Adding herbs to a dish can enhance the flavor profile and make your quick and easy dinner taste like five-star cuisine. Most cooking enthusiasts grow herbs in their gardens and face the issue of herbs spoiling. It is never fun to watch herbs or any produce spoil before you have the chance to either use it in a dish or preserve it for later use.
Thankfully there are many ways to extend the life of your herbs. Typically, dried or preserved herbs in the proper conditions last for years. This means you no longer have to worry about tossing out herbs and wasting all your hard work. Below are all the tricks you must know to prevent your herbs from spoiling before you have the chance to use them.
Tips For Bringing Herbs Home
- Excess moisture can reduce the lifespan of the herb, so you need to make sure to wash the herbs properly with cold water and dry them up properly and make sure that not a single drop of moisture is left that could affect the taste of the herb. You can spread them out on a dry paper towel and pat them dry.
- Some herbs, such as parsley, basil, cilantro, and mint, need proper storage not to spoil. The first step to do is to spin the base of the stem and remove the discolored part of the herb. Now take a jar filled with an inch of water in it and transfer them. Put the lid on the jar and store them in a refrigerator. It would be best if you kept in mind to change the water of the jar every day. This process will retain the moistures of the herbs. When you store basil, you need to keep them in a jar at room temperature as the basil turns black once refrigerated.
- Take a damp paper towel and wrap the rosemary, thyme, and chives loosely. These herbs need some moisture so that they don’t dry completely, so the paper towel ensures that the herbs retain some moisture and do not dry out and keep the oxygen out.
Tips For Storing Fresh Herbs
When buying herbs, it is essential to store them properly as they lose their color and flavor quite soon. To keep the herbs fresh and dried up completely, you need to store them away from the moisture unless you need to use them for cooking. Some of the famous herbs used in our daily lives are cilantro, coriander, parsley, mint, chives, thyme, and celery. Do not store herbs in the refrigerator as soon as you buy them. If you do so, the moisture can make the leaves limp and soggy, which will waste money and food.
Some of the herbs can quickly go bad by several factors like moisture. Also, too much exposure to light can make their color go away. For example, it can make the leaf’s color turn pale yellow.
Tips For Storing Dried Herbs
This is one of the easiest methods of storing dried herbs. The only thing you have to compromise here is that the herbs can lose a little flavor, which is just a minor drawback of storing dried herbs. You can follow some methods to dry the herbs properly: hang them in bundles upside down, use a drying rack to dry them. Once these herbs are completely dried, you can store them in bags or containers. Oregano, rosemary, mint, sage, and lavender are herbs that need to be dried.
Another method is to use a counter tray to dry the herbs, you need to spread the herbs all over the kitchen counter, and it will dry in a few days. Ensure proper air circulation in the kitchen to soak all the moisture and leave the herbs to dry. To extend the life of the herb, you need to store them in a cool and dry place. Keep these herbs away from the sunlight as sunlight may ruin the potency of the herbs.
Preserving Herbs Using Oil
The infused oil is a fantastic way to store herbs. There are many creative ways that you can experiment with to find the right way to preserve herbs. One of the methods is simply adding herbs with olive oil and freezing them in an ice cube tray. Whenever you need oil, you simply pop out a herb-infused oil cube.
By preserving herbs, you are saving money and time. It also allows you to enjoy the fresh taste of herbs straight from the garden. So make sure that you do not waste any tips on preserving herbs this year. There are many other methods out there for you to explore once you understand the basics. Once you take charge of your herbs, you will be amazed by how fantastic your dishes taste.