If you are like me who loves to use fresh herbs, then maybe you can relate to my problem of making fresh herbs last longer. Using dried herbs are very convenient, I don’t have to worry of using it all at once, it store nicely and neatly, and they last longer without having to worry of it going wilted. Although this is the case, I still prefer using fresh herbs and spices whenever I can. I find fresh herbs more aromatic and flavorful when used to savory dishes like my Spicy Shrimp in Thai Coconut Sauce. They gave the dish a fresher taste and the food looks more attractive and tends to smell good. Smell plays a major role when it comes to food. Even before we actually eat the food, the smell is the first thing that attracts us to the food, not to mention of course the presentation and appearance.
For someone like me who live alone, I don’t cook big batches or servings of meal. Buying a bunch of Parsley, Basil or Cilantro may not be a problem if I am feeding an entire family. Being just me at home, a lot of times most of the fresh herbs just go to waste, shame. I feel terrible and bad whenever this happens. Sometimes, I try to find other food where I can use it, but I can only cook so much.
I normally store my herbs in the fridge, just like how I store my other vegetables. The problem with herbs is that some herbs have leaves that are soft, sometimes thinner and more fragile. Some herbs are also very sensitive to cold and moisture, which makes their shelf life shorter when stored in the fridge, while other herbs are better left at room temperature, like Basil.
There are different ways on storing or keeping herbs for longer shelf life. There are options like drying the herbs, freezing the herbs whole, having it puree before freezing it (like a pesto) or keeping the fresh herbs end submerged in water. I want to push my luck on trying to keep them fresh longer, so I prefer to do this method that I am going to show you. I thought that you might benefit from this tip that I found, so I decided to share it. I had tried it, and it does lengthen the shelf life of the herbs by few more days. The herbs lasted almost two weeks when kept this way, as compared to 1 week when stored in the fridge the normal way. It is very simple, and no fancy tricks here. All you need is a bottle or a jar, water and clean plastic. Let’s get started!
Water and bottle method to preserve fresh herbs in refrigerator
- Snip off the bottom of the stems.
- Make sure the leaves are completely dry, better to hold off rinsing them until you’re about to use them.
- Fill a jar or a water-glass partially with water and place the stem ends of the herbs into the water in the jar.
- If you are storing the herbs in the refrigerator, cover loosely with a plastic bag. Herb like Cilantro loves cool temperature and should be stored in the refrigerator. Parsley can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Basil is ideally stored at room temperature and not in the refrigerator, because it is susceptible to damage from cold.
- Change the water after several days if the water starts to discolor.
- Fresh parsley, cilantro, basil, and other fresh herbs can last up to 2 weeks or longer when stored this way.
Important Note: Humidity place a huge factor in using this method. If the humidity is dry, it is best to cover the herbs with damp paper towel to avoid wilting, then change the paper towels everyday. A little bit more work though to keep the herbs alive but could be worth the saving especially if herbs is expensive in where you are.
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Categories: Kitchen and Baking Tips
Good tips! The smell of fresh herbs is always so inviting. I always treat my herbs like a little flower bouquet and they do indeed last longer!
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even an extra day matters 🙂
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