There’s nothing worse than coming home excited to use the fresh herbs you bought last week only to find them sad and droopy in the back of your fridge. Caprese just doesn't taste the same with wilted basil. It turns out that with the right set of conditions herbs can last up to two weeks in the fridge, and even longer in the freezer.
The US throws away up to 150,000 tons of food a year. That is quite a lot of wasted food and money. Starting good habits, even with something as small as fresh herbs can help prevent food waste and stay on budget. Here are some tips to make your herbs last.
- Clean and DRY your herbs
As soon as you get home from the grocery store, run your herbs under cold water to remove any lingering dirt. Get rid of any slimy or brown leaves, and then dry them with a paper towel or clean dishcloth. Excess moisture will cause molding so take care to soak up as much water as possible.
- Cut the ends off
Just like those flowers you buy, the ends of herbs dry out once cut. In order to restore their ability to intake water, cut about an inch off the end of your herbs. This will help keep your herbs from wilting prematurely.
- Put them in water
Once your herbs are cut, stick them in a glass of water and then refrigerate. You can loosely cover the top with a reusable produce bag, we like these ones from MeMotherEarth but I’ve also had success putting them in the fridge uncovered. Check your water every so often, and change if it starts looking cloudy.
- Freeze your extras!
The freezer will be your best friend. Freeze softer herbs such as basil and mint by blending them up with a bit of oil or water. Sturdier herbs such as rosemary thyme and oregano can be put into a plastic-free freezer bag and frozen as is. Pull these herbs out later for a quick flavor boost and thank yourself for planning ahead.