How to Keep Herbs Fresh

Fresh herbs can make a bland recipe pop with flavor, but they go bad so quickly. Let me show you how to keep herbs fresh longer, so you can use them before you lose them.

How to Keep Herbs Fresh | ASpicyPerspective.com #howto #herbs #cooking

So… how many bunches of fresh herbs do you throw out a year?

A dozen? One a week?

At 1-3 dollars a bunch, it’s such a loss to constantly throw out sludgy herbs that lasted only a day or two in the fridge.

Today I’d like to show you how I keep herbs fresh.

P.S. The very best way to keep herbs fresh is to grow them yourself and only cut small portions as needed. Yet if that’s not an option, or you have a large crop that needs to be trimmed back, these methods work well.

How to Keep Herbs Fresh | ASpicyPerspective.com #howto #herbs #cooking

Method #1, The “Bouquet” Approach.

MY OTHER RECIPES


Think of your fresh herbs as a bouquet of fresh cut flowers. How do you keep them from wilting?

You snip the ends to allow for proper water absorption and place them in a vase of clean water.

You can treat your fresh herbs exactly the same way. The only problem is, most fresh herbs are slightly more delicate than flower stems. I only leave them sitting out on the counter in a jar or vase when I plan to use them up in a day or two.

How to Keep Fresh Herbs | ASpicyPerspective.com #howto #herbs #cooking

If you need your herbs to last longer, cover the top with a plastic bag for insulation, and place the jars in the refrigerator. This will keep them from wilting or drying out. Your fresh herbs will usually last at least a week. Longer for hearty herbs like parsley and sage.

Method #2, The Paper Towel Approach.

If you are concerned about jars of water tipping in your fridge, or simply don’t have the space for them. I’d use this method.

Lay your fresh herbs out on a clean paper towel. Spread them out a little so they are not tightly bunched together.

How to Keep Fresh Herbs | ASpicyPerspective.com #howto #herbs #cooking

Then roll the fresh herbs into a little paper towel burrito. Place the rolled herbs in a large zip bag and squeeze out as much air as possible.

How to Save Fresh Herbs | ASpicyPerspective.com #howto #herbs #cooking

This works well very for fragile herbs like cilantro or basil.

Finally, if I notice my herbs are starting to wilt and there’s no saving them, I do one of three things:

  • Freeze them to use later.
  • Chop them and throw them in green salad to serve with dinner.
  • Or make stock.

That way, my fresh herbs never have to be thrown away!

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50 comments on “How to Keep Herbs Fresh

  1. Belinda @zomppaposted May 15, 2013 at 4:41 am Reply

    Great tips! I admit I toss out more than I’d like!

  2. Julie Wunder @ runninginaskirtposted May 15, 2013 at 4:48 am Reply

    Great ideas! I always hate to throw away expensive fresh herbs!

  3. Tieghanposted May 15, 2013 at 5:44 am Reply

    Awesome tips!! i throw out at least one a bunch a week and hate myself for it every time!! I can not wait to try these!

  4. Mariaposted May 15, 2013 at 6:11 am Reply

    Great tips! Fresh herbs are the best!

  5. Robyn Stone | Add a Pinchposted May 15, 2013 at 6:32 am Reply

    There’s nothing like fresh herbs in your cooking!!! I like to grow mine too, but sometimes I do buy certain herbs, so thanks for these tips as reminders about storing them!!!

  6. Brian @ A Thought For Foodposted May 15, 2013 at 6:56 am Reply

    I need to follow these approaches because I typically just keep mine in the refrigerator… in a bag. It’s not the best method, I know, but I really hadn’t thought to look into ways of storing them. Thanks for this great post!

  7. Jeanetteposted May 15, 2013 at 7:05 am Reply

    Great tips Sommer – I find basil turns brown for some reason so I end up turning it into pesto if I don’t use it up soon after I buy it.

  8. Julie @ Table for Twoposted May 15, 2013 at 7:18 am Reply

    such great tips! my basil always dies on me in a couple of days!! love this post so much..especially since i’ll be using lots of herbs this summer!

  9. Leah | So, How's It Taste?posted May 15, 2013 at 7:40 am Reply

    This is a great post! I’m always throwing away herbs and it feels like such a waste.

  10. Kevin @ Closet Cookingposted May 15, 2013 at 7:42 am Reply

    Great tips! I throw way to many fresh herbs out every week when they go bad!

  11. shelly (cookies and cups)posted May 15, 2013 at 8:07 am Reply

    Love these tips! I am the WORST about throwing out fresh herbs.

  12. Jennieposted May 15, 2013 at 8:18 am Reply

    This is such a great tutorial. Thanks!

  13. Marian (Sweetopia)posted May 15, 2013 at 8:28 am Reply

    Sommer, I’m loving all these practical posts! YOU should come teach my students. ;-)

  14. Gabyposted May 15, 2013 at 9:03 am Reply

    this is so helpful! Thank you :)

  15. Heather Christoposted May 15, 2013 at 9:12 am Reply

    this was a very useful post Sommer- great tips!

  16. Paula - bell'alimentoposted May 15, 2013 at 9:42 am Reply

    I love keeping mine is my weck jars : )

  17. Marlyposted May 15, 2013 at 10:02 am Reply

    These are great tips! I hate having things go bad in the fridge…especially herbs!

  18. marlaposted May 15, 2013 at 10:21 am Reply

    I so needed this post ’cause I have really figured out how to make herbs wilt….. ;)

  19. Amandaposted May 15, 2013 at 10:24 am Reply

    Thanks for the tips! It makes me so sad when my fresh herbs become not so fresh, this helps so much :)

  20. Jenny Flakeposted May 15, 2013 at 10:28 am Reply

    Lovely post Sommer!

