Preserving Herbs

Now that the cooler weather is approaching, you may be thinking more and more about preserving herbs that are growing in your garden so that you can continue to use them and those left on the stem won’t die and go to waste.

There are a few different methods for preserving herbs, the most common being freezing and drying.

To freeze your herbs, coarsely chop them and place into ice cube trays filled with water or olive oil, OR spread them on a cookie sheet or other flat surface to freeze and then seal in a plastic bag.

This is our personal preference for preserving herbs because it is so easy to do and even easier to pop a cube into a soup or sauce when you’re cooking, but there are other methods if you’re interested in trying one of them.
Drying is another, more common, method of herb preservation though slightly  more complex.  To do this, first remove any dead foliage from the stems and lay them out to dry after rinsing them.  Once they are thoroughly dry, tie them into loose bundles with string and hang them upside down to dry in a warm, dry place away from sunlight.  It’s important to make sure the bundles are loose, allowing for air to circulate around and through to dry each leaf.  UV rays can reduce the quality of the herbs, along with moisture from dew outside, so it is best to dry your herbs indoors away from the sun.

If you’re in more of a rush, microwaves, ovens and food dehydrators can be used to speed up the drying process.

Finally, if freezing or drying really isn’t for you, growing your herbs indoors may be your best option.  Start small containers for each herb, make sure they get enough sunlight in the colder months and you’ll be able to use fresh herbs in your cooking year round!

Visit The Herb Guide for even more tips and tutorials.