Reader sweepstakes: All About Herbs swag bag


Herb Swag Bag Giveaway | Ends 2/21/13 | Recipe RenovatorI have a fun little swag bag for you this week, all about herbs! First there’s a sweet little cookbook from Gourmet Garden (recipes are not all vegan or gluten-free) and coupons for 3 free tubes of their fresh herb pastes. You’ll also receive the fantastic herb chopper from Microplane. I have their grater/zester and it’s awesome. I also picked up a fun assortment of dried herbs from Northgate Market, an amazing Mexican grocery store chain here in Southern California. And finally, a pretty re-usable grocery tote from Trader Joe’s. SWEEPSTAKES IS NOW CLOSED.

Here is this week’s question:
Are you more likely to use dried or fresh herbs when cooking? Why?

Required FTC disclosure: The book and coupons were provided by Gourmet Garden. The herbs from NortHgate Market were purchased with a gift card from the Idaho Potato Commission. I won the Trader Joe’s bag. I purchased the Microplane chopper for this giveaway. I was not paid to write this post.

Sweepstakes Official Rules:
By leaving a comment below you are agreeing to the Official Rules, outlined here.

  • Only residents of the U.S. over the age of 18 are eligible to enter.
  • Duration: Friday February 15 through Thursday February 21, 2013 at 5 PM Pacific Standard Time. SWEEPSTAKES IS NOW CLOSED.
  • Leave a comment answering the question to enter: Are you more likely to use dried or fresh herbs when cooking? Why?
  • You can receive up to 4 additional entries by doing the following and leaving one comment for each additional item.
  • 5 entries total per person, please.

1) If you already follow me, help spread the word: Tweet, Facebook, Pin, or Google+ the link to the sweepstakes. You can share up to 4 times on different days for 4 additional entries. (Leave a comment with the link to each mention each time.)

If you are not already following me on Facebook, Twitter, and via my newsletter, you can earn additional entries by doing any of the following. Leave a comment each time:

2) Follow Recipe Renovator OR Gourmet Garden on Facebook
3) Follow Recipe Renovator OR Microplane on Twitter
4) Subscribe to my newsletter on the right sidebar

  • The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • Winner will be selected by random number generator within one day of the sweepstakes closing. Winners have 48 hours to respond to their notification email to claim their prize. If they do not respond, another winner will be chosen by random number generator. All prizes will be awarded.
  • We are not liable for technical failures or typographical errors, or resolving identity disputes related to the winner.
  • We will obtain winners’ name and mailing addresses in the notification email. Once prize(s) have been mailed we will maintain that information for up to one year but will not use it for any other purpose.
  • This sweepstakes is sponsored by Gourmet Garden and Recipe Renovator, P.O. Box 34054, San Diego, CA 92163-4054. (619) 365-5065.
  • Prize description: One softcover copy of Insider’s Guide to Cooking with Herbs and Spices, 3 coupons for Gourmet Garden fresh herb pastes, Trader Joe’s re-usable grocery tote bag, Microplane herb chopper, 8 packages dried herbs. Retail value of $49.95.

Today’s post is part of our mission to help you rebuild your health through food and lifestyle choices. Look for posts on Mondays featuring gluten-free, sugar-free recipes made with healthy plant-based ingredients, Wednesday essays, and Friday giveaways (when available).

Here is the chopper on Amazon if you want to see it in more detail:


  1. Chlo says

    i prefer fresh herbs … because they’re fresh. Dried herbs’ potencies can vary with age so it’s just easier to buy or pick our fresh herbs as we need them. i do freeze some of our herbs but i consider them fresh. plus the flavor really comes through.

  2. Deb E. says

    I follow you and Microplane on Twitter @deedeethatsmee. Great herb chopper! I still use my trusty mortar and pestle #oldschool.

  3. Deb E. says

    Since it’s just me, dried herbs are more convenient. I also have parsley or cilantro at all times.

  4. Holly says

    I like to use fresh herbs, but I always keep dried ones on hand in case my own herbs in my garden are too picked over. I also use the dried ones more in sauces and soups.

  5. jacquie says

    this time of year i use dry since it is too cold for them to grow outside in maryland and i don’t have any windows that get enough sunlight. however, in the summer i use mostly fresh.

  6. Rachel says

    I love using fresh herbs when it’s affordable and straight from my herb garden. But, I’m from North Dakota and we have snow on the ground six months out of the year. It’s not always affordable for me to incorporate store bought herbs into nightly meals, in which case I would use dried herbs. But certain herbs that are always affordable, parsley and cilantro, for example, I use fresh year round.

  7. Hannah says

    It depends on the herb. Use fresh cilantro and dill but most others dried unless recipe specifies fresh.

