Herbs are like berries, they are delicious, but they don’t stick around for long. They have a tendency to start wilting the moment you get home and require you to use them up quite quickly. As a result, many people like to save their herbs for later. This way, you can still enjoy the flavor of fresh herbs without having to buy them regularly or watch them go to waste.
We all love to use fresh herbs in our cooking. The taste just doesn’t compare to the dried herbs that you buy at the stores. These tips are great when you buy herbs in season so that you can still enjoy them out of season!
Freezing herbs is probably the most effortless way of saving fresh herbs for later. All you have to do is flash freeze the herbs in the freezer for about an hour before sealing them in an airtight container or baggy.
This is a fast and easy way to salvage those fresh herbs that are quickly wilting in the fridge. The only thing to keep in mind is that the herbs will turn an unpleasant shade of brown. This can be unsightly in dishes, which is why many tend to stay away from this option even though it is so simple.
Freeze Them in Oil
The next best option when it comes to freezing herbs is to freeze them in oil. This not only preserves the color of the herbs, but it infuses the oil as well!
All you need to do is chop up the herbs, remove the stems, and put them into a container with oil. Make sure that the oil covers them completely.
An ice cube container is an ideal choice for the container, as you can pop the oil herb cubes out and store them in an airtight container for later. They are also perfectly portioned, so they can easily be thrown into dishes as you make them! Olive oil is usually the best oil as it freezes very well and is versatile.
All you need to do is wash the herbs and follow your dehydrator’s instructions. Once they are completely dry, you can crush them up and store them with your other seasonings.
By dehydrating fresh herbs, you can easily preserve them for later, and they are easy to throw into dishes. The downside to this method is that the flavors of the herbs will become dulled. They will not be as fresh and vibrant as fresh herbs, and you will need to use more to get the right amount of flavor.
Preserve in Salt
Another easy way to save fresh herbs is to preserve them in sea salt. This is a great method that also results in herb-flavored salts for seasoning food with! You can either use the salt and herbs together, or wash the salt off when you’re ready to use the herbs
All you have to do is cover fresh herbs with plenty of sea salt. If you have a bunch of herbs to save, make sure to create layers of herbs and salt to keep everything preserved.
Salt is a natural preserving ingredient and will help your herbs to stay fresh and tasty. The only downside to this method is that it can be unpredictable sometimes. You might end up with brown herbs, or the herbs might even start to weep into the salt.
Add to Canned Goods
If you are a canner, this is a perfect tip for you! You can easily save fresh herbs in canned goods such as sauces, tomato recipes, soups, and pickles.
Just keep in mind that large amounts of herbs could interfere with your canning recipe. Make sure to take that into account and add more acidity to balance it out.
Another less common way of saving fresh herbs is making them into potent extracts. We hear mostly about sweet extracts such as vanilla, cinnamon, or coconut, but herbal extracts are just as easy to make and just as tasty.
All you need to do is infuse your herbs into a liquid such as alcohol, vinegar, or vegetable glycerin. Alcohol will create a stronger extract, vinegar will lend a vinegary taste to whatever you add it to, and glycerin is quite sweet.
The extract will need to be infused for about 4 to 6 weeks. Then, they can be added to your meals as you would normally add herbs. Just keep in mind that extracts are potent, and you don’t need to use much of them.
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