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A Guide to Keeping Herbs Fresher For Longer

 In a nutshell, fresh herbs make you a better cook, because they can help you add a little something extra to the dishes you’re preparing. The thing is that they need to be stored properly in order for them to retain their flavor. Here’s your guide to storing fresh herbs properly:

 

 

 

1. How to Wash and Dry Your Herbs

Fresh herbs should always be washed with cool water and dried properly to rid them of excess moisture, which could lead to decay. There are two ways you can do this, namely washing the bunch under the sink and laying it out on paper towels to dry, or giving them a good spin in a salad spinner.

 

2. Why Herbs Go Bad in the Fridge

Numerous different factors cause herbs to go bad. One such factor is moisture – it can turn them slimy if it’s there in excess, and turn them yellow if it’s lacking. Another factor that causes them to go bad is excess oxygen. Cold temperatures and excessive exposure to light can also have a detrimental effect on them, and that’s why you need to find a happy medium between these four factors in order to make them last as long as possible. The following method will teach you how to make your fresh herbs last for up to three weeks:

3. Knowing the Difference Between Soft and Hard Herbs

Soft herbs such as basil, cilantro, and parsley have tender stems and leaves, whereas hard herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and sage have woodier stems and firmer leaves. These differences affect how you should store and cook with them, as well as indicate which season they’re harvested in. Soft herbs are in season during the spring and fall, whereas hard herbs are in season well into early to mid-fall.

 

4.1 How to Store Soft Herbs in the Fridge

Soft herbs should be handled as if they were a bouquet of flowers. Fill a glass with cool water, trim the ends of the stems, place the herbs in a glass and put them in the fridge. Cover them loosely with a plastic bag and change the water every couple of days to keep them fresh. Basil is an exception to this rule – it should be left out on a counter at room temperature because your fridge will make them turn black.

The Most Common Soft Herbs Are:

• Parsely
• Cilantro
• Dill
• Basil
• Tarragon
• Mint

 

4.2 How to Store Hard Herbs in the Fridge

Hard herbs should be wrapped loosely in a damp paper towel and placed in an airtight container. You can also use a resealable bag. Store the herbs in your fridge’s crisper drawer. The paper towel keeps the herbs just moist enough and prevents them from drying out.

The Most Common Hard Herbs Are:

• Rosemary
• Thyme
• Chives
• Sage
• Oregano

 

5. How Long to Store Your Herbs For

Fresh herbs can last for up to three weeks if they’re properly cared for. This is a list of the most common herbs together with how long they tend to last. Remember that when herbs start to turn dark, brittle or the stems begin to go moldy, it’s time to dispose of them:

Soft Herbs

Parsley – 3 weeks

Dill – 3 weeks

Cilantro – 3 weeks

Mint – 2 weeks

Tarragon – 3 weeks

Basil – 2 weeks

Hard Herbs

Rosemary – 3 weeks

Oregano – 2 weeks

Thyme – 2 weeks

Sage – 2 weeks

Savory – 2 weeks

Chives – 1 week

 

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Images by Deposit Photos

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