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Sage, How To Use It

Updated on November 13, 2010
Who doesn't appreciate a holiday feast?
Who doesn't appreciate a holiday feast?

Dressing and Stuffing


Three Day Old Bread







Apples, walnuts, chutney, celery......whatever you put in or leave out, most stuffing and dressing recipes use Sage.   The only difference I note in the two, is stuffing is stuffed into the cavity of the bird.  Dressing is baked in a separate pan.

The holidays will soon be upon us, and most families have an unofficial stuffing maker. Some families, have cooks who compete for the distinction! It must be interesting at that table.....

Isn't this pretty?
Isn't this pretty?
Golden Sage
Golden Sage

What Is Sage?

Sage is an evergreen perennial shrub with pale green leaves. The flowers bloom in summer. It is the leaves and oils that we use.

Sage is a natural astringent, and antiseptic. It smells somewhat like camphor.

As a seasoning, it is strong. It is one of my personal favorites, and when using it, I do tend to increase the recommended quanity.

Beyond The Holiday Dinner

Sage is also known as garden meadow. It has a long history. The properties of sage have made it useful to cooking and to healing. There is an old French term, from Medieval times, applying to sage, which translates loosely, to ' all is well '. That sounds comforting to me.

It has been known to treat wounds from snakebites. I wonder if my Grandmother added sage to the bacon, she wrapped around snakebites.....

Modern research has shown that sage can help reduce excessive perspiration, digestive problems, sore throats, premenstrual cramps, and high blood sugar.

Sage was once recommended by herbalists to treat fever, a usage that probably arose from sage's ability to reduce perspiration. It is now common to find sage-based natural deodorants in health food stores.

Like cloves, sage is also an active ingredient in some natural mouthwashes, and tooth ache remedies. Sage guards against several bacterias.

There is no supporting evidence, but it does seem that sage opens my sinuses and aids a congesting breathing. Perhaps, that is simply because I like the spicy scent.

Sage has a long history of use as a treatment for gastrointestinal disorders. One German study has found that drinking a sage infusion reduced blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. This is effective on an empty stomach only. The holiday dressing is not going to be of much help in this.

Sage is available commercially . It's also easy to grow and dry your own sage. This herb is a perennial. The plant should be replaced about every four years, as it gets tough and woody.

Strip the plant down, cut the leaves and dry; harvesting has been made simple.

For a homebrewed sage tea, use 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried leaves per cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Use this infusion as a gargle for sore throat or as a mouthwash for gingivitis.

There is some evidence that sage may help stimulate uterine contractions.

For more on growing, harvesting and drying sage, this site is quite useful with easy to follow instructions.


I like the dressing more than the meat it is served with!
I like the dressing more than the meat it is served with!

This Is How I Do My Dressing

1/2 cup of fat---use butter, bacon grease, or a combo

(do not use margarine)  it is a poor substitute

2 medium onions, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1/4 cup of chopped green bell pepper--optional
6 cups of cooked, crumbled cornbread, 1-2 days old

6 cups of any dry bread, also crumbled

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper----or to taste

1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning

2 teaspoons of sage-----I have a heavy hand on this, adjust this to suit yourself

4-6 cups of turkey or chicken stock, more or less , depending on taste

6 boiled and chopped eggs

Break up the breadsand toast in oven or in a heavy skillet on the stovetop.

Mix well with other ingredients. The mixture should be moist, but not 'runny'.

Put into a roasting pan that has been sprayed or greased.

Do not pack..... use a second pan if one is needed

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

For a moister stuffing, use all of the liquid and baked covered.

For a drier stuffing, with a crunchy top, use minimum liquid and bake uncovered. I like mine dry and crunchy, but make yours for you.

This is 12 cups of bread!.......if you are cooking for a small meal, adjust accordingly.

My Grandmother told me, if you break apart the cornbread and see 'spiderwebs', it is perfect for dressing or stuffing.

Other Culinary Uses

Sage can be combined with other herbs, usually thyme.  It can be used in soups and bean dishes. Some use it with potatoes and other vegetable side dishes. It does have a strong flavor, so use lightly.

