How to Keep Leafy Herbs Fresh

Fresh herbs adds such a wonderful flavor and aroma to dishes. Often times, you’d buy a whole bundle, use a few, and store the rest for later. If not properly stored, the herbs wither away and wasted. I came across a handy article on Yahoo! Food with tips on how to store the fresh herbs to extend its shelf/fridge life. The process described works for soft, leafy herbs, like basil, parsley, cilantro, and mint. (Herbs I commonly like to use.)

  1. Start with choosing the best herbs. They should be crisp, and you should be able to smell them with your nose about three inches away from the leaves. Avoid holey, bruised leaves, andanything that generally looks like it’s been beached on a supermarket shelf for a couple days already. Bright, green, crisp—it’s common sense.
  2. Don’t wash them yet! Doing so adds excess moisture to the leaves, which will shorten their storage lives because the dampness weighs them down. Wait until just before using the herbs to wash them.
  3. Snip the base of the stems, just like you would a bouquet of fresh flowers, and place them in a glass with an inch of water. Don’t overcrowd the glass; if you’re finding that you’re shoving the stems in to fit them all, separate them into two glasses. They need room to breathe, just like you and me!
  4. Cover them loosely with a plastic bag and store in the fridge. Except for the basil! That should stay at room temperature. When the water gets cloudy—every day or two—change it out.

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