Everything you need to know about the herb sage, from its uses and tasty recipes to where it comes from (and even why people burn sage)!
What is Sage?
Many of us are familiar with what sage is, but how many of us know how to properly add it to dishes to get the perfect flavor? Today, we’re covering everything there is to know about the sweet and minty-smelling herb.
Sage is a part of the mint family. Like other types of herbs, it comes in fresh, dried, and oil forms. The dried form is most commonly used in average household cooking. It has a strong, earthy, citrusy, and minty flavor, and just a little bit goes a long way. As for fresh sage? It’s even stronger!
There are two main types of the sage plant, and these are referred to as common/garden sage and white sage. While the garden variety is used in cooking, the white variety is used for ceremonial purposes, like cleansing spaces. More on that in a minute!
How to Use Sage
Sage can be added to recipes in dried or fresh form. When dried, it comes in rubbed and powdered forms. It can be used as a garnish, or it can be cooked into recipes to add a deeper flavor.
You’ll find it in dishes like pasta (it’s great in tomato sauce), bread oils, or stuffing. It also works well when used as part of a flavoring for plant-based meats like tofu or tempeh.
The Benefits Of Sage
In Egyptian and Roman culture, garden sage was used for medicinal purposes. Treatments included aiding in memory, digestion, and soreness. In Mediterranean culture, the herb was used to support fertility. It sounds like they were onto something, as these are many of the benefits the herb boasts today.
First, it is high in Vitamin K, providing 10% of the recommended daily value in just one teaspoon. It is rich in antioxidants and supports everything from blood sugar and brain health to healing and memory.
Fun fact! In the 14th century, some used its antibacterial properties in an attempt to ward off the plague.
Where it Grows
Garden sage comes from the Mediterranean region (like many other herbs, including thyme and dill!). Today, you can find it grown across globe in Turkey, Italy, Spain, the United States, and more.
It is harvested in the spring and summer. If growing it in your at-home garden, be sure to pick it before it grows flowers, as it starts to lose its potency during this time.
how to store Sage
The best way to store sage is to wrap it in a damp paper towel and then place it inside a sandwich baggie. This will help lengthen its shelf life by a couple of extra days. You can expect it to last for around 5, but discard if you notice wilting or black edges. And if your herb is fuzzy, don’t worry! That texture is normal.
Why do People Burn Sage?
Though garden sage originated in the Mediterranean region, the same isn’t true for the white version of the plant. Instead, white sage is native to Southern California, and for this reason, has deep roots in Native American culture.
This plant has for centuries been used more ceremoniously and medically than the garden herb. In Native American culture, burning it is a spiritual ritual used to cleanse spaces, clear out energies, and more. It is also used medicinally for menstruation pain, anxiety, headaches, and even concentration.
Recipes using Sage
Sage adds delicious earthy, herby flavor to a variety of dishes. Try it in these recipes!
- Try it in this rich and creamy Pumpkin Pasta.
- For something hearty and filling, Sweet Potato Gnocchi makes a great option.
- Vegetable Bread Stuffing is a must try. Made with sourdough and vegan!
- Lastly, try the herb in this Brown Butter and Sage Fluffy Mashed Cauliflower for a deliciously savory side dish.
Leave a Comment