  8. Denise Fedor says

    I am more likely to use fresh herbs in summer as I grow many in my yard. Winter is a different story!

  9. says

    I am more likely to use (both) dried and fresh herbs when cooking. I prefer but don’t always have fresh herbs on hand. I do freeze some and I dry my own herbs, but I do run out a lot. I love my herbs.

  10. shawneG says

    Fresh when I can in almost all things. Dried when not available or recipe would be better served using dried.

  11. Barbara Sloan says

    I use both equally. We belong to 2 CSA’s each year, so we have various fresh herbs. I supplement that with local farmer’s markets. I also shop the Asian markets for great herbs, and find my most unusual ones there. I have always owned a great supply of dried herbs, due to the places I have lived and planning on un-availability of some items. Additionally, I do have a couple of sources for wholesale ordering, and 2 well-known local/national sources, Planters, and Pensey’s with store-front locations in my city.

  12. Kristen says

    I use both about the same. In the summer I almost exclusively use fresh herbs from my garden. In the winter months I rely on dried herbs.

  13. Debbie Warila says

    2nd entry: I “liked” the Recipe Renovator page on Facebook and added it to my interest lists.

  14. Debbie Warila says

    I try to use fresh herbs if at all possible – they just taste better to me. But if I only need a dash of something, I’ll use the dried herbs because of the convenience factor. And we always keep fresh cilantro in the refrigerator, too!

  15. Heather says

    I used to have a fresh herb garden on my only balcony, but my landlord planted palm trees there… And the complete lack of sunshine killed them. So, now I’m stuck using dried herbs, unless it’s a special occasion.

  16. Bonnie K. says

    I use dried herbs most of the time because I don’t have an herb garden. In the summer, I tend to use more fresh when I come across a good buy. I like using fresh herbs for grilling. Dried for cooked or baked dishes. I love this swag.

  17. Laura says

    I try to use fresh herbs as much as I can, but it isn’t always feasible. I’d love to have a small potted garden (apartment sized) to grow my own fresh herbs!

  18. Erin says

    Fresh? Usually what I do is buy a bunch and chop them all up and keep them in the freezer in 1T amounts so I can pull out what I need. I am not sure why I started but it does allow me to use fresh herbs more and since onion/garlic are not welcome in our home (allergies) the more fresh herbs the better!

  19. Judie Cooper says

    I use fresh herbs whenever I can. In the summer I’ve been container gardening some herbs, dried are for when I can’t get a hold of fresh.

  20. Lizzie says

    I love fresh herbs, but almost always use dried. I have bad luck growing my own, and the good organic stuff I want is often so expensive, not to mention that when I buy a bunch or package for a recipe that requires three leaves or something, the remainder tends to get forgotten in the fridge and end up a slimy wasted mess. :(

  21. Jodi Glass says

    Dried. Just because I am always fully stocked with dried herbs. I usually buy fresh parsley and bay leaf though,they freeze well and taste so much better than dried.

  22. maiko says

    Dried herbs because they keep longer. Tired of buying fresh herbs, use it in a recipe that calls for a few tablespoons, then have it get slimy!

  23. says

    I’m more likely to use dried herbs because I usually have them on hand whereas I have to remember to purchase fresh herbs. I also have fresh herbs go bad rather quickly. I’m trying to grow an herb garden with little luck so I can use fresher – hopefully soon!

  24. Pam says

    I use fresh herbs whenever I can. Dried just can’t compare. I like things “herby” anyway. Must haves are thyme, cilantro, Italian parsley, chives, basil, mint and rosemary. If I had enough room, I’d have every herb known to man, so I could just walk outside and cut fresh herbs whenever I needed them.

  25. says

    I use fresh from the garden or dried if I don’t. Usually in the summer when my herbs are at their best I try to harvest a bit and dry them myself so I can have some during the winter months.

  26. Janet says

    Well it’s dried for me most of the time, it’s speedy and easy for me. I will buy fresh for special recipes but my favorite is growing them and using them fresh from the garden.

  27. says

    I use fresh whenever I can. I love gardening and grow an extensive collection of my favorite herbs. Cuban oregano being my current favorite! I harvest them in the fall and dry a bunch of my own, also freeze them in olive oil cubes which works nicely. I love dried herbs too for those that I don’t grow on my own. I’ve never seen an herb mill though, and that looks so handy!

  28. charj says

    Using dried herbs allows me to have more variety and they last much longer for the amount of money spent. Buying fresh herbs by the bunch or in packages gets to be expensive. Trying to grow herbs in my small shady apartment has not been successful.

  29. says

    I am more likely to use dried herbs because I have a lot of them on hand, but I try to use fresh whenever possible. I always have cilantro in the fridge!