Sage is a natural compliment to many cheeses. Sprinkle some on your next grilled cheese sandwich.

Anytime, I am roasting poultry, I give it a rub down with sage and black pepper.


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    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 7 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Girl your making me hungry because when I think if sage stuffing, I instantly think of my most favourite food, Turkey and all the fixings that go with it.

      Sage is one of my more favourite spices to use. I love its aroma and its taste. As an amateur chef, I use It to spice up many a dish in my home.

      Brother Dave.

    • onegoodwoman profile image

      onegoodwoman 7 years ago from A small southern town

      Wesman Todd Shaw,

      It's good stuff!

      Thanks for your vote of confidence.

      I like to see new readers, and

      your visit and commentary are


    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 7 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      I'm about to start using more sage-I'd forgot that I even had any. Great hub!

    • onegoodwoman profile image

      onegoodwoman 7 years ago from A small southern town


      You are right, it does.

      Usually, I reach for the

      paprika, for the bold color.

      Good food is all about

      how you like it!

      Thanks for dropping by.

      You are always welcome here.

    • onegoodwoman profile image

      onegoodwoman 7 years ago from A small southern town

      Hi Giselle2323,

      I came from a big family,

      and I am still cooking

      for them, even though it

      is only my hubby and me

      these days!

      Thanks for coming by.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Chicken with sage liven up its taste! Thanks for sharing, onegoodwoman!

    • giselle2323 profile image

      giselle2323 7 years ago from Peterborough, Ontario

      WOW! Your stuffing looks like a full course meal all on it's own. If you could send me some, I would greatly appreciate it! ;-)

    • onegoodwoman profile image

      onegoodwoman 7 years ago from A small southern town


      I leave that to you!

      Thanks for coming by,

      it is always good to

      see you on my hub.

    • onegoodwoman profile image

      onegoodwoman 7 years ago from A small southern town

      Hi Thoughtforce,

      Welcome back.

      I think if ever I have

      such and opportunity, I

      will forgo grass, and cover

      my yard completely in herbs.

    • onegoodwoman profile image

      onegoodwoman 7 years ago from A small southern town


      Thank you for your support,

      and for your generosity.

      I hope you haven't set the

      bar so high, that I can't

      reach it ~~~

    • onegoodwoman profile image

      onegoodwoman 7 years ago from A small southern town

      Deborah Demander,

      Hello again~

      That is a new one on me.

      The only thing I new about

      smudges was in reference

      to saving fruit trees.

      Maybe we could co-write

      a hub!

    • Vladimir Uhri profile image

      Vladimir Uhri 7 years ago from HubPages, FB

      Everything is just perfect, now I need the cook. Thanks for this Hub.

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 7 years ago from Sweden

      Thanks for inspiration to use more herbs! And sage are also quite beatiful when it blooms!

    • Jason R. Manning profile image

      Jason R. Manning 7 years ago from Sacramento, California

      One good woman, one good wife, one good cook and one good naturopathic. The women of many divine qualities. You are a sage…

      I will certainly find more ways to use sage thanks to this hub. Thank you.

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 7 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Mmmm. I love sage. Thanks for a great hub.

      As a side note: White sage is also burned as a smudge. It is believed to clear negative energy from the environment.


    • onegoodwoman profile image

      onegoodwoman 7 years ago from A small southern town

      Hello Daddy Paul,

      I believe this is our first meeting.

      Welcome to my hub!

      Sage is one of my personal favorites.

      Poultry of any sort, is simply

      bare without it.

      I appreciate new readers!

      Thank you for your visit

      and for your commentary. ~~

    • onegoodwoman profile image

      onegoodwoman 7 years ago from A small southern town

      You are welcome at my table. Tmbrigdeland!

      head south.......

    • Daddy Paul profile image

      Daddy Paul 7 years ago from Michigan

      Great read. Chicken without sage is like a like a stale slice of bread.

    • tmbridgeland profile image

      tmbridgeland 7 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      Yesterday cloves and today sage. Two of my favorite flavors. I wanna eat at YOUR house!