Best Ways to Store Fresh Herbs

by Karen Bates
(last updated May 15, 2015)

Many chefs agree that foods taste best when fresh herbs are used in the recipe. Compared to the herbs and spices that you find in bottles and jars, fresh almost always seems to add something special to the taste of a meal.

It is true, however, that keeping fresh herbs around is a lot more challenging than simply buying a bottle of dried herbs. After all, with the dried herbs you don't have to worry much about them going bad or about chopping and dicing them for recipes. There are some cases, though, where fresh really is best, and you may find that keeping some fresh herbs on hand isn't as difficult as you may have thought. It is even possible to get most herbs to last over a week if stored correctly.

To store fresh herbs, try these ideas to help extend life and flavor:

  • Make an Herb Bouquet. Just like flowers, you can help fresh herbs last longer by keeping them in water. Stick the herbs in a vase with some water and leave them on your counter for a few days. As a bonus, they will look nice and smell great, too!
  • Store in the Refrigerator. The cool environment of the refrigerator can help keep some herbs fresher. For the best results, carefully rinse the herbs with water and place them in a loose paper towel. You can also place the wrapped herbs in a plastic baggie. Be careful, though: some herbs don't do as well in the refrigerator as others.
  • Drying. You can dry your herbs to use later if you aren't able to use them right away. The easiest way to do this is to hang your herbs and let them dry over the course of a few days. Once they are dry, you can store them away to use another day.
  • Freezing. If you end up with more fresh herbs than you know you'll be able to use before they go bad, freezing can be a great way to store them for months. Freezing often keeps most of the flavor of the herb, although some will be lost over time. To freeze, take the leaves off of the herb's stem and place them in a baggie (like a Zip Lock freezer bag) in one layer. Put them in your freezer, and you can use them like fresh herbs for months.
  • Grow Your Own. If you like plants and gardening, one way to have fresh herbs around is to grow them yourself. Keep some herb plants in your kitchen or garden and you'll have the freshest possible herbs at hand for your recipes.

With these ideas, you will be able to keep fresh herbs around your house for delicious recipes.

Author Bio

Karen Bates

An English student who enjoys writing and art, Karen has had her poetry published in her university's literary journal and has several novels in the works. ...

MORE FROM KAREN

Removing Stains From Wood Shingles

Over time, wood shingles can begin to look dirty, stained, or overgrown with moss. With a cleaning solution and other ...

Discover More

Remove Blood Stains from Walls

Blood can stain surfaces and be difficult to remove. Follow different removal techniques depending on the type of wall ...

Discover More

Wood Floor Cleaner

Wood flooring is a popular and attractive option to install in many homes. Clean your wood floor correctly to prevent damage ...

Discover More
More Cooking Tips

Bergamot and Borage

The herbs bergamot and borage are both fairly interesting and quite useful in the kitchen. Since it never hurts to learn as ...

Discover More

Great Taste without Salt

Sometimes salt isn't the healthiest way to go with your cooking, so you need to find ways to season your food without salt. ...

Discover More

What is Basil?

Basil, or Ocimum basilicum, can be found in many areas of our everyday lives. In fact, this wonderful little herb has more ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured cooking tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 + 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Videos

Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured cooking tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)