I personally have taken an interest in cooking with fresh ingredients.  Being raised in a traditionally British household, my mother was not big on herbs and spices, but her cooking was comfort food to me.

Fast forward a few decades, and I found myself cooking very similar foods and as life got busy with kids and jobs, one pan stir fries and one pot chili’s were my “go to dinner”.  But now that the kids are grown and I have had to make some adjustments in cooking to deal with health issues such as blood pressure and blood sugar, I have taken an interest in different ways to spice up meals without too much salt and add different flavors.

Most of us have those dried herbs and spices in that spice rack or back of cupboard, and I ventured into using them, but my goal is to use fresh.  I will admit the flavor is so much better, and thought how cool it would be to simply pick them from plants on my counter.

indoor herb garden kit with lightsCredit: amazon.com
Miracle-Gro AeroGarden Ultra (LED) with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit
Amazon Price: $299.95 $139.95 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 8, 2016)

Indoor Garden Kit with Lights

I like the idea of this one because I live in a northern climate, and if I want to grow herbs all year round, I will need the help of a special light.  I like this kit because it comes with everything you need and the light is just the right spectrum for growing your plants.

If like my area the days get a lot shorter come Halloween and onwards, then the addition of a growing light makes all the difference.  It imitates the lighting they would get outdoors in the summer and it is automatically regulated.  I decided I will always grow some outdoors in summer but in the winter months I will switch to this herb garden kit.  I also wanted something that didn’t take up too much room on the counter as well.  You do need access to an electrical outlet.  So for me it will sit on the end of the counter.

Also adding some greenery to the house in the depths of winter is a nice addition.  I just have to keep my cat away from them!  This is also something else you could try and grow catnip!  Herbs smell awesome especially when you pick them, you will be more inspired to spice up an otherwise boring meal.  That was my first goal, to add more flavor to my most common meals.

kitchen herb garden kitCredit: amazon.com
Limited Edition Complete Herb Garden Kit - Best Christmas Gardening Gifts
Amazon Price: $75.00 $69.95 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 8, 2016)

Complete Herb Garden Kit with Blacboard

If you have an aspiring cook on your list, or someone who simply loves to garden and enjoy the results, you can get a window ledge kit that includes everything, such as the one above.  It has blackboards on the side of the planter where you can label them and it comes with seeds and everything you need to know. 

This one doesn’t have the lighting, but will grow for an extended season on a window sill in the kitchen.  This is an awesome gift idea to get anyone interested in using fresh herbs or even drying their own.  Herbs don’t take up much room and they can be planted close together.  You don’t have to worry about environmental toxins or sprays, you just water and maintain and pick what you need.  You don’t need to pick the whole plant.

They do grow fast under the right conditions.  

kitchen herb garden kitCredit: amazon.com

Printed Garden Sticks

I thought these would make a great addition to a gift package.   These sticks are printed on antique printers and just look neat.  Perfect for outdoors or your indoor garden.

kitchen herb garden kitCredit: amazon.com

Growing Your Own Herbs Book

Investing in a good book is always a good gift to add to the kit.  I wanted to change my way of cooking and was totally unsure as to what herbs go with what meats or other ingredients and meals.  I needed to know what herbs and spices to mix and when.  So being this rusty I thought a book was a good way to learn at my own pace.  It can take time to change your ways, but it can be fun.

Once you discover fresh products you will never go back to dried if you don’t need to.  I also didn’t realize that those dried versions do have a shelf life.  So, it is really nice to add something you grew yourself in your kitchen to a meal and really add flavor compared to adding some dried herbs from long ago and you are not sure how long they have lived in your cupboard!

Indoor herb garden kitCredit: amazon.com
H Potter Terrarium for Plants Glass Container 148
Amazon Price: $79.00 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 8, 2016)

Glass Terrarium

This is another really cute option.  If you get sunlight in your home, you can keep your plants out of cold drafts by using this glass terrarium for your herbs.  It has ventilation so the heat doesn’t build up too much but your plants will bask in summer like conditions. 

I am looking forward to using more fresh produce that I have grown myself.  Right now I purchase fresh herbs from the grocery store and am beginning to feel more confident in how to use them and for what meals.  My family enjoys trying new things.  I am not so big on change, but have tasted the different when using fresh compared to dry. 

They can also get expensive in the grocery store especially in the winter months, so why not grow your own under the proper lighting?