Edit ModuleShow Tags
Published:

The Many Redeeming Qualities of Rosemary



The Many Redeeming Qualities of Rosemary

Photo: Thinkstock/wmaster890


The diverse, culinary herb rosemary is a popular, year-round ingredient that adds a pleasing fragrance to its environment and a savory flavor when used in cooking.

Rosmarinus officinalis is an aromatic evergreen shrub and a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae). The genus name, Rosmarinus, is derived from the Latin word meaning "dew of the sea," which is fitting due to its light blue flowers and preference for coastal areas. Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean region, but also grows well in many regions of the United States. 

Traditionally, this herb has been used in Mediterranean cooking for both flavor and food preservation. Most traditional food in any culture has an inherent wisdom about it that goes beyond flavor toward health. Today we know that the phytochemical found in rosemary, rosmarinic acid, has several interesting biological properties such as acting as an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Multiple studies have shown rosemary can inhibit food-borne pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenesB. cereus and S. aureus

In addition, rosemary has been the subject of some considerable research due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential. People usually think antioxidants come from foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and dark chocolate, but many herbs are also highly concentrated in antioxidants, and a little bit goes a long way. The American Institute for Cancer Research notes that herbs should be used as flavor enhancers because of their health-protective nutrients.

Here are a few ways I like to incorporate this nutrient-packed, flavorful herb: 

  • Add chopped, fresh rosemary to omelets and frittatas.
  • Put a 3 to 5-inch sprig of rosemary in a pot of soup. Remove before serving.
  • Create flavored water by adding a 2-inch sprig of rosemary to lemon water (my absolute favorite!).
  • When making fresh hummus add a couple tablespoons of fresh rosemary to the food processor.
  • Add fresh, chopped rosemary to salad dressings or marinades.
  • When roasting root vegetables, add a few sprigs on top and bake.

When selecting fresh rosemary, choose dark green leaves that are free of yellow or dark spots. Wash the herb well, pat dry and store in the refrigerator in a slightly damp cloth.

You can also grow this delightful herb yourself. I have a hearty rosemary bush growing in my back yard. Living a few blocks from the Atlantic Ocean, my rosemary thrives. I clip sprigs to brighten either a bouquet or to enhance a dish. This addition not only heightens mouthwatering flavor, but also enriches the food with more nutrition.


Katie Abbott, MS, RDN, HCKatie Abbott, MS, RDN, HC, lives in Virginia Beach, Va., and works in a wellness center and her holistic nutrition private practice. Connect with her on her blog, Katie Abbott RD, or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

Edit Module

More Stone Soup

How to Read a Recipe and Know If It's Right For You

How to Read a Recipe and Know If It's Right For You

With so many recipes out there (and still so little time), it’s important to know how to read a recipe and decide whether it is a good fit for your taste preferences, time and on-hand ingredients.
10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day in your Kitchen Year-round

10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day in your Kitchen Year-round

Since its inception in 1970, Earth Day has been celebrated annually worldwide to recognize and honor the environment.
Tips for a Healthful Dining Out Experience

Tips for a Healthful Dining Out Experience

Thinking through your options before diving in will ensure you leave satisfied, but still on track with your individual nutrition goals.
The Common Denominators of a Healthy Diet

The Common Denominators of a Healthy Diet

Beware the trap of focusing on what you don't eat, and instead of being thoughtful about what you do eat.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Advertise with Food & Nutrition
Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags


Stone Soup

Guest bloggers from around the world share with Food & Nutrition Magazine.

About This Blog

Stone Soup is a guest blog written by members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Content — including information, recipes and views expressed — is that of the authors and does not reflect the positions or policies of Food & Nutrition Magazine or the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Bloggers are required to pledge they will not write for Stone Soup on topics, companies or trade organization they currently represent or have represented at any time.

Learn about our guest blogs!

Comments Policy

Food & Nutrition Magazine provides this forum to exchange ideas, opinions and contributions within a positive community. Diverse viewpoints and constructive, respectful dialogue are welcome. Rudeness, misinformation, self-promotion and abuse are not. We reserve the right, without warning or notification, to remove comments and block users we determine violate this policy or our Terms & Conditions. You must include your name or be logged into a personal account on Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or Google+ to comment.

Archives

Edit Module

Get Stone Soup in Your RSS

Use your RSS reader's instructions to add Stone Soup to your list:

Atom Feed Subscribe to the Stone Soup Feed »

Get Our Blogs in Your Email

Stone Soup
Student Scoop