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Archive for November, 2012

Cooking With Sage

Who Knew Cooking With Sage Could Be So Healthy?

It must be some ancient secret of grandmothers everywhere. Cooking with sage not only enhances the flavor of a traditional thanksgiving dinner of turkey and stuffing, but it has some amazing health benefits. Pretty sneaky, Grandma! And, it’s not just turkey and stuffing. Cooking with sage can actually bring out the flavors of nearly all meats and citrus dishes. We’re not the first to discover this, of course. Sage actually has a pretty colorful history, not just in epicurean circles either.

Where Does it Come From

There are several varieties of sage that are actually indigenous to different parts of the world. When cooking with sage though, there are usually to varieties that most people refer to: Winter Sage and Summer Sage. Most experts agree these spawned from the Mediterranean region, as the Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians all have history with the medicinal value of the herb. There is one particular variety, native to Central America, that your grandmother is probably less likely to use (unless she’s really hip and open-minded), and that’s a hallucinogenic breed. It’s usually used for spiritual practices, and not so much for cooking.

Healing Benefits

Sage has one of the longest histories of any medicinal or culinary herb out there. One of the main reasons the Romans started eating it with meat was for the herb’s ability to break down fats and help with digestion. It is also credited with enhancing memory and brain speed, if ingested. It’s also been discovered that cooking with sage can reduce the effects of menopause, relax the nervous system, ease arthritis, and bring down fevers. Topically, the herb can be used to slow or stop bleeding and clean flesh wounds.

Three More Health Benefits of Sage

o Can be used as a gargle to help cure sore throats and cough

o Used to cure kidney infections

o Can be effective against nervous headaches

Different Ways to Enjoy Sage

Sage is a delicious herb that can be used to enhance virtually any meal. While cooking with sage is a great way to enjoy it, the French are credited with also creating a sage tea that has been enjoyed all over the world. In fact, the Chinese coveted the tea so much, they used to trade four bags of Chinese tea for just one bag of the French sage tea.

Recipes to Try Today

As mentioned before, cooking with sage is epitomized with Sage Stuffing. Take a look at this internet favorite and feel free to get creative with it. This will make 8-10 servings and will only take about an hour to prepare-3 ½ hours total preparation time.

Sage Stuffing


½ cup heavy cream

1 cup turkey giblet stock

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup finely chopped celery

1 turkey liver or 3 chicken livers, trimmed and finely chopped

1 cup unsalted butter

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage

¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

4 cups coarsely crumbled buttermilk corn bread

8 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs

Cooking Instructions

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Spread all bread crumbs in 2 shallow baking pans and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven until dry, Cool crumbs in pans on racks, then transfer to a large bowl and stir in parsley, sage, salt, and pepper.

Melt butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat. Add onions and liver and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened. Add celery and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl with crumbs and toss well. Add eggs, stock, and cream and toss it again.

Transfer stuffing to a buttered 2 1/2- to 3-quart shallow baking dish. Bake, covered, in middle of oven for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake until browned, about 30 minutes more.

Quick Sage Rub

Ready to be the hit of the party? Next time you cook any kind of meat, try this quick and easy rub that will enhance the flavor of any meal and make it seem as though you had been slaving away for hours.


2 tablespoons of salt

1 tablespoon of dried sage

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

(that’s it!)

Combine the three ingredients and rub them on the meat of your choice. Cook to taste.

Sage is one those herbs that you would gladly eat even if it didn’t have the huge range of health benefits that it does. Incorporating it into your diet will please your taste buds, as well as your immune system.

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November 2012