One of the most beloved herbs of all time, rosemary is more than just an aromatic, flavorful addition to your favorite dishes. It’s rich in nutrients, including iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and antioxidants, making it a healthy choice for cooking – or for supplementing.
But this time of year, the little green sprigs serve a special purpose: they help us celebrate the holiday season.
Whether you grow your own or pick up a package at the supermarket, put rosemary to good use in your wellness routine and throughout your home with these creative uses.
1. Reap the nutrition benefits
Rosemary is a vibrant and versatile herb to use in all sorts of culinary creations. Packed with nutrition, a tablespoon of dried rosemary is comprised of 4 percent protein, 38 percent fats and 58 percent carbohydrates. The herb is low in cholesterol and sodium, and it provides vitamins A, C, and B6 – along with fiber, iron, manganese, calcium and folate.
2. Try new rosemary products
Rosemary-based products make great gifts for people who want to enjoy the nutrition benefits of this plant every day. Nature’s Way Rosemary Leaf is available in convenient capsule form. You can also take it in liquid form with Nature’s Answer Rosemary Leaf drops.
3. Make centerpieces and decorations
A little green goes a long way when it comes to holiday decorating! Gather some simple supplies and dress up your home with these ideas.
Holiday wreaths – Rosemary’s long, wispy needles make great wreaths. Simply tie on ribbons, jute twine, raffia and other embellishments for a festive look. You also can make different sizes and string them together for a festive display.
What you’ll need:
Plumbing hose clamps (5” and 7” – found at home improvement stores)
Cable ties (4”)
How to make it:
Wrap rosemary branches around clamp; secure with cable tie and twist to hide closure in back. Add more rosemary branches, completely covering clamp. Trim ends. Use floral wire to secure a final, top layer.
Miniature trees – The conical shape of a rosemary plant makes it a perfect miniature Christmas tree. Arrange tiny ornaments, lights, bells and garland on the plant to match the colors of your holiday table. Place the mini trees on your table or add red bows and give them to your friends.
You could also add blue and silver lights and tinsel to create a Hanukkah decoration.
4. Embellish gifts
Forget plastic and metallic bows and ribbons that won’t stick to your wrapped packages! A sprig of rosemary enhances gift wrap with a touch of rustic evergreen. Tie up packages with twine and slip a sprig of rosemary through the loops. This eco-friendly decoration cuts down on excess holiday waste that ends up in landfills.
5. Create homemade Gifts
Sweeten up the holidays with homemade rosemary honey. A simple recipe combines four herbal sprigs, a half cup of regular honey, one tablespoon of unsalted butter, and a pinch of salt and pepper. In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, bring three sprigs of rosemary and remaining ingredients to a gentle simmer; let simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
Tie together the remaining three sprigs to make a brush. Dip the brush into the honey and spread it over chicken, turkey, ham or whatever you’d like!
Rosemary Sea Salt
Create your own special gift of rosemary salt by mincing the herb into coarse sea salt. Package it in a festive crock or jar and present it to folks who love to cook.
What you’ll need:
1 cup fresh rosemary
3 cups coarse sea salt
Storage container and/or gift jars
How to make it:
Rinse rosemary stems in cold water and lay them out to dry. Remove leaves and chop finely. Spread sea salt on a large baking sheet and sprinkle on chopped rosemary; mix to combine. Let mixture dry for about six hours. Store rosemary salt in airtight container. If giving as gift, decorate jars with label and ribbon.
“Love grows where my Rosemary goes …”
The next time you hear this 1970 song by Edison Lighthouse, remember – the holidays are more festive anywhere rosemary grows!
(Note: It’s easy to grow rosemary all year round! It’s a perennial woody shrub that is durable and grows well just about anywhere. The plant needs plenty of sunlight and well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. It blooms in summer with blue flowers. Along with flavoring your holiday recipes, fresh rosemary plants in your home brighten up the room, and the scent is heavenly! Place the plants in your kitchen and use the leaves for cooking. A few rosemary plants in the bathrooms and bedrooms are better than any air freshener. In the spring, you can replant rosemary in outdoor containers or an herb garden.)