How To Keep Herbs Fresh: 10 Tricks To Try ASAP

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Are you sick and tired of constantly throwing out your wilted herbs? Do you want to find ways to keep those herbs fresh for longer? Herbs are your best ally in the kitchen since they greatly enhance the flavor of any dish. So, it’s good to know how to take care of them so they can retain their freshness, and you can save money by not constantly throwing out wilted herbs before you can use them.

1. Freeze Fresh Herbs

Herbs frozen in an ice cube tray.
Photo Credit: Viktory Panchenko/Shutterstock.

Your freezer is one of the most important tools in the kitchen for preserving your food, including fresh herbs. Freezing fresh herbs is like pressing the pause button. It retains the state of the herbs when you freeze them to maximize flavor when you are ready to use them for cooking. Chop your fresh herbs and place them in an ice cube tray with olive oil or water. Then, you can take out a cube or two when you need them.

2. Place Them in a Water-Filled Jar or Container

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Cut the bottom half inch or so of the herb stems off and set them in a container with about a half inch of water in the bottom. Avoid the leaves making contact with the water, and then cover the herbs with a clear plastic bag. Store it in the refrigerator.

3. Storing Hardier Herbs

A bunch of herbs laying on a paper towel on a cutting board. A roll of paper towels lays to the right of it.
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Hardier herbs, like rosemary, are easier to store because they are not as delicate as softer herbs. You can store it in a glass of water to keep them hydrated, or dampen a paper towel and use it to wrap them. Make sure to re-moisten the towel to keep the herbs fresh.

4. Store Away from Sunlight

A bunch of herbs in a glass of water sitting in an empty fridge.
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Store fresh herbs in a cool, dry place. Avoid placing them where they can get direct sunlight exposure. Even if you regularly use the herb, you should still store it in a cool place. Namely, the fridge.

5. Make An Herb Butter

Herb butter on a cutting board with a stack of toast sitting next to it.
Photo Credit: Iaroshenko Maryna/Shutterstock.

Aside from freezing, you can preserve fresh herbs by adding them to butter. Herb-infused butter can be prepared by blending softened butter with chopped fresh herbs. Roll the butter again and allow it to harden again. You can slice the amount of herb-infused butter you need for certain recipes and add herbaceous goodness to your cooking.

6. Herb-Infused Oil

Glass bottles filled with oil and herbs sitting on a wood counter.
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Make flavorful concoctions when you preserve your fresh herbs in oil. Fill a jar of oil with finely chopped herbs and let it sit for a few days or weeks. The longer the herbs are allowed to sit in the oil, the more flavorful it becomes.

7. Know Your Herb

A bunch of fresh basil on a cutting board.
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Each herb is different, and they have varying shelf life. Therefore, it pays to know how long a certain herb will last and the best way to store it. It will ensure you follow the correct storage method to extend its shelf life. Read up on the particular herbs you are trying to store to learn the best methods for each herb.

8. Hang in Bunches

Hanging bunches of herbs in a row.
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Drying herbs is a great way to keep them fresh for longer. Use a cooking twine to tie the stems of fresh herbs together. Once tied together, hang the herb bundles upside down in a dry place with good circulation. This storing method can keep fresh herbs for up to two weeks and then lets you store them dried in jars.

9. Use an Herb Keeper Or Vacuum Sealer

A pack of vacuum sealed fresh herbs.
Photo Credit: Vova Shevchuk/Shutterstock.

If you haven’t used an herb keeper or vacuum sealer before, now is the time to start. They both eliminate excess moisture that can speed up the herb’s wilting process.

10. Dehydrate Herbs

Herb leaves dehydrating on a dehydrator tray.
Photo Credit: Katerina Morozova/Shutterstock.

Dehydrating herbs is a great way to preserve fresh herbs so you can use them for cooking longer. The dehydration process dries the leaves but retains the flavor.

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This originally appeared on The Gracious Pantry.

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