By Meredith Duke
Our rosemary has bushed out into a wild, gargantuan organism growing in our yard. I think it’s approximately 3 feet high and 4 feet in diameter. It. Is. Huge. I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with this beautiful rosemary bush and I’m planning on using every single bit of it. I can only dry so much rosemary, so I’ve been hunting for ways to utilize it. Using our organic rosemary for wellness and beauty fits with my simple living lifestyle. If you have a monstrous rosemary bush, take note of some of these ideas on how to use rosemary. By the way, rosemary is incredibly good for you. According to Medical News Today, the health benefits of rosemary include:
- Improved digestion
- Enhanced memory and concentration
- Neurological protection
- Prevention of brain aging
- Protection against cancer
- Protection against macular degeneration
10 Ways to Use Rosemary In the Kitchen
- Rosemary Salt. Pull the rosemary leaves from the stem to make 1 cup. Add it to 3 cups of salt. Stir it all together and let it sit for approximately two weeks, covered. This creates an infused rosemary salt that can be used on any number of dishes.
- Rosemary Infused Olive Oil. Pour 2 cups of olive oil into a small pot. Bring to a slight simmer. Turn it off and remove it from the heat. Wash and completely dry 3 or 4 rosemary sprigs and place into a clean jar. Pour the oil into the jar with the rosemary sprigs. The longer you let it sit the stronger the infusion is.
- Rosemary Honey. Add 5 rosemary sprigs (each about 3 inches long) to 1 cup of honey in a small pot. Bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep for about 45 minutes. Remove the rosemary sprigs and pour the honey into a small container. Use on toast, drizzle over goat cheese or brie, or use as a sweetener in tea.
- Rosemary Simple Sugar. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add 2 cups of sugar and 3 or 4 rosemary sprigs. Stir until the sugar has dissolved (about 5 minutes). Remove from the heat. Remove the rosemary sprigs. Pour the simple sugar into a jar. To use, drizzle it on fresh fruit or add it to smoothies. Or, for something sweeter, drizzle it over a sponge cake, bundt cake, or angel food cake for a delicate twist.
- Rosemary Jelly. I’ve seen quite a few rosemary jelly recipes. Some require vinegar and others are just jellies with sugar (which I prefer). I’ll be making this rosemary jelly recipe soon. Try it on breads, chicken, fish or even lamb.
- Rosemary Skewers. When grilling chicken (think kabobs), we used rosemary stems as skewers. The stems infused flavor into the chicken, plus the smoke from the grill was amazing. We’ll definitely do this again.
- Rosemary Infused Vinegar. Jeanne at www.myownlabels.com has directions for making Rosemary Infused Vinegar. This is another recipe I’ll be using this year!
- Fresh Rosemary Lemonade. Bring 2 1/2 cups of sugar to a boil. Remove from the heat. Add 9 sprigs of rosemary to the pot and let it steep for 30 minutes. Strain and combine with 1/2 cup of lemon juice and 4 cups cold water. Chill. Taste test. Add more sugar or water as necessary.
- Freeze the herbs for later use. Wash and dry the rosemary leaves (after removing them from the stems). Chop into small pieces. Using an ice tray, fill each tray with rosemary leaves. Fill the tray with water and freeze. When frozen, pop out the rosemary ice cubes and store in a zipper bag in the freezer. Remove one or two cubes when ready to use them (add them to soups and stews, or thaw and use in marinades).
- Rosemary Butter. Soften a stick of real butter (do not melt). Meanwhile, wash and dry rosemary, removing the leaves from the stems. Dice into small pieces and blend with the butter until well combined. Use on breads or meats or slathered on crackers.
- Rosemary Pesto. You’ll need the following ingredients: 1 cup fresh rosemary, stems removed; 2 garlic cloves, diced; 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (toasted pecans or walnuts can be substituted); 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated; 1/4 cup olive oil; 1/2 teaspoon salt; and freshly ground black pepper, about 5 turns of the pepper mill. Directions: process rosemary, nuts, parmesan cheese, and garlic pulsing until everything is finely chopped and blended together. While the processor is running, stream in olive oil. Remove to a small bowl and stir in salt and fresh ground pepper. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Stir well before using.
3 Rosemary Uses Around the House
- Rosemary sachets. Sew simple bags to hold a bundle of dry rosemary leaves. Or, skip the sewing step and simply cut fabric into large squares with pinking shears. Lay the rosemary bundle in the middle. Bring the sides together and secure with a ribbon. Place the sachets in drawers, closets, or around the house.
- Gifts. Dry the rosemary (takes several weeks). Separate the dry leaves from the stems, divide into pretty jars (or re-use old spice jars), make labels, and give as gifts.
- Use Dried Rosemary for Dryer Sheets. Take a small drawstring bag and fill with dried rosemary sprigs. Throw this in the dryer with freshly washed clothes for a great way to naturally scent your laundry. You could even add dried lavender to this sachet.
How to Use Fresh Rosemary For Your Body
- Orange Rosemary Salt Scrub. You’ll need 1 cup salt, zest of 1 orange, 1 teaspoon rosemary leaves and 1/3 cup olive oil. I saw this recipe on www.Oleanderandpalm.com. I think this would be amazing on your hands (or feet for that matter).
- Rosemary Tincture. Stuff a small jar with fresh rosemary. Cover the rosemary with Everclear by one inch. Tighten the lid and store in a dark place for 4-6 weeks. Shake it every two or three days. When the time has elapsed, strain the mixture through cheesecloth. Store the rosemary tincture in an amber bottle. To use, adults can take up to 2 ml, three times a day.
- Rosemary Insect Repellent. There’s a great recipe for rosemary insect repellent. Since we live in Texas, we are inundated with insects for most of the year. This is on my to-do list to make this year!
- Rosemary Hair Rinse. 1/2 cup dried rosemary and 1/2 cup olive oil. Combine ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat until it is warm. Remove from the heat and let it steep for 20 minutes. Strain the mixture and pour into a small bottle. Coat your hair with the mixture. Cover your hair with a shower cap for 20 minutes. Rinse with cool water and wash as normal with shampoo.
- Rosemary Facial Toner. Mix 6 sprigs of fresh or dried rosemary with 2/3 cup of dried rose petals and 4 cups of witch hazel. Strain the mixture into an airtight container and discard the herbs. Wash your face and splash on a bit of rosemary facial toner.
- Rosemary and Lemon Bath Salts. Combine 2 cups Epsom salt; 1/2 cup baking soda; 2-3 tablespoons of fresh rosemary, finely chopped; 6-8 drops lemon essential oil; and 2-3 tablespoons of lemon zest (optional). In a bowl combine Epsom salt and baking soda. Add in half of the essential oil drops, mix, then add in the remaining drops. Mix in the chopped rosemary and lemon zest. Store in an airtight container.
Disclaimer: Not a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.
Pregnant women should be very cautious when using abundant amounts of rosemary as it can cause miscarriages.
Meredith Duke is a homesteading mama near Austin, Texas. She and her family are beekeepers, gardeners, hunters, and general “DIYers.” They are always seeking ways to expand their skills and learn the “old ways,” whether it’s canning, quilting, or simply trying to find new ways to be good stewards of their God-given resources. You can read more about the Duke family’s adventures at http://www.sangabrielfarm.com.