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Going beyond oregano and basil in cooking

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The right herbs can turn an ordinary meal into a culinary experience. While most of us would already be familiar with home-grown favourites like dill, sweet basil and rosemary, the following herbs have something special: a bit of extra, unexpected flavour that comes straight from Mother Nature to add a bit more depth to your cooking.

They are best used fresh, but you can also store extras in refrigerators like the Electrolux Nutrilight. Its crisper not only helps to keep your vegetables and herbs fresher for longer, its Nutrilight feature also increases their vitamin and mineral content.

Cinnamon basil

By Living in Monrovia https://www.flickr.com/photos/livinginmonrovia/2916347758

This cultivar of sweet basil has a strong flavour and scent of cinnamon, with purple-veined leaves and stalks of deep purple flowers. Use this fragrant herb to spice up a fruit salad, Asian or Mediterranean dishes or in these delicately delicious lime cinnamon basil cookies, sure to be a hit with family and guests alike.

Chocolate mint

By FelinusNoir
https://www.flickr.com/photos/lorelei-ranveig/5761780787

This mint variety has brown-tinted stems and leaves with the delectable flavour and aroma of a peppermint candy. Use the leaves to garnish ice cream, brownies or other sweet treats — or give your mojitos a new twist with a sprig of chocolate mint. For a wonderfully refreshing cup of tea, pour boiling water over the fresh leaves, and let the tea steep for 10 minutes.

Lemon thyme

By piX dust
https://www.flickr.com/photos/21173961@N07/2334576729

Add a dash of lemon to the earthy flavour of thyme, and you have lemon thyme – a wonderful, citrusy addition not only to chicken, pork or fish dishes, but also useful in desserts.

Pineapple sage

By Glenn
https://www.flickr.com/photos/graibeard/3621632302

This herb has gorgeous red flowers that are edible. Add a few of the bright red blooms to vegetable or fruit salads for that something extra. Its leaves also smell and taste like pineapple, and will add a tinge of tangy sweetness to cocktails, lemonade, and even ice cream.

Anise hysso

By Wayne Ray
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Agastace_foeniculum_WPC.jpg

Just cut or rub the leaves of this herb to release its liquorice-like aroma and flavour. Pour boiling water over a sprig or two for a soothing cup of hot tea, or spice up lemonade and cocktails with this fragrant herb.

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