Overwhelmed with Herbs: Preserve them

For those of you who have a thriving large summer garden, and are overwhelmed by herbs – good for you! As I blogged about earlier this week, if you are suddenly Drowning in Herbs, and you have already cooked all of them that you can, another good option is to preserve them for cooking this winter.

Herbs: basil, scallion


(Image via Wikipedia)

A couple of ideas for preserving fresh herbs:

1. Bundle Dry them

One of the easiest ways to dry herbs is to use a simple paper bag. Start by taking fresh cuttings. Wash thoroughly, and dry with a paper towel. Then bundle them with a rubber band and slip a paper bag over them. Line up the ends of the herbs and the edge of the paper bag. Twist the end of the bag around the ends of the herbs tightly. Wrap another rubber band around both the mouth paper bag and the ends of the herbs.

2. Freeze them to cook with

As we’ve previously discussed, freezing herbs in olive oil or broth will allow you to cook with them easily all winter long. Just make sure to wash them thoroughly first. Another important tip: label the ice cubes! I found out the hard way that herbs all look the same once they are cut and frozen in chunks!

3. Freeze them for Aromatherapy

If you, like me enjoy the smell of fresh herbs as a way to freshen your house, think about preserving that smell all year long. You can just as easily freeze herbs in water to boil on the stove later in the winter. I recommend freezing them in combinations that smell good together! My personal favorite is a combination of rosemary, lavender, and slices of lemon. Boiled together, you will smell summer in your kitchen all year long!

4. Share them!

Preserve the fruits of your garden long after their actual life.  Preserve them however you like and give them to friends! Your friends will respect that you have shared your garden’s gifts with them. Target the cook-able herbs towards friends who like to spend time in the kitchen. Target the good-smelling ones towards your friends who are not cooking inclined.



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