Why use fresh herbs? They are a simple, natural and healthy way to add a burst of flavor to many of your favorite foods, without all of the fats, sugars and artificial flavorings you make be accustomed to. Think that fresh herbs are only for main dishes? Think again! They are also perfect for adding amazing flavor to just about any food or drink, including infused water, salad dressings, sugars, teas, desserts and breads. There is just one problem with fresh herbs - they go bad so quickly! So what can you do?
Try any of these five simple tips for storing fresh herbs:
- Buy herbs as fresh as possible - it doesn't get any fresher than growing your own, but weather and growing space can limit your growing options. The next best option is to buy fresh herbs from the local farmers market or grocery. The freshest herbs are generally the ones that will stay firm and flavorful longer. So how can to know if your herbs are at their peak freshness? If packaged, check the 'best by' or 'use by' date. Inspect the herbs closely and check for consistency - make sure that all of the leaves are firm, and that some are not brown or wilted. The colors of the leaves should be bright, not dull. Not sure which herbs are the freshest? Ask the experts - the local farmer, merchant or grocer selling them are an often untapped or underutilized wealth of knowledge about the herbs and selecting the freshest ones.
- Get them home as quickly as possible - think of fresh herbs like cut flowers. They need to be kept cool and placed in water as quickly as possible to keep them at their peak freshness longer and to prevent them from wilting.
- Store fresh herbs in a container designed for fresh herbs, an herb keeper - the right container will make all of the difference when storing herbs. Herb keepers are specifically designed to extend the life of perishable herbs, and have the added bonus of making fresh herb storage super easy. You just add a small amount of water to the base, add your fresh herbs and place the herb keeper in the refrigerator.
- Enjoy fresh herbs even longer by freezing them - an added bonus to freezing? You can have fresh herbs at your fingertips whenever you need them right from the freezer, and it's super simple to do with the Herbsicle Frozen Herb Keeper. Just fill it with fresh leafy herbs and freeze, then when you need them, simply cut or grate the herbs you need directly into your pan or dish. The Spicecube is also perfect for storing a variety of fresh herbs in one container right in your freezer, and is an ideal solution for storing fresh herbs in premeasured amounts.
- Try drying your fresh herbs to store them even longer - just clean and dry the herbs, bundle them at the stem then hang them upside down until thoroughly dried. Once dry, they can be easily stored in airtight food storage containers until needed.