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Cooking With Herbs /
Growing Herbs / Drying Herbs
/ Storing Herbs
Dried herbs - either
store-bought or fresh herbs you dried yourself - can be stored in
airtight glass containers or tins. Don't store them near a heat source,
like an oven, toaster oven, the top of your refrigerator or stove. This
will make them go stale sooner. If you keep your herbs on the countertop or in another place where they are exposed to a lot of light, it is
best to store them in dark-tinted containers. The best place for dried
herbs is a cool, dark cupboard.
Even though dried herbs keep for several years, it is
best to use them the first year, when they have the best flavor.
Stored Dried Parsley
Fresh Basil in Water
Basil, cilantro and parsley
stay fresh longest when stored in a glass with an inch of water on the
counter at room temperature. Trim the ends off first and replace the
water daily. This will keep them fresh for several days up to a week.
Other herbs, like chives,
thyme and rosemary, stay fresh longest when stored in an open or
perforated plastic bag in your refrigerator drawer or door compartment.
To make them last about a week or even longer, you should snip off the
bottom of the stems and place them in a glass with about an inch of
water. Cover them loosely with a moist cloth or plastic bag and keep
them on the top shelf of your refrigerator. Change the water daily.
When the leaves of the herbs
turn dark or the stems show traces of mold, you should throw the herbs
Freezing also works really
well with fresh herbs. You can store herbs in airtight glass containers in the freezer for about a year. Make
sure you wash and dry the leaves first. You won't need to thaw them
before adding them to your dish. Another way to freeze herbs is by
putting them in ice cube trays and filling the trays with water. Once they are
frozen, you can put the cubes in an airtight glass container. These
cubes can be added to soups or stocks without defrosting. You can also
defrost them in a strainer to use in other dishes. Frozen herbs keep
their flavor really well.
When you have too many fresh herbs, drying them (see
Drying Herbs) is also an option to make them last longer.
Herbs Frozen in Ice Cubes