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.
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.
Method #1, The “Bouquet” Approach.
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.
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.
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.
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!