad dressing. Add a teaspoon of spice blend to 16 ounces of olive oil and vinegar -- we use apple cider vinegar -- and at the end of the week, strain the spice blend.

Delphine’s salad dressing:

⅓ cup vinegar to 1 cup olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Add mustard and ginger powder, or use infuse the olive oil and vinegar with pickling spice for up to a week.

If you have a pepper grinder, you can grind the blend and season meats, poultry, fish, beans and rice.

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