Here are some easy Ways to Preserve Herbs that will help you to keep their flavor and aroma intact for a long time to come!
If you want to savor the rich flavor in your favorite cuisines, then follow these Ways to Preserve Herbs to ensure they stay fresh for a long time to come!
To grow the most fragrant herbs, click here
Tips to Follow Before Preserving Herbs
Before you start to preserve your favorite herbs, do make sure to follow these important tips.
- If you have grown your own herbs in the garden or pots, pick the leaves in the morning. The flavor is at its peak during that time.
- Do make sure that you are not including damaged leaves and stems.
- Wash the leaves properly in water to ensure they are devoid of any dirt or debris.
- Shake the leaves to remove excess water, and tap them dry with a paper towel.
Best Ways to Preserve Herbs
1. Bundle Method (Air Dry)
Tie herbs with kitchen twine and hang them upside down for up to two weeks. Once dry, store them in airtight containers in a cool, dry area. Make sure that the herbs are as dry as possible to eliminate the chances of mold formation.
You can also keep them bundled in brown paper bags with holes. The holes will provide the needed air circulation. After two weeks, store them in a mason jar.
2. Herb Brewed Vinegar
For this process, fill two cups of white or apple cider vinegar in a glass bottle with cork lids instead of metal caps (the acid in the vinegar won’t eat through cork!).
Use a ratio of half a cup of finely chopped fresh herbs with 2 cups of vinegar. Once done, store it in a dry, dark area, and let it sit for up to six weeks or more for intense flavor.
Note: Coat the cork with beeswax and put it on the bottle. When it hardens, seal the corners again with beeswax.
3. Freeze Herbs
Wash herbs and pat them dry with a soft cotton towel. Now, take paper towels, layer herbs, wrap them well and keep them in a freezer. Once they are frozen completely, you can keep them in ziplock bags in the refrigerator and consume them over a period of 7-10 days.
4. Herb Butter
Cut off the leaves of herbs and mix them with butter in a stand mixer. Once done, you can give the paste the desired shape of your choice and freeze them. It is better that you store them in an ice box as it will give you an option to take out one cube at a time.
The cubes can be used as a spread on bread slices or you can also use them in dishes.
5. Ice Cubes
Chop the herbs and sprinkle them in an ice cube tray (1 tsp in each cube), fill water, and freeze. You can use the cubes in dishes or beverages.
6. Make Seasoning Paste
You can prepare delicious seasoning salt at your home! Beat up herbs in a mixer with garlic, onions, bay leaves, and salt to make a paste. Refrigerate and use it as per the requirement! Find the recipe here.
7. Microwave Herbs
Use this simple and quick method to dry out herbs fast. However, do make sure that you are not keeping them long as you can burn the leaves. Before placing them in the microwave, remove excess water by shaking the herbs and place the leaves between 2 paper towels, and microwave for 20-30 seconds on high.
It will dry up the herb, and you can then use them for 6-10 days. Do make sure you are storing them in air-tight containers.
8. Use a Dehydrator
Put the herbs in a dehydrator and turn it on. Make sure to rotate the stems and leaves so that they dry evenly. Modern dehydrators have automated settings that you can use with ease.
You can use this on Basil, Tarragon, Lavender, Thyme, Mint, Rosemary, Sage, Dill, Oregano, and Lemon Balm.
9. Herb Oil
It’s another great way to preserve herbs, and you can use it on salad and Italian dressing. Dry herbs, put them in a bottle, add olive oil, and seal the opening using cork lids. Keep it in a dry and dark place. In 7-8 weeks, you will have your own flavored herb oil!
10. Layer them Between Salt and Sugar
Add fresh leaves of herbs between a layer of salt and sugar, covering them completely. Keep them till they are desiccated. Once done, dust them off and keep them in an airtight container. This way, you can use them for 1-2 months.
11. Herbal Honey
As honey has natural antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties, it can keep herbs for a long time. Make sure that you are using local honey (get it from a local beekeeper).
Take a mason jar, add whole or minced herbs to it, and cover with honey. Keep the mixture in a cool and dark place for 8-10 weeks for the flavors to penetrate deeply. You can use it to flavor dishes, syrup topping, and baking!
12. Olive Oil Cubes
Keeping herbs in olive oil cubes is another great option to store them for a long time. Take an ice tray, add chopped herbs of your choice, top it up with olive oil, and keep them in the freezer.
Once they are frozen, you will have individual cubes of olive oil infused with herbs that you can later use while frying. The cubes can be shredded over salads or toppings too!
13. Keep them Frozen
Freezing herbs in a ziplock or paper bag will also do the trick to keep the flavor and aroma intact for a long time. Take them out of the freezer 10-15 mins before using to bring them back to room temperature.
14. Salt Preserve Herbs
For preserving herbs in salt, make sure you are using sea or kosher salt and not the iodine one.
- Take a clean mason jar and add a layer of salt at the bottom.
- Wash and dry herbs completely and add only the leaves in layers. Add one layer of leaves followed by one layer of salt. Repeat this till the jar gets full. Once done, refrigerate.
- Check the next day. You will see that the herbs will shrink and lose volume, creating more space in the jar. Top it up with a layer of salt and herbs again. Keep doing this till the herbs stop losing volume.
- This way, you can store herbs for 4-6 months. Before using, take them out of the jar, dust the salt, wash in cold water, and use!