One of my favorite herbs is oregano

One of my favorite herbs is oregano

One of my favorite herbs is oregano especially dried but it is used fresh. I don’t know what it is I just love the stuff had it in my tuna fish sandwich at lunch today, my wife says it’s good on pizza but…. There are three common types: Origanum heracleoticum (Greek Oregano), Origanum majorna (sweet marjoram) and Origanum vulgare(wild marjoram, common marjoram, etc.; seems like this sub-species is very common).

Greek%20Oregano

I like Greek oregano so I wanted more and found this info at About.com

Greek name and pronunciation:

Rigani, ρίγανη, pronounced REE-gah-nee

At the market:

Oregano is sold fresh and dried as cuttings of flower tops and leaves packaged in disposable containers or as dried, ground leaves packaged in sprinkle-pour bottles.

Caution: Not all oreganos are equal. Greek oregano (rigani) is a subspecies with the latin name Origanum vulgare (previously Origanum heracleoticum or Oreganum heraclites). Look at oregano package labeling to identify it.

Physical characteristics:

Greek Oregano, in bloom, reaches a height of almost two feet. Like all culinary oreganos, its flower is white. Its leaves are coarse, oval, and fuzzy. Leaves are about 5/8 inch long; they are dark green when fresh and light green when dried.

Usage:

In Greek cooking, oregano is used in tomato sauces, with meats, fish, cheese, egg dishes, salads, cheeses, and with vegetables including tomatoes, zucchini, and green beans. It is also used to prepare a tea that is believed to be a treatment for indigestion, coughs, and to stimulate menstruation.

Dried orgegano

Substitutes:

Marjoram (three parts of marjoram for two parts of oregano), thyme, basil, summer savory

Origin, History, and Mythology:

Today, several varieties of oregano are grown in many different parts of the world, from seeds planted in light, dry, and well-drained soils. Historically, as the name implies, Greek oregano originates on the mountain slopes of Greece. It continues to be an important erosion-control plant: its roots reduce soil erosion on mountain slopes. Greek hillsides covered with summer’s growth of wild oregano in bloom are a fantastic excursion for eyes, feet, and nose!

The name “oregano” means “joy of the mountain” and has its origins in the ancient Greek “oros” (mountain) and “ganos” (joy).

According to Greek mythology, the sweet, spicy scent of oregano was created by the goddess Aphrodite as a symbol of happiness. In ancient Greece, bridal couples were crowned with garlands of oregano. Oregano plants were placed on tombs to give peace to departed spirits. It was also used as a laxative because of its cathartic effect.

Oregano’s power to heal has been known for centuries. It has powerful bacteria and fungi killing properties. It is used as a painkiller and anti-inflammatory. Oregano tea is a treatment for indigestion, coughs, and to stimulate menstruation. The oil of oregano is used for toothache, and in some cosmetics. The leaves and flowering stems are natural antiseptics because of high thymol content.

diced tomatoe and oregano

Then at whfoods.org if found this info..

 

The warm, balsamic and aromatic flavor of oregano makes it the perfect addition to Mediterranean and Mexican cuisines. This popular herb whose name means “mountain joy” is available throughout the year.

Oregano is known botanically as Origanum vulgare and is called wild marjoram in many parts of Europe since it is closely related to the herb that we know as sweet marjoram. It is a small shrub with multi-branched stems covered with small grayish-green oval leaves and small white or pink flowers. In Mediterranean climates oregano grows as a perennial plant, but in the harsher climates of North America, they grow as annuals……..

Health Benefits

You may have seen a bottle marked “oil of oregano” in a health food store. There are good reasons why!

Oregano

An Effective Anti-Bacterial

The volatile oils in this spice include thymol and carvacrol, both of which have been shown to inhibit the growth of bacteria, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus . In Mexico, researchers have compared oregano to tinidazol, a commonly used prescription drug to treat infection from the amoeba Giardia lamblia. These researchers found oregano to be more effective against Giardia than the commonly used prescription drug.

Potent Anti-Oxidant Activity

Oregano contains numerous phytonutrients—including thymol and rosmarinic acid—that have also been shown to function as potent antioxidants that can prevent oxygen-based damage to cell structures throughout the body. In laboratory studies, oregano has demonstrated stronger anti-oxidant capacity than either of the two synthetic anti-oxidants commonly added to processed food—BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) and BHA (butylated bydroxyanisole). Additionally, on a per gram fresh weight basis, oregano has demonstrated 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges and 4 times more than blueberries.

A Nutrient-Dense Spice

Our food ranking system qualified oregano as a very good source of fiber. Fiber works in the body to bind to bile salts and cancer-causing toxins in the colon and remove them from the body. This forces the body to break down cholesterol to make more bile salts. These are just some of the reasons that diets high in fiber have been shown to lower high cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Oregano also emerged from our food ranking system as a bountiful source of many nutrients. It qualified within our system as an excellent source of vitamin K, a very good source of manganese, iron, and calcium as well as a good source of vitamin E and tryptophan.

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Description

While many people think of pizza when they think of oregano, this wonderful herb can add a warm, balsamic and aromatic flavor to many different dishes, especially those of the Mediterranean cuisine.

Oregano is known botanically as Origanum vulgare and is called wild marjoram in many parts of Europe since it is closely related to the herb that we know as sweet marjoram. Its name is derived from the Greek words oros (mountain) and ganos (joy) since not only was it a symbol of happiness, but it made the hillsides on which it grew look beautiful.

