Basil thrives in the summer, growing especially well in containers of all kinds — whether that’s on a patio, porch or fire escape. With an immense amount of health benefits (like aiding in digestion and working as an anti-inflammatory), it’s an incredibly handy herb to have around.
Besides, basil has a uniquely sweet flavor with peppery and minty touches that are much needed in the kitchen. Whether you’re growing cinnamon basil or sweet basil, you’ll be happy to have it on hand for your culinary endeavors.
We all know basil as the herb required for making pestos, pastas, and pizzas. And it’s true — we love making those things with our fresh basil harvests. However, basil has so much more to give!
From unique recipes, to creating your at-home spa, here are 6 creative ways to use basil.
1. In the Kitchen
Of course, you can use basil in the kitchen. We absolutely adore it as a pizza topping, in pestos, and the Caprese salad (naturally).
However, there are several more creative recipes that we just can’t get enough of it. Because of its sweet tendency, basil does especially well in deserts!
Here are a few of the recipes we’ve fallen in love with.
- Basil Ice Cream from Epicurious
- Basil and Lemon Short Bread from Bon Appetit
- Herb Infused Salsa Verde from Gardenuity
Not in the mood to cook?
Create Basil Popcorn.
To make basil popcorn just make air-popped or stovetop popcorn and then add basil butter and a few slices of fresh basil. We especially love using Thai Basil for this treat!
2. Use Basil As Décor
Use basil in your bouquets to add a beautiful pop of green and a fresh scent to your décor. Placing a bouquet of basil (or adding basil to your flowers) is a wonderful way to use your fresh basil harvest. Basil bouquets will last for several weeks. With consistent water changes, it may even continue to grow!
Besides, a bouquet of herbs acts as a bit of aromatherapy in your home, evoking strong feelings of happiness. A fresh bouquet offers an emotional and mental connection to nature that will brighten your mood.
3. As a Bath Enhancer
A warm bath can rekindle your energy and help you find a few mindful moments to yourself. Bathing in herb-infused water reduces stress and creates a spa-like experience at home.
To create a basil bath at home, place loose basil leaves in a sachet to keep them from sticking to your skin or clogging the drain. Try combining fresh basil with several orange peels for an even better scent!
4. For Your Dog
Putting a freshly harvested basil leaf atop your dog’s dinner can be a great way to give them a little boost in nutrition. It has antiviral, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties that will help your dog’s health step it up a notch. It’s safe for your dog and a fun little treat for your furry friend.
5. In the Bar
Basil is a great addition to your summer bar. It’s one of our favorite ways to elevate any old cocktail to the next level. It works with gin, vodka, and tequila.
Here are a few of our favorite basil cocktail creations.
- Basil and Strawberry Margarita
- Basil and Cucumber Rum Cocktail
- Strawberry Basil Vodka Lemonade
- Basil Vermouth Ice Cubes from My Recipes
6. In the Laundry Room
Herbal dryer sachets are a great way to make your laundry smell like summer. Fill a muslin bag with fresh basil leaves and throw it in with your load. The uplifting scent will transform your laundry.
Get creative with scent combinations! Basil + lavender and basil + rose petals are our favorite pairing dryer sachets.
Whatever you choose to do with your harvests, growing fresh basil is an exciting experience that we know you’ll enjoy. You can start your own herb garden today to start growing basil and your other favorite herbs!