If you’re tight on cash, you’ll love this simple kitchen hack! Learn the best way to store fresh herbs properly to stretch every dollar when you meal prep and make budget-friendly meals all week long with these money-saving tips.
I love herbs. No, let me rephrase that. I adore herbs and you will always find them in my fridge. Some of my favorites are cilantro, parsley, basil, mint, rosemary, and thyme. Herbs are fragrant and pack a flavor punch. You can use them in salads, marinades, soups, curries, beverages, and more. But what do you do with all of the leftovers after meal prep or making your budget-friendly meals?
The Best Ways to Store Fresh Herbs
If you are an ardent herb lover, you also know how hard it is to store them properly and extend their freshness. Herbs are notoriously finicky when it comes to any sort of long-term storage. This post looks at a couple of easy methods to store fresh herbs and reduce kitchen waste. Here you will learn how to store both tender and hearty herbs.
How to Store Tender Herbs
What are tender herbs? Think fresh cilantro, parsley, basil, mint, dill, etc. Their leaves bruise easily and their stems are tender and fragrant. Here’s how you can store them to save time and money.
Step 1: The first step is to pick out all those yellowed, dried, or rotten leaves and stems. Leaving them on will only help to rot the rest of the bunch faster.
Step 2: Give them a nice trim. Trim the ends of the stalks so that they are fresh and able to absorb water, just like you would do with fresh flowers.
Step 3: The best way to store tender herbs is to store them as you would a bunch of fresh flowers. Fill a glass or small vase with an inch or two of water. Place the trimmed bunch of herbs in them. Make sure that the ends of the stalks are submerged in water, but there are no leaves or other debris in the water.
Step 4: Loosely cover the entire bunch with a plastic bag. I use a thin produce bag and secure with a rubber-band. Stick it in the fridge. That’s it!
Step 5: Check on the herbs every two days and remove any yellow leaves or stalks to further extend their life. If you find the water turning cloudy, simply replace it.
Got less-than-perfect stalks and small leaves?
Don’t toss them. Pat them dry with a kitchen towel, then store between a clean paper towel in a sealed bag or container in the fridge. Don’t forget to label the contents, then you’ll have them on hand during the week to make quick meals.
Home Chef Tip: Use these little bits and ends first and then move on to your bigger stash for later meal prep throughout the week.
How to Store Hearty Herbs
Hearty herbs are those with smaller, thicker leaves and thick, sturdy stems. Some common examples are rosemary and thyme. Here’s how to store those.
Step 1: Begin by lightly patting the herbs dry with a clean kitchen towel. Then lay them out on a clean paper towel. Try not to bunch them up.
Step 2: Store them layered between paper towels in a sealed container in the fridge. Again, don’t forget to label the contents.
Step 3: Check on the herbs every two days and remove any damaged leaves or stalks to further extend their life.
Now, what to do, if in spite of all these precautions, you are unable to use them up in time or you have an exceptionally large batch?
Frozen or Dried Herbs
Your best bet with tender herbs would be to freeze them. You can simply freeze the leaves or blend them with olive oil and freeze in small portions. Add them directly to whatever you are cooking – soups, stocks, curries, chutneys, etc. You won’t be able to use them as fresh garnishes though.
Some herbs can be easily dried, especially herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, dill, etc. Dry them out on the countertop or stick them in a warm oven for a few hours. Once the leaves are completely dry, store in a clean jar. Crush and use them as seasoning in recipes.
Recipes using Fresh Herbs
Now that you have your fresh herbs preserved, here are some recipes you need to try!
Have a lot of Cilantro on hand? Try my Asian Chicken Noodles with Cilantro Peanut Honey Sauce, my Cilantro Orange Sriracha Chicken, or my Everyday Chicken Curry.
We hope you find this Kitchen Hack and money-saving tips from SoFabFood Home Chef, Anjana from At The Corner Of Happy & Harried, helpful! For more informational posts like this, be sure to stop by our Kitchen Hacks section to help you save time and money in the kitchen. For daily recipe inspiration, subscribe to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Pinterest. Enjoy!