Herb Garden Series – Oregano

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Any typical dish can be given some oomph by adding fresh herbs, and you increase its nutritional value at the same time.

Take oregano for instance. It boasts not only anti-septic and anti-viral properties, but also is an expectorant, a stimulant and is used in the treatment of colds, flu, fevers, indigestion, stomach upsets and menstrual cramps. No one expected that from their mouthful of fish topped with an oregano marinade the other night.

Every mouthful also gave my family antioxidants of vitamin A, carotenes, lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin. Who knew that oregano was rated as a plant with one of the highest antioxidant profiles? The usual minerals found in leafy greens–potassium, calcium, manganese, iron and magnesium made their way down the hatch.

Over the winter I dose myself up with oregano oil to fight off whatever comes my way. I’ve used it to kill off yeast, fungus, bacteria and parasites with clients. Although it takes some of the good bacteria with it, it’s powerful and gives results. The essential oil thymol in the oregano leaves has not only been bottled and sold in health food stores, but is in the disinfectant that I use to clean surfaces and toys with.

Try this recipe that I adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe (yes, his books are my go-to).

Baked Red Snapper with Oregano
4 pieces red snapper, filleted (can also use any type of white fish)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 handful fresh oregano leaves, chopped finely
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Move a shelf to the top of the oven.

Lay the fish on a parchment lined baking tray, skin side up. Combine remaining ingredients and rub the back of a spoon up against the inside of the bowl or use a pestle and mortar to get the oils out of the leaves.

Smear over the fish but don’t drown it. Place in the oven on the top shelf and bake for 5 – 8 minutes or until fish skin is crispy and the flesh flakes easily.

Serve with green beans and mashed potatoes.

What’s your favourite garden herb?

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