I am never without herbes de Provence in our kitchen. This mix of spices abundant in the south of France really speaks to my love of the delicious flavors of French cooking, and I use it in just about anything I can.
My mom’s French heritage was a big influence growing up, and because of her I will always have a soft spot for French dishes like boeuf bourguignon and pâté. I’m no Julia Child (or even Martha Stewart for that matter!) but I do try to incorporate French recipes in our meal plan whenever possible!
French cooking doesn’t have to be fussy or difficult as many suppose, either.
The French Cure for Picky Eaters
I’ve always been fascinated by French food culture and the way that even children in France typically like a wide variety of foods and are not picky from a young age. We can learn a lot from the French, especially in how we teach our children to view food. (I actually devoted a part of my Wellness Mama Cookbook to this topic!)
In fact many of the food philosophies we adopted with our kids came from my mom’s French background and her approach toward food. A big part of raising non-picky eaters is exposing kids to well rounded, varied flavors—like the thyme, marjoram, rosemary, fennel, and even lavender that make up herbes de Provence.
So what is herbes de Provence for anyway, besides sounding fancy?
The answer is, a lot!
How to Use Herbes de Provence at Home
Herbes de Provence is, as I said, very multipurpose. It can be described as bold, woodsy, and a little bit floral. It pairs well with almost any cut of meat (especially chicken and pork) and really complements most seafood. I often add it to homemade soups and broths too.
We love to pre-mix a little into grass-fed butter and keep it at the ready for topping veggies or cauliflower rice. It also makes a great addition to breakfast dishes like my favorite sous vide egg bites or homemade breakfast sausage.
An extra bonus… not only does it taste good and is healthy for you, but it also fills the kitchen with amazing smells!
Making Your Own Herbes de Provence Mix
You can certainly buy it from the store, but this homemade herbes de Provence spice blend and other homemade herb and spice blends are great to make at home to save time and money. This is also a fun and easy kitchen project kids can help make!
Involve your family in food preparation and experiment with new herbs and spices together!
Herbes de Provence Recipe
- ½ cup thyme
- ¼ cup marjoram
- 2 TBSP rosemary (cut and sifted)
- 2 TBSP savory
- 1 tsp lavender flowers (optional)
- 2 tsp dried orange zest (optional)
- 1 tsp ground fennel
- Use a mortar and pestle or a food processor to lightly grind any herbs that are whole, such as the rosemary, lavender flowers, or fennel. It is important that the herbs be coarse, not finely ground.
- If you are zesting the orange yourself, remove the zest of one organic orange and dry it in an oven on lowest setting or a dehydrator until completely dry.
- Combine all ingredients in a jar or bowl and mix.
- Store in an airtight container away from heat and light.
Have you ever used herbes de Provence? What French flavors do you love?
Discussion (12 Comments)
Thank you for this insightful post. Is there an alternative for the “savory” perhaps? I cannot find it in my country.
Savory isn’t an easy one to find here in the States either, but it is easy to grow, which is what I do. I would like to know however, if the savory referred too is the Summer savory or the Winter savory.
Thank you Victoria. 😉
Thanks for the recipe. Could you please clarify if fennel seeds should be crushed/ground? Thanks in advance and best regards!
Coarsely ground 🙂
So when you want to use the herbs, are you supposed to crush them? I recently got a mortar and pestle that I have used with a lot of success to grind herbs, and it released the flavors nicely. I was wondering if this would also be the case for this?
My 12-year-old loves Herbes de Provence. He will be thrilled to make some himself! Thanks for sharing your recipe.
This is quite timely. I have been researching authentic Herbs De Provence lately, and it seems that many people have their own version. Yours come closer to any I have found. I think the addition of the orange zest is a lovely addition. I have all the herbs mentioned growing in my yard with the exception of lavender (so far). I do have a question about the lavender, however. There is the English Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) and then is Lavandula x Intermedia, which has a much higher camphor content (making it more stimulating instead of sedating). Do you think using them interchanging in the recipe would be fine, since we are using it as food, instead of medicine (yes, same thing I know, but the intended purpose is different). Thanks for any input 🙂
Katie - Wellness Mama
Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment! I’d personally be ok with using any edible lavender in this, since the amount used is so low.
Hello Katie! I am a labor support doula and was reading your post about constant monitoring. You should ask your midwife about the possibility of a telemetry unit. That is a portable/waterproof monitor that many hospitals have as an option. It means you could walk and use the water if it’s available. If not, don’t lose heart. You can still do a lot of things in your bed, and at the bedside. If you haven’t used a doula before, you might consider hiring one. We can be very helpful, especially when you have limited options! Best of luck to you! ~Lucy
Wow, so much to say! We used to raise chickens (and ducks, guinea fowl, and quail) when we lived in Oregon, and they can be a great source of food if you can handle the predator problem. Make the coop houdini-grade. You are not only fighting coyotes but also small animals like raccoons and weasels, not to mention domesticated dogs and cats.
We raised several different varieties, including Buff Orpington, Barred Rock, Plymouth Rock, and Leghorn. Look up online for a quick analysis of the benefits of different breeds. You might want to trade laying ability for hardiness, or something. Bantam hens lay smaller eggs, but they are smaller, and take up less space and food.
Consider buying a few Cornish Cross chicks while you are at it. These are famous for putting on meat quickly (I think 8-12 weeks until slaughter-ready).
You should buy a cheap timer and set up a light bulb to stimulate the birds’ pituitary glands. Otherwise they won’t lay for much of the year. By tricking them with extended light, you can control how often they molt. It’s not abusive – as long as they’re getting plenty of good food and room to roam, they’ll be healthy and as happy as dumb animals can be. =)
You can buy a lot of equipment at feed supply stores, but if you want to start small, you can just improvise. The water is the hardest part since birds are really dumb and will keep kicking over containers. Just save all your kitchen scraps (but NOT eggshells!) and toss it out to them every day. You will probably have to supplement with boughten feed too. If chickens start to eat their own eggs, they are not getting enough of something (I forget what – maybe calcium). One time we had to buy some oyster shell powder to add to the feed. Once a chicken starts eating eggs, though, it tends to create a bad habit and you may just have to slaughter those hens and start over.
What we found worked the best was to build smallish, light-weight, portable cages, and then move them around every few days. If you are building a permanent fixed shelter and pen, then it’s going to get scratched up quickly, so you’ll need to fence in a good area, and that makes it harder to secure. It has to be sealed off at all points, which is difficult in a free range pen. If you do keep them shut up, you can let them roam the pen during the day, but you should clip their wings (one side only) to keep them from flying away and have someone watch them while out to protect them from predators. Very tedious.
What fun for you and your family! I wish our HOA allowed chickens.
Great advice! Thanks for taking the time to type it all up. I especially like the idea of the movable cages. We are building a pretty big secure coop connected to a run, but that would be a great way to move them around the yard.