Fresh herbs are fun, easy, and affordable to grow, but preserving fresh herbs is something many have struggled with. If you love growing fresh herbs and grow an abundance of them, you might find yourself with more than you can use at once. Instead of letting those gorgeous herbs go to waste, why not preserve them so you can enjoy them even long into the winter months?
7 Tips For Preserving Fresh Herbs
Our top tips for preserving fresh herbs come from years of experience growing our favorites in an indoor herb garden. You don't have to struggle with spoiled herbs. You simply need to find the right method for your herbs to stay fresh and useful longer.
1. Freeze them in ice cube trays.
Simply pour water into the trays (fill about ¼ way full) and add in the chopped herbs. Freeze them until you need them. You can then toss them into soups, salad dressing recipes, and marinades.
2. Create a drying rack.
If you want to dry the herbs for use in the near future, you can use a drying rack. Take a piece of scrap wood and hot glue a few clothespins to it. Hang it in a cool place. Then, just clip bundles of herbs to the rack and allow them to hang and dry out. Crumble and use in recipes as needed.
3. Freeze them in wax paper.
Lay the herbs flat on a piece of wax paper and cover them with another piece of the paper. Fold the ends in and tape them secure. You can slide the packet into the freezer and freeze the herbs this way until they are needed.
4. Fill your own spice containers.
Dry the herbs using the drying rack method mentioned in idea #2. Then, crumple up the herbs into a fine powder or flakes. Put the herbs in jars or containers of your choice, and they will be just like the dried herbs you purchase from the grocery store.
5. Use a food dehydrator.
You can dry your herbs in a food dehydrator just like you do fruits and vegetables. To do this, just rinse them, dry them, and lay them flat on the trays. Set the timer according to manufacturer suggestion and allow the herbs to dehydrate before storing in an airtight container.
6. Add them to canned goods.
Do you love to can your own vegetables? If so, go ahead and add these fresh herbs to the recipes. It is a great way to use them up without actually consuming them at that exact moment. Use fresh dill in your pickle recipes, basil in your canned tomatoes, and other herbs with produce items they would compliment. You can really use this opportunity to get creative with your herbs while giving your canned items a nice boost of flavor.
7. Add them to olive oil.
Place entire cuttings of fresh herbs into your bottle of olive oil for infused flavor. This is a great way to preserve the herb as it will continue to infuse the olive oil for weeks. You can discard the cutting when the oil is out. While they are a bit pricey, I love this oil infuser for regular use.
A few tips for preserving your herbs: Always cut herbs at the peak of freshness. If you won’t be preserving fresh herbs right away, place them in a vase of water and store in a cool place. Use one of these methods within 2-3 days of bringing the herbs in to make sure you are preserving them when they are still quite fresh and will taste their very best.
Don’t let those fresh herbs go to waste. Instead, give our tips for preserving fresh herbs a try!
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