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Be Healthy with Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs are too often tossed in the trash due to a lack of knowledge on how best to preserve them. Dried herbs are an alternative but they tend to lose their flavor and potency after a few months. Fresh herbs are a wonderful way to add fresh flavor to your meals so use these tips to maximize the fresh herbs you’ve bought in the grocery store or grown in your own herb garden.

Tender herbs, such as basil, cilantro, mint and parsley:

  • If storing in a bag, blow into the bag to create carbon dioxide and then seal. This can keep herbs fresh up to ten days. Make sure you’ve washed and patted the herbs dry before placing them in the bag. Watch the herbs again before using, as your breath in the bag may have spread pathogens.
  • Store the herbs on the top shelf, in the front.
  • If you know you will be using the herbs within a few days, you can place them in a jar with a small amount of water. Just change the water daily to keep them fresh.

Robust herbs, such as lavender, oregano, thyme and rosemary:

  • Preserve them in ice. Chop up the herbs and place a tablespoon in each hole of an ice cube tray, then fill the cube two-thirds of the way with broth or water and freeze them. You can save them in a plastic freezer bag and you use the cubes in soups, stews, omelets and more!
  • Dry the herbs properly. Using kitchen string, tie bunches of herbs and hang them upside down until completely dried. Then store in jars and keep them in dark locations.
  • If growing your own herbs at home, place them in a kitchen window or garden and snip when necessary. Your plants will keep growing and producing new leaves.