There are so many reasons to preserve herbs from the garden. Its can be a big money saver, its more sustainable than buying prepackaged herbs, and its a great way to enjoy the garden all year long.
Here are the two easiest ways to save herbs from the garden.
- Gather your herbs by the stems to make small bunches. Remove any leaves from the bottom 3/4″ of the stem.
- Wrap twine or kitchen string around the bottom of the stems in order to secure them together. Make it tight, the stems will shrink as they lose moisture.
- Hang the herb bunches upside down in an area of your house that doesn’t get a lot of light and has good air circulation and low humidity. Consider adding a small fan to the room to help with circulation.
- Once the leaves are crispy and no longer soft in any areas they are dry. Remove the leaves from the stems.
- Store leaves whole in an airtight container.
Note: air drying is a great method for herbs that do not contain a high moisture content. Herbs like rosemary, sage, thyme, and oregano are great candidates. Herbs with a higher moisture content can mold during this drying process.
Storing leaves whole helps them retain their flavor better over time.
- Remove leaves from stems and chop
- Add chopped herbs to one ounce ice cube trays
- Pour olive oil over the herbs to cover
- Place ice cube trays in the freezer
- Once frozen remove the herbs cubes and store in an airtight container in the freezer until needed.
Note: these herb cubes can be easily added to soups, sauces, and stir fries. Use them anywhere you use fresh or dried herbs with oil. This method is great for any and all herbs, but is particularly great for herbs with a higher moisture content that are harder to dry, like basil and chives.
Enjoy and happy preserving!