  21. Juliaposted May 15, 2013 at 11:50 am Reply

    Great post! I use so many herbs and sometimes have trouble keeping them fresh. I love the bouquet approach! :)

  22. Marjory @ Dinner-Momposted May 15, 2013 at 12:50 pm Reply

    Very useful post. I never thought of treating herbs like cut flowers. I always end up buying a plant when I know I will need a certain herb because I know I can keep it going for at least a few weeks…and then I try to plan accordingly :)

  23. Candiceposted May 15, 2013 at 1:23 pm Reply

    Great tips! I have some herbs that I purchased at the supermarket and it’s probably bad by now.

  24. Colette @ JFF!posted May 15, 2013 at 2:17 pm Reply

    These are great ideas, S.
    I found out (accidentally) that herbs do well in glass.
    Even basil survives.

  25. Betty Lynneposted May 15, 2013 at 3:54 pm Reply

    I did the freezer trick last fall when our herb garden was still producing. Took an ice cube tray, filled each space with some olive oil then dropped in some snipped basil and oregano. Loved being able to pull those out and toss them in a pan during the winter!

  26. Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.posted May 15, 2013 at 5:43 pm Reply

    great work!

  27. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppersposted May 15, 2013 at 6:38 pm Reply

    Wonderful post! I tend to throw out to many herbs. I do keep them in a glass in the fridge, but I like the idea of wrapping them in a paper towel.

  28. Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchenposted May 15, 2013 at 7:06 pm Reply

    Terrific tips, Sommer! I use the paper towel approach, but I very lightly moisten it with cold water first. Love the idea of treating herbs like fresh cut flowers! Pinning…

  29. Laura (Tutti Dolci)posted May 15, 2013 at 8:21 pm Reply

    I’ve tried the bouquet, but now I’m going to try the paper towel method – great idea!

  30. Kiran @ KiranTarun.composted May 15, 2013 at 8:43 pm Reply

    Great tips, Sommer! Basil doesn’t last too long and I need to try some of this tips to see which works the best. Thanks for sharing :)

  31. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebelposted May 15, 2013 at 9:13 pm Reply

    This is a great post since normally, I’m throwing out more herbs than I can even use!

  32. Shelbyposted May 15, 2013 at 9:26 pm Reply

    I keep fresh herbs from my garden in pretty small vases on my counter all summer.
    Sometimes they develop roots and last a very long time. Cold seems to really hurt basil.
    It does much better for me on the counter. Thanks for the tips.

  33. Val - Once A Week Cookingposted May 15, 2013 at 10:54 pm Reply

    Thank you for the great suggestions. I hate throwing out fresh herbs and I don’t seem to plan enough recipes to use up a bunch quickly.

    I’m starting to grow a few of the basic herbs and I’m sure I’ve overplanted so these tips will come in handy to tell my friends and family when I’m bringing them bunches lol

  34. Carolynposted May 16, 2013 at 5:56 am Reply

    My favourite way to keep herbs fresh is to grow them myself and cut some when I need it! ;)

  35. Jennifer @ Mother Thymeposted May 16, 2013 at 6:16 am Reply

    Great tips, Sommer! I love the idea of putting a plastic bag over the jars to keep them fresh in the refrigerator. I’ll definitely be doing that!

  36. Cherryposted May 16, 2013 at 7:06 am Reply

    Thanks for these great tips! Have been wanting to start growing more herbs – and I am grateful for these good tips on storing them, and keeping them fresh longer.

  37. Aimee @ Simple Bitesposted May 16, 2013 at 7:09 am Reply

    So smart! This is so handy as our gardens will soon begin producing herbs in abundance. I use the jar/plastic method most of the time. =)

  38. Tara @ Unsophisticookposted May 16, 2013 at 7:22 am Reply

    Great suggestions! I hate throwing out herbs that are past their prime too.

  39. BusyWorkingMamaposted May 16, 2013 at 2:26 pm Reply

    I roll mine into a wet paper towel and keep in a big ziploc in crisper. I’ve had cilantro last 2 weeks. Works great with lettuce and kale, too!

  40. Lokness @ The Missing Loknessposted May 16, 2013 at 3:15 pm Reply

    Great post! I would love to save some money on the herbs!

  41. nessaposted May 16, 2013 at 7:26 pm Reply

    Super smart! I hate throwing out herbs; I will definitely use these tips!

  42. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchenposted May 16, 2013 at 8:46 pm Reply

    I love keeping fresh herbs and I usually do the paper towel and baggie method, great tips!

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  44. Nicoleposted May 19, 2013 at 10:29 am Reply

    Great tips! This is very helpful, I will definitely try these. I always get a big bunch of italian parsley and don’t get a chance to use at least half of it.

  45. Nutmeg Nannyposted May 19, 2013 at 11:21 am Reply

    These are some really helpful tips!

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  47. Aggieposted May 21, 2013 at 7:51 am Reply

    Awesome post! I love keeping them as bouquets honestly, because I tend to use them more if they are sitting out.

  48. Russell van Kraayenburgposted May 22, 2013 at 7:27 am Reply

    Another super helpful post! I always hate when herbs go bad after buying them at the store or after I accidentally pick way too many from my garden. Thanks for the tips!

  49. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggiesposted May 28, 2013 at 7:31 pm Reply

    I love this, Sommer! It kills me a little bit to waste herbs, but so many recipes call for a tiny bit and they only sell them in big bunches at the store.

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