There’s no doubt that having fresh herbs handy in the kitchen is crucial for anyone who loves to add colour and extra nutrition to their meals. They have a delicious unique flavour that adds a punch of freshness to a dish. Although, isn’t it so disheartening when you go to grab a handful of herbs to find they have wilted and turned brown?
I’ve experimented with all the different ways of storing fresh herbs; in paper towel in the fridge, glass of water on the counter, ziplock bags etc. You name it, I’ve tried it! So to save you the trial and error, here’s the best way I’ve discovered to make sure your herbs store for two weeks and stay as fresh and vibrant as possible. Store your herbs like this and they will typically last two weeks. This also depends though on how fresh they are when you buy them. I always purchase organic herbs from the farmers’ market.
Why fresh herbs turn bad so quickly
Too much moisture
Have you ever bought fresh herbs inside a bag from the supermarket, and left them in there only to find they have gone mouldy and slimy quickly? Too much moisture and not enough oxygen causes this.
Storing herbs somewhere that is too hot, or too cold, will cause them to wilt and lose their flavour. I’ve found all herbs last longer when stored in the fridge. Don’t store them at the top of the fridge though, as this makes them to freeze and go mushy.
Excessive exposture to oxygen
Too much oxygen/air can cause herbs to turn brown. Covering them will always help them last longer.
Too much sunlight
Placing herbs in direct sunlight can cause them to turn yellow quickly. This is particularly true for more delicate herbs like cilantro and dill.
The best way to store fresh herbs
- Fill a glass or mason jar with a little filtered or spring water
- Cut off a small amount of the stems. Cutting the bottom of the stems allows the herbs to absorb the water more quickly and efficiently (although if they have the roots still intact, I prefer to leave them on because they are chock full of nutrition)
- Pop the herbs in the jar
- Cut a few holes in a small plastic bag of some kind and cover them
- Put them in the door or nearer the bottom of the fridge
- It is important to use filtered or spring water. Feeding the plants with clean water makes a big difference to how long the herbs last.
- The plastic bag keeps the moisture content constant and poking holes in the bag allows air to circulate and keeps humidity at bay.
- Replace the water every few days.
- If you notice water bubbles inside the plastic bag after a couple of days, simply turn the bag inside out and pop it back on.