Get to know one of the most popular herbs: oregano! Learn what it is, where it comes from, its benefits, and how to use it successfully in your favorite recipes.
Pizza lovers can agree on this one: oregano makes the best topping. But why is that? Today, we’re covering everything you need to know about the herb, starting with what it is!
What Is Oregano?
The oregano herb is part of the mint family, but don’t let that trick you: it doesn’t taste like mint. Instead, oregano is home to a very strong and punchy peppery, earthy flavor with a scent that’s just as strong.
The fresh variety holds a stronger flavor than dried. Some, however, find the taste of the fresh version of the herb to be different, and in some cases bitter. You may love it, or you may find that the dried form of the herb is more your style.
What is oregano good for?
Oregano can be used to add flavor to so many types of dishes. Vegetables, meats, plant-based meats, potatoes, soups, dressings, sauces, and pastas alike can all benefit from a little bit of the herb. Considering the herb is used in cuisnes all over the world (including Italian, Mexican, Greek, and more), it’s safe to say that its a widely versatile flavoring.
Benefits of oregano
Herbs tend to be packed with medicinal properties, and oregano followed suit. The herb is known for its many nutrients including iron, fiber, and manganese. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties and is known to benefit cholesterol and even help with kidney stones.
Can I drink oregano tea everyday?
One great way to enjoy the benefits of the herb is to drink oregano tea! The tea is going to provide a more concentrated amount, meaning you’ll be able to bask in more benefits than if you simply enjoyed it as a garnish.
However, because the herb aids in digestion, high amounts may lead to stomach cramps or digestional side effects. If this is of concern, rest assured that you will need to drink a lot of tea to experience these symptoms.
Oregano tea is perfectly safe to enjoy every day, but consider limiting it to only 1-2 cups for good measure.
How to clean Oregano
Oregano is best cleaned by placing it in a bowl filled with cold water. Swish the herbs around a bit to remove some of the dirt. Then, gently run them under cold water using a light stream.
Lay the herbs out on a paper towel. You can let them air dry or lightly tap them with another towel to remove some of the excess water.
How to Store It
To keep oregano nice and fresh, store it wrapped in a damp paper towel and placed inside of a plastic baggie. You’ll find that this herb tends to last a bit longer than others, usually around a week or so.
If you find the herb to be wilted or that it has an off color or smell, it has gone bad.
Try Oregano in these recipes
Now that you’ve learned all about your favorite herb, it’s time to put it to use!
- Quick Pickled Jalapenos: Enjoy the potent flavors of jalapenos with this delicious pickling recipe.
- Zucchini Lasagna: Pasta is always a good idea, and especially so when it’s lasagna!
- Portobello Mushroom Gyros: Enjoy these gyros amde with tzatziki, pita bread, and of course, oregano.
- Vegetable Bolognese: Veggie bolognese? Yes, please! (The rhyme was intentional.)