Foodie Question of the Day

October 1, 2008 at 6:57 am 20 comments

(image credit: teamsugar)

How do you store your fresh herbs?

I love to buy cilantro, mint, basil, parsley etc but its only me and the hubs at home, so I never use it fast enough before it goes bad. I get so sad when I see them all black and wilted. I’ve tried those green bags by Debbie Meyer but it really doesn’t keep it that much longer for me. Any keep-it-fresh-longer tips?

Entry filed under: Foodie Question of the Day.

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20 Comments Add your own

  • 1. nikki57  |  October 1, 2008 at 7:54 am

    beech stop buying infomercial crap.

    I usually just take stuff from the garden, but if I buy it at the store I chop it up and put it in ice cube trays with a little bit of water on top. Then i throw em in the freezer until I need them

  • 2. CB  |  October 1, 2008 at 7:56 am

    NIKKI,How did you know? *gasp* I was considering the aerogarden or herb keeper. HAHA. The ice cube tray thing sounds so cute. It doesn’t mess up the herbs being in water? I don’t want a goopy spoiled watery herb mess… So you thaw before using?

  • 3. nikki57  |  October 1, 2008 at 8:02 am

    I’ve heard good things about the aero garden so that I will LET you buy :)

    As long as you freeze them they won’t get goopy. And no, I don’t thaw, I just toss them in.

  • 4. CB  |  October 1, 2008 at 8:03 am

    NIKKI, … but but what about garnishing? You can’t just “toss it in” right? Seriously I am way intrigued now. I wanna dig out my ice cube trays and try it.

  • 5. nikki57  |  October 1, 2008 at 8:09 am

    Listen chica, I am not a magician. Unless you plan on garnishing with mini ice cubes I can’t help you there. I promise though, you will survive without your garnish.

    And beech you live in CA why not plant some herbs so you always have fresh then it’s not even an issue and you’ll always have garnish.

  • 6. CB  |  October 1, 2008 at 8:10 am

    NIKKI, Ok ok. I am busting out my ice trays. On growing my own herbs… let’s just say my friends and family don’t call me Black Thumb of Death for nothing. LOL.

  • 7. nikki57  |  October 1, 2008 at 8:14 am

    You’d be surprised how hard it is to kill herbs.

  • 8. Natalie  |  October 1, 2008 at 11:15 am

    You two are killing me (in a good way, ;)

    I always wondered that too. I end up buying a horrendously expensive bunch of herbs, using a tablespoon or so and then throwing the rest out three weeks later after they’ve started to liquefy in the veggie drawer.

    I’ll give the ice cube thing a go (and hope I don’t end up just moving the whole process into finding freezer burnt chunks of green stuff three months later. sigh.)

  • 9. CB  |  October 1, 2008 at 11:27 am

    NATALIE, eeewww liquid herbs. Narsty! Freezer burn herb chunks doesn’t sound better either. Nikki’s method better work! HAHA

  • 10. Vibi  |  October 1, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Right! Herbs are VERY easy to grow, especialy in Southern States (I grow them up North, and most come back after our freezing winter depending on where you plant them – it must be in full ground, potted herbs will die through winter).

    Also, herbs keep for up to 5 days without wiltering, if you wrap the cleaned bottom stems with moist paper towel, then place in a plastic resealable bag and store in veggie drawer.

    Second, they keep well and longer in oil, but the best is a salt bed: In a shallow container, pour a fine layer of kosher salt on the bottom then add a single layer herb. Continue alternating layers of salt and herb until all the herb has been used up; final layer must be salt, then place the lid on the container and store it in the refrigerator. When ready to use take whatever quantity of herb that is needed out of the salt. The longer the herbs remain in the salt, the more dried out they will become but the flavor will not be affected. Herbs can successfully be stored in salt for up to 2 months. Granted you don’t get the “green” aspect of the herbs for the whole 2 months, but you do get the fresh flavor.

    If not… when they start wiltering in your fridge, instead of trowing them out because they turned black or goopy, keep them out to dry, simply on a plate, crush them as you use them, just like any other dried herbs. No waste.

  • 11. Tanya  |  October 1, 2008 at 11:59 am

    If I’m using them the same day I bought them or the next day, I just fill a small cup with some cold water (not to the top, just a quarter full) and stick the herbs in that and keep it refrigerated. If I need to keep the herbs longer, I have one of those small Reynolds vacuum sealers and that helps keep it fresh for longer.

    I would KILL for an AeroGarden, but they’re too rich for my blood!

  • 12. CB  |  October 1, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    VIBI, That salt bed idea is interesting! The salt absorbs the moisture but I assume it doesnt stay green either. I wonder how long it lasts in a salt bed AND stays green? Good idea about drying them out after withering!

    TANYA, Reynolds vacuum sealers? I have seen those! I totally want an aerogarden. My friend has one and it works great. But like you said… too rich for my blood. Bummer.

  • 13. Rachel  |  October 1, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    cha cha chia! the chia herb garden rules!

  • 14. CB  |  October 1, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    RACHEL, chia pet? really?!? ooohhh me wanty!

  • 15. Lynne  |  October 2, 2008 at 3:32 am

    It’s frustrating to have your herbs go bad. I’ve thought of the aero garden as an alternative, too. With Basil, I make pesto, but there’s only so much pesto you can freeze and still enjoy it.
    BTW, was your move from Blogger to WordPress difficult?

  • 16. Chou  |  October 2, 2008 at 3:54 am

    My SIL had a chia pet herb garden for a bit, it was really cute. You know, everyone *claims* that growing herbs on your windowsill works great, and then you move somewhere and they all contract a nasty disease and die. Meah. No great ideas on keeping herbs fresh other than blanching them, blending them in oil and freezing them.

  • 17. Nina  |  October 2, 2008 at 6:31 am

    Hmm, I have the same problem as you… I go to clean out my fridge and I find this bag full of black goo toxic waste and wonder how I forgot to use it. :) I’m going to have to look into the Chia herb garden, that sounds fun. :)

  • 18. CB  |  October 2, 2008 at 7:58 am

    LYNNE, Making pesto is a good idea. I’ll remember for next time when I see my basil going south. Move to WP was painless! If you’re thinking about it I have nothing but good things to say. I love WP. The only thing that kinda irks me is that I can’t do polls on (you can do it on but other than that I never regretted making the switch! Let me know if you need help, k?

    CHOU, ooohhh dying is bad. HAHA. Thanks for tip about blanching, oil and freeze method. I’ll have to give that a try!

    NINA, Yeah I added chia herb pet to my xmas list! T has a Homer Simpson one (even though we have no idea where it is now) so I should get an herb one. Its fair right?

  • 19. Marti  |  October 9, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Don’t you feed some of the herbs to your buns? My bun, Beatrix Kiddo, loves herbs–she prefers them over most other types of veg. And, as was said earlier, it’s really hard to kill herbs, especially mint, thyme, and basil. Dill, cilantro, chamomile, and lavender are definitely not for beginners, though. We buy parsley at least once a week, mostly for the bunny. Good luck, and I’m so glad I stumbled on your blog while I was searching for bun-cookies recipes! That one with raspberries looks exciting! We’ve already made the other kind, and she loves them! Oh, btw, the chia herb garden is an awesome way to get started growing your herbs–go, you! :-)

  • 20. CB  |  October 9, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    MARTI I do feed some to my buns! They love cilantro! They like parsley but cilantro is their favorite. ooohhh if you make the raspberry ones come back and let me know what you think! I keep meaning to try them with my buns but they love the biscuits so much I always make that one instead.


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