The Best Way to Store Fresh Herbs
Herbs are an important part of the kitchen pantry and are used a lot in cooking. In fact, it was one of the first items introduced to the kitchen. Today, herbs play a huge role in the food industry, making the preparation of meals more enjoyable and tastier. If it is for cooking or for enhancing the taste of the food, herbs are one of the most important vegetables to have in the kitchen.
Always Keep Your Herbs Fresh
Every time you make a salad, you must know when to throw away that wilted romaine lettuce and add a new batch of it to the salad draw. But how do you know when it has been too long? Fresh herbs have a noticeably short shelf life, and many people don’t realize that the leaves will only stay fresh for a few days. If you wait too long, your leaves will start to wilt as time goes by.
If you want to keep fresh herbs for your next meal, you can use them up as soon as possible or learn the best way to store them. Check out the following ways on how to store fresh herbs:
- Refrigerate your herbs. There are separate ways to store fresh herbs, but often the most common way is to buy them and then store them in the refrigerator. Refrigerating herbs is one of the best ways to preserve their flavor and freshness. This is a great way to preserve the flavour and nutrients in herbs but also to keep them from wilting and being damaged by temperature fluctuations. This is a viable choice as long as you don’t mind the herbs spending a few weeks or months on the shelf. But how long can you keep your herbs stored in the fridge? Assuming that your herbs are stored in a cool, dry place, in good light and away from sunlight, keeping them there is a good idea. The average shelf life of fresh herbs is between 1 and 2 weeks. How long you keep your herbs individually depends on how long they last in the fridge and how long they last in the fridge, but most herbs should be kept in the fridge for no more than a week.
- Freeze your herbs. If you chop and place them on an ice cube tray and procced to freeze them then they could last longer. The herbs you purchase from the market will be dead after a few days, but there are many ways to keep them alive for as long as possible. If you want to keep fresh herbs from losing their flavour, try freezing them instead of storing them in the fridge. Freezing herbs is a wonderful way to keep them fresh and can even save money. As you should hopefully have to re-buy fresh herbs less often.
- Keep them dry. There are a host of ways to preserve herbs, but one of the best ways to store fresh herbs is by drying them in the oven or a microwave, if you had limited space to dry the herbs out. Simply cut the herbs and place them on a paper towel-lined plate. Cover the herbs with another paper towel and then microwave them. If you’re not sure whether your herbs are completely dry, then dry them in an oven until they are completely crispy. Dry herbs are exposed to air and light, which can lessen their flavour, making them less potent. This could mean that more of the herb may need to be used in cooking to maintain the same flavour that would ordinarily be achieved with fresh herbs. However, dried herbs could use less storage space overall.
- Use a Food dehydrator. Another option is to use a food dehydrator. The benefits of using a food dehydrator include the fact that the herbs can be kept for longer. It also may be a quicker way of completing the above preservation method. Still, it’s important to ensure the dehydrator is working properly. Check the expiration date on the package of herbs and make sure that the unit is working properly.
There is nothing more annoying than fresh herbs shrivelling up as soon as you get them home from the grocery store. It’s frustrating when they are still fresh, but their flavour is starting to fade away. There is nothing worse than having to throw away a bunch of fresh herbs because they lost their vibrant flavour. Make sure to store fresh herbs in a cool, dark, dry place. In general, keep the herbs away from direct sunlight, heat, and extreme cold.