Tips for Storing Herbs
Urban Roots is excited to announce that we’re bringing back our Farm Fact Friday! Each Friday while we’re in season, we will share farm related facts to bring the farm to you (make sure to follow our social media so you don’t miss out). We’re kicking things off with tips for herbal storage. Herbs can be difficult to keep on hand for long periods of time. Here are some ways to keep them fresher, longer:
– Some herbs like chives can be regrown in water! Put them in a small cup or something similar with shallow water, not too much sunlight, and they should continue growing. (For pet owners, if your critters are prone to being on the counter, make sure to research if they’re safe to leave out first. As a member of the onion family, chives are toxic to cats and dogs.)
– Fill a jar or cup with some fresh water for softer, more tender herbs to keep in your fridge. You can store herbs like basil, mint, or cilantro like this (chives can be stored like this too! Without the sunlight, they probably won’t be regrowing, however) which can stay fresh for up to weeks with proper storage. Make sure to change out the water every couple days, and covering them with a reusable bag can help keep them healthy and moist.
– Harder herbs, like rosemary, thyme, or sage, can be kept in a damp cloth and container to keep healthier longer. (The container keeps them from losing oxygen).
– For cooking, you can chop up herbs and freeze them with olive oil (yum!), just remember to move them to an airtight container when frozen to avoid freezer burn. When stored correctly, they can last as long as 12 months; make sure to check for freshness with a visual and sniff test before you use it to be safe. Alternatively, you can blend herbs with only a bit of olive oil to make a paste, and freeze likewise to use as a sauce.
– One of the oldest methods out there is to dry your herbs! Harder and stronger tasting herbs are better to dry, like rosemary, lavender, bay leaves, oregano, or thyme. More delicate ones like basil, chives, or cilantro would do better with the above methods. Once dried, your herbs can be stored for a long time. If you’re interested in learning more about drying methods, you learn more about it here.