How to Make Fresh Herbs Last for Weeks

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Written by Bernie Carr

Since grocery prices are not coming down any time soon, we are all trying to find ways to cut back or avoid waste.

Fresh herbs are often left in the fridge drawer for too long. I use a small handful for a recipe and often have so much left over that it just ends up wilting or turning into mush in the refrigerator drawer.

If you buy herbs, here are some ways to keep it fresh for a long time.

Buy the freshest herbs

When choosing herbs, choose the freshest looking ones, without brown or wilted spots.

Store in a glass of water

Without doing anything, just refrigerating the cut herbs in the original plastic packaging from the grocery store, cilantro generally lasts for two weeks maximum. After that, they leaves start to turn black.

I’ve tried various ways to make herbs last longer such as wrapping them in paper towels to reduce moisture. That method works for a short while, then the herbs start to wilt after a week or so.

I tried a new experiment to see how much longer I can keep a bunch of cilantro in the fridge.

This time, I tried making them last by refrigerating the stems in a glass of water.

You will need:

herbs

scissors

glass or jar

water

plastic wrap

rubber band

  1. Take the herbs and cut about an inch off the bottom of the stems.
  2. Remove the rubber band or twist tie that secures them.
  3. Place about two inches of water in the jar or glass.
  4. Place the herbs in the water so all the stems are touching the water.
  5. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the leaves and secure them with a rubber band.
  6. Drain and replace the water every three days.
  7. If you see any leaves that are turning brown or black, discard them.

That’s it!

Herbs sitting in a glass of water

Using this method, my cut herbs have lasted close to four weeks in the fridge, which is the longest I’ve seen herbs last.

Freezing

If you have a large quantity of herbs you will not be able to use, freeze herbs for later use.

  • Chop fresh herbs and place in ice cube trays. Add water. Once frozen, store the frozen herb cubes in freezer bags and label with the name of the herb and the date stored.
  • Mix chopped herbs with olive oil in a blender. Place the mixture in a freezer bag and lay it flat to freeze. Break off a piece each time you need to use the herbs.
  • Chop fresh herbs and place in a cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer. Once the chopped herbs are frozen, store in a freezer bag.. Eliminate as much air as possible from the bag. Label the bag.

Drying

You don’t need a food dehydrator to dry herbs. Just leave them on a tray in an area away from moisture for a few weeks until they dry up. When they are dry and crumbly, break them up and store in an airtight container.

Grow more herbs

If you have a shelf or windowsill, you can try growing a few herbs.

Don’t discard the root bottoms of chives or green onions – you can grow fresh shoots just by placing them in water. Once roots start growing, transfer the new plants into the soil.


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About the author

Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Bernie’s latest e-book, FRUGAL DIY has just been released on Amazon. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and Clark.com, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.

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