How to Store Herbs? Part II

The other 2 important storing methods for herbs are Freezing and Drying. These 2 methods are the easiest way to store herbs for long duration. But before proceeding to these methods you need to follow the fundamental steps described in:

How to Store Herbs? Part I.

How to Freeze Herbs?

If you are wondering ‘how to freeze herbs’,  let’s check below:

  • If you want to store your favorite herb by freezing method then make sure that it is a soft-leaf herb. Generally this method is best suited for soft-leaf herbs like Parsley, Basil, Cilantro, Lovage, Chives and Tarragon.
  • Wash fresh herbs thoroughly and with the help of a kitchen towel pat dry it. Remove the leaves from the stem and collect the leaves in a freezer container or bags. Label and date these bags or containers as herbs stored in this method can be used for 3 months.
  • In case you want to store the herbs for longer duration then for few seconds blanch the herbs in hot water. Immediately after removing the herbs from hot water dip them in ice cold water. Now you can store them in freezer bags or containers. In this way you can store them at least for 6 months.
  • For other freezing techniques read:

    Methods to Freeze Fresh Herbs

    .

Drying Method:

Drying herbs is the simplest yet effective method for storing herbs. The primary way to dry herbs is to clean them and to pat dry them. Then on a clean kitchen towel lay the herbs and with another clean kitchen towel cover them. You can make layers: 1st towel then herbs and again towel. Leave it for 2-3 days for drying. The time taken fro drying herbs depends on the leaf thickness. To check whether the leaves are completely dried, crumble a leaf between your fingers. Store the dried herbs in an airtight container or jar.

There are various other methods to dry fresh herbs. According to your convenience you can select one of the drying methods. The other drying methods are:

  • To Dry Herbs Quickly: Spread the herbs on a drying rack or mesh rack and keep it in slow oven set at 100-125ºF. Remember to set low temperature as high temperature may destroy the volatile oils present. Keep the oven door open and check them regularly as few leaves dry fast.
  • To Air-Dry Herbs: This method is somewhat similar to hanging method. Make the bunch of herbs and hang then in a place which is insect and rodent free. To avoid deposition of dust particles cover the herbs with a plastic bag. But don’t forget to punch holes in the bag as this will ensure proper air circulation and will reduce the possibility of mildew formation.

Tips for Proper Storing of Herbs:

  • Make sure that the bunch you have prepared for hanging method is not large. The chances of herbs turning moldy and black increases with the bunch thickness.
  • Spread the herbs evenly on the drying rack or mesh racks. Avoid thick spreads.
  • In case of small-leaf herbs, you can dry them in a bunch. After complete drying the leaves can be easily stripped off.
  • In case of large-leaf herbs it is better to strip off the leaves and then spread them for drying.
  • Make sure that the herb bundle should be so small that it doesn’t touch the sides of the covering bag.
  • Lastly make sure that the container you are choosing for storing herbs is air-tight.