Adventures in Healthier Eating with 2 Kids and a Picky Husband
Roni started this blog in '05 to journal her weight loss.
70lbs later, she's committed to living a conscious, healthy
life and hopes to inspire others along the way.
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Short video this week. Just wanted to share a quick tip on how I’m storing fresh herbs I get from the farm.
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Spicy Garden Tuna Salad
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Thank you so much for the tip! My fresh cilantro lasts only a few days (if I'm lucky) in my fridge. It really sucks. I do have one question: do you have to keep wetting the paper towel or does it stay moist? Reply
It stayed nice and moist! Haven't have to re-wet one yet. Let me know how it works for you! Reply
Thank you so much, Roni! I just lost a bunch of beautiful fresh opal basil because I did not know how to store it (it got wilted and black left in the fridge drawer in just a day)! Perfect timing as I'm on my way to the Farmer's Market today and will pick up more fresh herbs. Thanks again for all your fantastic information and inspiration! Reply
I store my fresh herbs the same way, but separated a) so the strong herbs don't effect the mild b) because they deteriorate at different rates and c) so I can get the one I want quicker and easier.
I'm also one of those freeze fresh herbs for later use folks. They are just so reasonably priced during farmer's market season I can't pass them up. I usually blend them with water, olive oil or grapeseed oil depending on what kind of recipe I think I might use them in. I freeze them in small re-usable and microwaveable containers I buy from restaurant supply stores. I also do minced green onions and citrus zest/juice this way. If I am thinking WAY ahead I do blends that I know I will use for certain things like: poultry herbs for Thanksgiving; lemon peel, oregano and thyme in olive oil for Greek yogurt dip; parsley, lemon zest, green onion for tabouli; ginger, garlic, cilantro, lemongrass for thai food; cilantro and mint for chutney, etc...
Roni, the lavender can be chopped finely and used sparingly in baked goods like lemon poundcake, scones, muffins, sugar cookies. Also for herb tea. And it's often one of the ingredients in the french/mediterranean herb blend Herbs de Provence which I most often see used with chicken.
Another great use for an abundance of herbs is Pesto which I have seen recipes for using mint, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, etc...in addition to the traditional basil pesto. Reply
I love how you hold the herbs up to the cam for us to smell them! lol! I actually caught myself sniffing as you did it. ;) Reply
I use the paper towel trick, too. Right now I have a few nice herbs in my garden so I have experimented with storage. I've had great results just putting them in a glass or small vase of water right by my sink. I've done it for basil, parsley and oregano. This just saves me some time - not having to run out to the garden or dig in the fridge. I love how they look and it's just easier to use them!
You may want to leave the lavendar out to dry because I think you would typically use it dry. Especially for tea. I think of it's benifit mostly from the aroma. I love to have some where I will always smell it. You can just put it in a vase or small cup with no water. I have lavendar goats milk soap from the farmer's market right now and I love it so much that I but dozens of little bars to give as Christmas gifts! Reply
This is so helpful! I usually roll up my basil (like a cigarette) and freeze it that way. Reply
I don't know if the 'Herb Police' will get me for this, but I bought a clamshell pack of Basil and tossed it in the freezer. I thought " If it works for spinach, why not?" I love the way the fresh/frozen spinach "shatters" and the basil seems to do the same!
I've also heard of freezing leftover pesto in ice cube trays. Reply
Jessica - Totally works for me. I might starting keeping bags of cilantro like that! Reply
I second the rolling up into a tight 'cigar' and freezing of some fresh herbs. Basil, parsley and cilantro would all work well that way. Just take it out of the freezer and cut a small piece off the end and then you need almost no further chopping either. It wouldn't replace parsley in tabbouleh but it would work to add great flavor to any dish and I've found it to be the least labor intensive option (and most flexible for future use). Freshly dried thyme actually pops a big flavor punch too so usually I just dry the thyme I have left after fresh use that week and use it to refill the dried thyme spice jar (and an extra back-up bag) to get me through the winter without purchasing extra. If you really like the cilantro chopping a bunch up with a stick of softened unsalted butter, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon or so of paprika and then frozen makes a tasty quick last minute dinner option. Just cut off a small piece and add it to veggies or meats before or just after cooking. Mild flavored white fish is great that way and quick to cook. Another great cilantro option is making a chimichurri sauce (similar to a pesto except more cilantro based and doesn't have any nuts) which would add a quick flavor boost to meats all winter long. I think those are about all the ways I have currently preserved fresh herbs and I definitely second your storage method outlined above. I had great success with that method last year when my csa provided TONS of them for us :D Reply