How to Preserve Fresh Herbs

How to Preserve Fresh Herbs for Later Use

Last Updated on July 25, 2022 by Share My Kitchen

These are two simple ways to preserve fresh herbs from your own garden. There are also some helpful tips and details about how to preserve fresh herbs by drying and freezing.

You started a herb garden earlier this season, and it is now bursting with wonderful, fresh herbs. There are more herbs than you can eat fresh. What should you do about all of those herbs? Here are the top two ways to preserve them. They are simple, and will preserve the herbs’ flavors for you to enjoy in the colder months.

It is so simple to grow a herb-garden each year. You don’t even need to have a green thumb! Also, nothing beats the fresh flavor that herbs bring to meals.

There will definitely come a point where your herb garden just explodes with herbs. Despite fresh herbs adding delicious flavor to your food, there will just be so much to go through. Therefore, to preserve your herbs and to enjoy them throughout the winter, you can dry or freeze them.

Tip: It is best to chop the herbs in the morning, after the dew has dried, but before the sun shines down on them.

Ingredients

  • Fresh Herbs
  • Olive oil or broth, for freezing method

Equipment

  • Freezing Method: ice cube tray or silicone mini muffin tray or baby food storage tray
  • Drying Method: kitchen twine and small storage containers

How to Freeze Fresh Herbs

To preserve herbs by freezing, you can simply:

  1. Use a damp cloth to clean the herbs, then chop them finely.
  2. Put your chopped herbs in an ice tray, silicone muffin tray, or baby food storage tray. Tip: This is the perfect way to repurpose the baby food storage trays you have after your child is no longer eating baby food.
  3. Add olive oil or broth enough to cover the herbs.
  4. Put them in the freezer. After they have frozen, transfer cubes to a freezer bag or container. Then, keep in the freezer

Tip: You can either freeze individual herbs or combine those that work well together, such as rosemary and thyme.

Ways to Use Frozen Herb Cubes

You can melt the olive oil herb cubes, and use them when you are sauteing or making salad dressings. While you use the frozen broth herb cubes in soups, stews, pasta sauces, or anything that needs a bit of flavor boost.

How to Dry Fresh Herbs

Few of the best herbs to dry are rosemary, mint, sage, oregano, and thyme. If you plan to dry herbs to preserve them, you simply need to:

  1. Use kitchen twine to tie small bundles of herbs around the stems.
  2. Hang upside down in a dark, dry, and well ventilated area.
  3. Let the herbs dry completely. This will take approximately 1-3 weeks. Once the leaves crumble easily, they are ready.
  4. Take the dried leaves off the stems, and place them in an airtight container, such as small mason jars.

Tip: In order to remove the dried leaves, first, line a baking sheet using parchment paper. Then, place all leaves on the tray. If your baking sheet has a larger surface, you can quickly remove the leaves without making too much mess. Now, hold the parchment paper on each end, and make a funnel. Then, you can pour your herbs into a container.

Ways to Use Dried Herbs

They can be used in all recipes that call for dried herbs. All your holiday dishes will be enhanced with the wonderful flavors of rosemary, thyme, and sage. You can also use dried mint as loose leaf tea. It is very fragrant and flavorful. It will also be great to try to grow and dry unique varieties of mint for tea, such as strawberry mint and chocolate mint.

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