Learn The Art Of Storing Fresh Herbs

So, you’ve done all the hard work now. You’ve done the digging, the bending, the planting, the fertilizing, and the watering, and now you have a garden filled with fresh herbs. Or maybe you went to the grocery store and carefully selected the best fresh herbs to cook with at home. But how do you make sure the herbs are stored so they stay fresh and all that hard work doesn’t go to waste?

Storing Fresh Herbs: Cleanliness Counts

First, always make sure to inspect everything for dirt or bugs. If they’re clean, there’s no need to wash them unless you want to – especially since herbs are much easier chopped if they’re dry. If you do have to clean your herbs before you store them, make sure that you dry them afterwards.

While Storing Fresh Herbs: They’ll Need A Trim

It’s a good idea to give any herbs you have a trim, whether they’re from the store or your garden. Remove any leaves from stems, and cut the end of the stems on the diagonal. That will keep any already-wilting ends and keep the rest of the herb fresh.

Storing Fresh Herbs: Seal Them Tight

The best way to go when storing fresh herbs is to use plastic freezer bags. The bags should be kept somewhere the temperature is consistently 40-45 F. Loosely pack the bags so that the herbs don’t crush each other.

Storing Fresh Herbs: Freezing Works Too

Properly stored, most herbs should last well over a week. But if you won’t use them before then, try freezing them. Herbs that are stored frozen last for about a year, but remember that they will lose their flavor over time.

Storing Fresh Herbs: Try A Bouquet

You may also want to try something different for storing fresh, leafy herbs like cilantro or parsley. First, cut the ends down. Then, place the herbs into a tall glass with about an inch of water and cover the tops with a plastic bag that’s been perforated. Perforating the bag allows some air to circulate, because an airtight container can cause herbs to go bad much more quickly.

Storing Fresh Herbs: Fresh vs. Dry

There’s a lot of debate over whether or not fresh herbs are best stored dry or wet. Some people believe that storing fresh herbs when they’re wet helps speed up the decaying process. Try to work out what’s best for you – if you’re storing your fresh herbs for long-term use, maybe keeping them dry would be best, but if you plan to use them right away, moisture might not matter all that much.