If it were possible, wouldn’t having a kitchen garden be amazing? Assuming that you are yet to own one, the least you can do is to continue enjoying the taste of natural and fresh herbs you buy from the local farmers market. Since herbs like sage, parsley, cilantro, basil, rosemary and thyme are likely to wilt or dry after a while, it’s important that you know how to keep herbs fresh longer. Below are the steps that will enable you do exactly that.
SPET 1: CAREFULLY CHOOSE THE HERBS.
If you intend to preserve the herbs for a while, you have to make sure that you buy the best herbs. Ideally, the herbs in question should be crisp, bright and green and, with a strong scent that can be smelled from a distance. In addition, the herbs should be hole-free, breach-free and shouldn’t have any of their leaves bruised.
STEP 2: SORT THEM.
There are two main categories of herbs: soft (parsley, tarragon, cilantro and basil) and hard (rosemary, thyme, oregano and marjoram), you will need to sort them in to these two groups.
STEP 3: STORE THE HERBS APPROPRIATELY:
When storing the soft herbs, start by first cutting their bases/stems before putting them in a glass of fresh water (1-2 inches of water). Make sure that they aren’t overcrowded as they’ll need plenty of room to breathe in. They also should be loosely covered with a plastic bag before being placed in the fridge. Since the water in which they are put tends to become cloudy after 1-2 days, change it regularly.
However, basil, despite being a soft herb, shouldn’t be stored this way. Instead, you should cut off its stems before placing the basil herbs in a glass of water and storing them at room temperature where there’s enough light but, never near a direct source of sunlight. Doing this will not only ensure that the herbs remain fresh but will also help in preserving their flavor.
In the case of the hard herbs, you should first wrap them in a damp towel before arranging them lengthwise on a somewhat damp paper towel. Then, roll them up and either wrap them in a plastic wrap or plastic zipper lock bag. When done, store them in the refrigerator’s crisper.
The reason behind the covering and wrapping of these herbs is that exposing them to air/oxygen causes them to turn brown rather fast.
To help preserve the freshness as well as the aroma of these herbs, never wash the herbs before storage as washing adds moisture to their leaves hence shortening their storage life for moisture causes their stems and leaves to turn slimy and moldy. You should also desist from exposing them to too much light as this can damage the chlorophyll.