Preserving Herbs: Which Method Is Suitable?

During the summer months, the aroma of herbs is very intense. It is therefore worth conserving surpluses from your own garden and stocking up on spices. In this article, we have summarized which methods are available and which herbs they are suitable for.

Harvesting comes before preservation

Herbs should always be cut before flowering, as the concentration of essential oils, which are responsible for the taste, is then at its highest. A sunny morning before the midday heat sets in is ideal for harvesting the herbs.

  • Always cut herbs with a very sharp knife or scissors.
  • Cut off enough stems to leave about half.
  • Herbs such as lemon balm and mint, which taste rather unpleasant after flowering, can be radically cut back.

Drying herbs

This method is suitable for almost all kitchen herbs such as:

  • Thyme,
  • Rosemary,
  • Oregano,
  • Marjoram,
  • Sage,
  • Tarragon,
  • Mint,
  • Chamomile,
  • savory,
  • Chives,
  • Fennel,
  • Caraway seeds.

Drying the herbs is uncomplicated and does not require much effort:

  • Remove dirt from the harvested spice plants by shaking them out thoroughly.
  • You should only wash very dirty parts of the plant, as this prolongs the drying phase.
  • Gather the herbs into small bunches with twine or household elastics and hang them upside down in an airy, warm, and dark place.
  • Alternatively, you can place the kitchen herbs on large grids that you cover with gauze.
  • As soon as the leaves feel brittle, they are stripped from the stems and placed in dark, tightly fitting containers.

Herbs can also be dried in a dehydrator or oven. For this purpose, spread out the parts of the plant on a grate and dry them at the lowest possible temperature.

Freeze herbs

Soft-leaved herbs such as:

  • Chives,
  • Parsely,
  • Dill,
  • Chervil,
  • basil

can be preserved well in the freezer.

  1. Wash the fresh herbs and pat dry.
  2. chop finely
  3. Pour into ice cube trays and top up with a little water.
  4. You can give the cubes directly to the food.

Pickle herbs

Some herbs, such as dill and coriander, lose a lot of their flavor when dried. These can be preserved well by inserting them.

  • One way is to make a delicious pesto.
  • Alternatively, simply place some stalks of the herbs in high-quality olive oil and leave the bottle for two to three weeks. The strained oil has now taken on the flavor of the herbs and can be used to flavor dishes.
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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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