Read more at whfoods.org

sliced tomotoes with oregano

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Tomatoes mean spring time to me

Tomatoes mean spring time to me

Every spring my head fills with the vision of tomatoes of all sorts growing in my garden. Last year I grew the most expensive tomatoes, not because of the variety, seed or careful cross-pollination of my favorite plants. NO! Last year was the year of the critters rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, and ground hogs. The Fisher Cat* was out and about feasting on duck eggs across the street but he had no taste for the critters. I suppose it was the first year that we had no dogs around to mark their territory and leave me with poop patrol. Every year one wonders which little bug will attack your beautiful vegetables but I never expected the critter wars of last year. One day coming home from work I noticed two ground hogs sitting in the middle of the garden enjoying their buffet. They had no preferences flowers, veggies, herbs gone to the ground. They were there first and I could have what was left was the expression on their faces, I did not faze them. I tried everything to keep them away Fox urine, pinwheels, hair and ended up with chicken wire, which kept the ground hogs at bay but that meant fair game for the little critters. The year before I had an unspoken agreement with a chipmunk he would pull off and eat one tomato until it was gone then move to the next usually took a few days to complete the cycle, I was amazed he did that. I thought that was a fair deal I had more than I could use. Last year it was a bite or two then on to the next and the next and I am sure you get the picture. I suppose he felt safer with the cage and the rest of his family around him. Then some plight wiped my Roma tomatoes and there went my roasted tomato soup. So after the war was waged and lost I ended up buying them from the local stand or grocery store. Oh well this year we will stick to cherry tomatoes and on the deck. Lyn thinks I am fooling myself chipmunks can climb, but I just have to try I have always had a garden and its spring I have cleaned out the field mouse condo (BBQ) so here we go again. Don’t get me goin on the birds and my blueberries……

Tomato, a nutritious fruit commonly used as vegetable, is another wonderful gift of Mayans. The vegetable has grabbed the attention of millions health seekers for its incredible phytochemical properties. Interestingly, it has much more health benefiting qualities than that in an apple!

Early Morning Sunshine

Fun tomato facts about eating

  • American habits. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans eat between 22- 24 pounds of tomatoes per person, per year. (More than half of those munchies are ketchup and tomato sauce.)
  • Popularity. The tomato is America’s fourth most popular fresh-market vegetable behind potatoes, lettuce, and onions.
  • Increasing popularity. Americans have increased their tomato consumption 30% over the last 20 years (mostly in processed forms such as sauce, paste, and salsa).
  • Toxic? While tomatoes are perfectly safe and healthy to eat, their leaves are actually toxic!
  • How will you take your tomatoes? As of 2007, Americans spend more on salsa than tomato ketchup.
  • Processed tomatoes. Americans consume three-fourths of their tomatoes in processed form.

Fun tomato facts about growers

  • The average Joe. 93% American gardening households grow tomatoes.
  • Fresh tomatoes. Fresh-market tomatoes are grown in all 50 states.
  • Biggest worldwide producers. The largest worldwide producer of tomatoes is China, followed by USA, Turkey, India and Egypt.
  • Biggest U.S. producer – processed tomatoes. California produces 96% of the tomatoes processed in the U.S.
  • Biggest U.S. producer – fresh tomatoes. Florida is the number one producer of fresh market tomatoes (except in 2008).

Early Morning Sunshine

Health benefits of Tomato

Tomatoes are one of the low calorie vegetables containing just 18 calories per 100 g. They are also very low in any fat contents and have zero cholesterol levels. Nonetheless, they are excellent sources of antioxidants, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Because of their all-round qualities, dieticians and nutritionists often recommend them to be included in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.

The antioxidants present in tomatoes are scientifically found to be protective against cancers including colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic tumors.

Lycopene, a flavonoid antioxidant, is the unique phytochemical present in the tomatoes. Red varieties are especially concentrated in this antioxidant. Together with carotenoids, it has the ability to protect cells and other structures in the body from harmful oxygen free radicals. Studies have shown that lycopeneprevents skin damage from ultra-violet (UV) rays and offers protection from skin cancer.

Zeaxanthin is another flavonoid compound present abundantly in this vegetable. Zeaxanthin helps protect eyes from “age related macular disease” (ARMD) in the elderly persons by filtering harmful ultra-violet rays.

The vegetable contains very good levels of vitamin A, and flavonoid anti-oxidants such as α and ß-carotenes, xanthins and lutein. Altogether, these pigment compounds are found to have antioxidant properties and are take part in vision, maintain healthy mucus membranes and skin, and bone health. Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in flavonoids is known to help protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

In addition, they are also good source of antioxidant vitamin-C(provide 21% of recommended daily levels per 100 g); consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful free radicals.

Fresh tomato is very rich in potassium. 100 g contain 237 mg of potassium and just 5 mg of sodium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure caused by sodium.

They contain moderate amounts of many vital B-complex vitamins such as folates, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin as well some essential minerals like iron, calcium, manganese and other trace elements.

More interesting facts

Tomato History from Veggie Cage®

What’s New and Beneficial About Tomatoes From WholeFoods

Did you know that tomatoes do not have to be a deep red color to be an outstanding source of lycopene?

*New England Fisher cats

Are one of the largest members of the Mustelid family, which includes species like the mink, weasel, otter and skunk. These are noted nocturnal animals and therefore very hard to observe. They are however active during both daytime as ell as night time and that too, mostly during the time just before sunset and just before sunrise, when it mainly searches for food. Their cry is similar to that of a high pitched one of a child’s and therefore can sound very eerie in the nights.

Looks so nice almost cute

Not so much