Oregano, scientific name Origanum vulgare, is an aromatic plant belonging to the Lamiaceae family, highly appreciated for cooking as a scented spice. A pinch of oregano perfumes and enriches different types of culinary preparations, such as sauces, bruschetta, pizzas or salads. But oregano not only gives to the dishes its aroma but also important properties for health. Today, therefore, we see the properties and uses of oregano in the kitchen.
Oregano provides mineral salts, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, manganese and selenium, but also vitamins, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamins of group B, K and E. Not only that, oregano is also a source of antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin (USDA Food Data Central). But oregano is also rich in essential oils, such as carvacrol, thymol, rosmarinic and caffeic acid (Veenstra et al, Int J Nutr, 2019). Carvacrol shows antiviral, antibiotic and antimicrobial properties, thymol is anti-inflammatory, supports the immune system by fighting infections and is also fungicidal, proving effective in case of candida in the oral cavity, rosmarinic and caffeic acid are antioxidant compounds, useful against damage caused by free radicals (Gilling et al, J Appl Microbiol, 2014 - Dias de Castro, BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, 2015 - Bakota et al, J Food Sci, 2015). Finally, oregano promotes the integrity of the intestinal barrier, which has the task of blocking toxins and germs, helps to keep blood sugar under control, is anticancer and protects the health of the heart since it helps to avoid the oxidation of the bad LDL cholesterol, a major cause of arteriosclerosis (Layva Lopez et al, Molecules, 2017 - Zou et al, Biomed Res Int, 2016).
Oregano, uses in the kitchen
And how can you benefit from the properties of oregano? In this post we decided to focus on the uses of oregano in the kitchen, as in this way it is very simple, and also tasty, to take this spice. Dried oregano can be purchased in all stores and supermarkets or it can also be made at home. In fact, you just need to have a potted oregano seedling, cut its twigs and let them dry in the air.
As for the recipes, you can simply add a sprinkling of oregano to the salad, excellent is the Greek salad with feta cheese and dressed with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and oregano. In the Healthy Food section you can find very tasty recipes, also easy to make, such as pizza margherita, excellent with a touch of oregano, or even the delicious eggplants in the oven, prepared with cherry tomatoes, capers, olives, basil and oregano. And finally, the bread with herbs of Provence, fragrant and healthy.