Preserving Herbs

Dry, Freeze Or Steep Fresh Herbs In Oil For Long-Term Preservation.

Fresh herbs from the garden are a great addition to recipes, but sometimes you'd prefer to use dry herbs. And what do you do between herb garden seasons? If you have a substantial collection of growing herbs, you don't need to settle for grocery store herbs---ever. There are several options for preserving fresh herbs.


Fresh herbs from the garden are a great addition to recipes, but sometimes you'd prefer to use dry herbs. And what do you do between herb garden seasons? If you have a substantial collection of growing herbs, you don't need to settle for grocery store herbs---ever. There are several options for preserving fresh herbs.

Preserving herbs begins with clipping fresh herbs from the garden. From there, you can choose one of three methods for storage.

Drying: Drying herbs allows long-term storage, up to a year for most herb varieties. Group herbs in bunches of 5 to 6 stems and hang them upside-down in a warm, dry location. After about 3 weeks, take the herbs down. They should crumble to the touch. Store whole or crushed leaves in airtight containers.

Freezing: Soft-leaf herbs work best for freezing. Store leaves in freezer bags for 3 months, or blanch them first and store for 6 months. You can also store herbs frozen in ice cube trays with a little water for easy access to individual portions. Thaw and use like you would fresh herbs.

Steeping in Oil: Preserving herbs in oil makes an attractive countertop decoration and a flavorful oil for cooking. Place whole or chopped leaves in olive oil and store the container in a cool location. It will last for about 6 months. Remove leaves for addition to dishes, or add the flavored oil to your recipes in place of plain oil.

 

Using different methods for preserving herbs gives you more fresh tools to use in the kitchen. Experiment with the different ways to preserve to find your favorite option for cooking.

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