How To Store Herbs

Herbs are indispensable in the kitchen because they refine food and have positive effects on health. However, fresh plant parts have a short shelf life, which you can extend with a number of methods.

Bunch of herbs in the vase

If you consume kitchen herbs within a short time, we recommend storing them in a vase filled with water. This keeps the leaves fresh for a while as they continue to be hydrated. Add some dextrose to increase success.

Depending on the plant, you can extend the shelf life to five to ten days. Some herbs such as burnet, wild garlic and dandelion are not suitable for this method as their aroma quickly weakens. The stalks of chives absorb too much liquid and become slimy.

Leaves in the fridge

When storing them in the vegetable drawer, make sure that the herbs do not lose too much moisture. A sealable container is ideal to take advantage of shelf life. Put a few drops of tap water in the container so that the plant parts are surrounded by moist air and do not dry out. In this way, sorrel, chives, wild garlic, or parsley will keep for up to two weeks.

Long shelf life in the freezer

Frozen herbs can be kept for up to ten months. However, they lose their flavor over time. Freezing is the only way of preserving burnet, wild garlic, and borage. Oregano, thyme, marjoram, and rosemary can also be frozen.

Making herb cubes:

  • Chop the plant parts as small as possible
  • portion into ice cube trays
  • fill up with water and freeze
  • suitable for chives, dill, parsley, thyme, tarragon, lemon balm, and basil

Dry herbs

Species whose plant parts contain little moisture are more suitable for preservation by drying. These include Mediterranean plants such as rosemary and thyme. You can dry any herb except cress and borage. Bundle the herbs and hang them in a place with warm air and good ventilation. They are optimally dried when the leaves rustle slightly when touched.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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