Bright, flavorful chives are a welcome sight in spring. But the usefulness of this plant goes further than its highly prized role in the kitchen. Here are a few of the ways chives can be of use around the home, from the kitchen to the garden, and health to home décor.
1.Multipurpose Health Booster
Chives and chive flowers are high in vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, calcium and iron. Their benefits include improving digestion and metabolism, immune support and even lowering cholesterol levels. Chives provide their best benefits when eaten raw. Add fresh, uncooked chives to salads, or include them as a garnish in other dishes for maximum effectiveness.
2. Super Salads
Chive blossoms make lovely additions to salads, whether the blossoms are in the salad itself (they have a subtle onion flavor), or are used to make a homemade flavored vinegar for dressings. Visit our Herbal Living site for a recipe.
3. Flavored Butter
Combine minced fresh chives, gorgonzola dolce cheese and unsalted butter to create a delicious compound spread. Blend 4 ounces gorgonzola dolce, 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives, 1⁄8 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 stick of softened unsalted butter in a medium-size bowl. Form the mixture into a log and refrigerate until firm. Use this compound butter to accompany grilled meats, such as steak or hamburgers, or use it as a sauce for gnocchi.
4. Herbal Bouquet
European brides in the Middle Ages carried pungent herbs such as garlic and chives in their bouquets to prevent jealous spirits from disrupting their happiness. Whether you use them in bridal bouquets or around the house, purple or pink chive blossoms make a unique addition to floral décor. Combine them with other garden blossoms and herbs for a fragrant and attractive seasonal arrangement.
5. Cooperative Companion
Chives are helpful as companion plants for tomatoes, carrots, apple trees and roses. At first growth, the plants will repel aphids from tomatoes, mums and sunflowers. After about three years of growth, they’ve been known to prevent apple scab and rose black spot.
6. Chives for Baking
Try chives in your biscuit batter for a baked good that’s bursting with flavor. Get the recipe here.
7. Dairy-Free Treat
Add chopped fresh chives to a probiotic-rich dairy-free cheese from doctor and author Michelle Schoffro Cook to get all the flavor and health benefits the herb offers. Find the recipe here.
8. Bye-Bye, Mildew
Try this gardening trick from the blog Little House Living to protect garden plants from mildew: Combine chopped chive leaves and water. Boil the mixture for several minutes on the stove, then let cool. Once it’s reached room temperature, pour the chives and water into a spray bottle, and spray on garden plants.