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Old 02-06-2011, 01:59 PM   #1
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Preserving soft herbs?

Hi guys,

Wondering if anyone know the best way to preserve fresh soft herbs (e.g. coriander, basil etc) so they are kept in good condition for cooking for as long as possible?

Thanks

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Old 02-06-2011, 02:04 PM   #2
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Hi guys,

Wondering if anyone know the best way to preserve fresh soft herbs (e.g. coriander, basil etc) so they are kept in good condition for cooking for as long as possible?

Thanks
Welcome!!

Good question! I hate spending the money on these and not being able to use them all. Even with parsley and cilantro. Hope we get some good ideas!
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Old 02-06-2011, 02:11 PM   #3
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I have found that when they are wrapped in plastic with few holes for moisture to escape they tend to last the longest. I keep corriander, parsley in a tall yogurt container with an inch of water in the bottom to feed the roots. Then I wrap the top loosley in plastic, or cover it with a clear plastic produce bag and put an elastic around the container.. Like a little greenhouse. A bunch of parsley from the supermarket will last three weeks this way in my fridge.
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Old 02-06-2011, 02:18 PM   #4
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Wrap in damp kitchen paper and then into a plastic sealed container kept in the fridge. Change the damp paper once a week, they will last at least 3 weeks. Have kept loads of different herbs very successfully like this.

Hope this helps
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Old 02-06-2011, 02:56 PM   #5
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Welcome to DC.

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Old 02-06-2011, 03:59 PM   #6
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Chop and freeze them into ice cubes.

I'd bet the water would have time to get infused with the freshly chopped herb before freezing into a little flavor bomb!
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Old 02-06-2011, 10:58 PM   #7
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Wrap in damp kitchen paper and then into a plastic sealed container kept in the fridge. Change the damp paper once a week, they will last at least 3 weeks. Have kept loads of different herbs very successfully like this.

Hope this helps
Will definately try your method. Thanks for posting.

Josie
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Old 03-29-2011, 02:04 PM   #8
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Best method is to grow pots of fresh herbs on your kitchen window sill and clip off what you need. Pruning them keeps them healthy and bushy.
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Old 03-29-2011, 02:33 PM   #9
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You could make sort of a "pesto" out of each type of herb by itself and freeze that into cubes.
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:23 PM   #10
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Lee Valley has an herb pod in two sizes, designed for keeping fresh herbs:
Lee Valley Tools - Gifts for Woodworkers, Gifts for Gardeners
Page through until you find it. Looks good.
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:22 AM   #11
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Best way wrap it in kitchen paper store in a plastic container ,if possible not transparent to avoid light,keep in the freedge ,u cant do it better
have a nice day
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:06 AM   #12
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When I can't use up all my herbs, I wash and dry them, chop it up how I would want it for any recipe, and stick it in a freezer bag with air in it, lay it mostly flat.. when it's frozen (won't take long) shake the bag to unstick them - and you have fresh herbs at your fingertips!

I currently have in my freezer.. dill, coriander, basil, parsley... I even keep feta cheese this way.
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:02 PM   #13
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I do the same thing as Saphellae, except I process it (large amounts of basil) in the food processor with some olive oil. Put it in small ziplock bags, press them flat, once frozen, break them up and use whatever portion you need for spaghetti, garlic basil cheese bread, pesto, or to add to a cream sauce.

It stays bright green and flavorful for at least a year.

I'm going to try this with dill, cilantro and parsley this year, if my crop grows.
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:04 PM   #14
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Since most vegis need to be parblanched before freezing, I wondered about herbs and looked it up in Joy of Cooking. They recommend parblanching for 10 seconds, followed by an ice water bath and drying before freezing, for chives.

For others, they recommend freezing in recipe sized packets, as well as recipe sized packets of bouquets garnies. If you are growing your own herbs, rinse them the day before you will harvest them. Pick them in the morning after the dew dries.

They also mentioned salting. 1/2 inch, alternating layers of salt and fresh herb in a covered crock. The top and bottom should be thicker layers of salt. After two weeks they should be dry and the salt will have have taken on the flavour of the herb.

I'm going to have to try that salting method.
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Old 04-04-2011, 06:07 PM   #15
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I do the same thing as Saphellae, except I process it (large amounts of basil) in the food processor with some olive oil. Put it in small ziplock bags, press them flat, once frozen, break them up and use whatever portion you need for spaghetti, garlic basil cheese bread, pesto, or to add to a cream sauce.

It stays bright green and flavorful for at least a year.

I'm going to try this with dill, cilantro and parsley this year, if my crop grows.
Fresh herbs stored in oil are a potential botulism risk.

Freezing doesn't kill botulism, it just sorts of puts it to sleep.

So you need to be very careful when doing this.

I just freeze my herbs because there are so many uses for them where you wouldn't want added oil.
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Old 04-04-2011, 06:21 PM   #16
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Fresh herbs stored in oil are a potential botulism risk.

Freezing doesn't kill botulism, it just sorts of puts it to sleep.

So you need to be very careful when doing this.

I just freeze my herbs because there are so many uses for them where you wouldn't want added oil.
Freezing is another method of preserving basil, and usually results in a product with flavor more like fresh basil. Freeze whole leaves in small quantities in small plastic bags or chop up the leaves into small pieces and place in ice cube tray compartments topped off with a little water. Another freezing method is to mix cup chopped basil with 2 teaspoons vegetable or olive oil. Drop teaspoonfuls of this mixture onto wax paper-lined baking sheets, freeze, and then peel off the wax paper and store the basil mixture in plastic bags. Similarly, basil pesto can be prepared in quantity, then frozen in small containers. Omit any cheese from the recipe if you plan to freeze pesto. Whichever method is chosen, frozen herbs should be used within a year.

From: Growing Basil

This is from the University of Minnesota Extension.

Room temperature or refrigerator storage can be a problem, freezing is safe.
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:53 PM   #17
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I have a book for people who sail and need to buy / bring food without a lot of options for keeping things fresh--salt is recommended for drying herbs (you can dry flowers the same way) AND you can keep fresh eggs in salt (I'd have to look it up, but I don't think it works with eggs that have been chilled). Supposedly, you can keep fresh eggs for up to a year packed in salt...I pack my carrots and beets in saw dust...they keep until May in the root cellar.
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:12 PM   #18
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Freezing is another method of preserving basil, and usually results in a product with flavor more like fresh basil. Freeze whole leaves in small quantities in small plastic bags or chop up the leaves into small pieces and place in ice cube tray compartments topped off with a little water. Another freezing method is to mix cup chopped basil with 2 teaspoons vegetable or olive oil. Drop teaspoonfuls of this mixture onto wax paper-lined baking sheets, freeze, and then peel off the wax paper and store the basil mixture in plastic bags. Similarly, basil pesto can be prepared in quantity, then frozen in small containers. Omit any cheese from the recipe if you plan to freeze pesto. Whichever method is chosen, frozen herbs should be used within a year.

From: Growing Basil

This is from the University of Minnesota Extension.

Room temperature or refrigerator storage can be a problem, freezing is safe.
But, care should be taken that the herbs in oil don't sit around unfrozen for very long. The botulism produces its toxin in anaerobic conditions, which the oil provides.
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:56 AM   #19
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But, care should be taken that the herbs in oil don't sit around unfrozen for very long. The botulism produces its toxin in anaerobic conditions, which the oil provides.
Exactly. Thanks. I should have been more specific. The botulism toxin may not multiply when frozen but will when thawed.
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