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How to Store Fresh Herbs

Fresh_herbsHow to Store Fresh Herbs

There's no doubt about it -- fresh herbs offer a more bountiful flavor than dried herbs. However, with fresh herbs you don't have the luxury of keeping them on the shelf in the pantry. Whether you've grown your own fresh herbs or purchased them from the store, it's important to properly store them in order to retain their freshness.

Fresh herbs should be stored in the refrigerator. If you're able to use them within 1-2 days, simply rinse the herbs, wrap loosely in a paper towel, and place in a perforated plastic bag. Store in the crisper drawer.

To keep herbs fresh for up to one week, you'll want to snip the ends at a diagonal, then place the stems in in a jar of water and cover with a plastic bag. Store on refrigerator shelf. Just use caution, as the glass jar might tip over and cause a mess!

To keep herbs fresh for more than one week, place the herbs in a plastic zip-top storage bag. Gently press out excess air, then store in the freezer.

One of my favorite herb-saving tricks is to lightly chop the herbs and put them in an ice-cube tray. Fill the tray with water and freeze. Store the cubes in a freezer bag and pop one or two into the food dish you are making.

I like to make a variety of herb trays. For instance, I'll make one or two trays each of Italian, Mexican, and American herbs. If I'm making lasagna, I can grab a cube or two from the Italian freezer bag. If I'm making Mexican lasagna, I can grab a cube or two from the Mexican freezer bag. If I'm making American Chili, I will grab some cubes from the American freezer bag. You'll be amazed how much time this will save you in the kitchen!

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