The Takeaway (DIY Herbs & Spices)

Spring has almost sprung, so soon some of the earth’s plants will blossom. Flowers are lovely to see and smell, but the more conventional sprouts like herbs and spices will be in season as well. Here are a few ways to preserve your home-grown herbs for a short time, or for the long haul.

  1. For shorter periods of time, you can save your fresh herbs up to two weeks after picking or trimming them. You simply need to wash and dry them thoroughly and place in an airtight container in your fridge.
  2. To store dry herbs and spices, tie together the stems of your pickings and hang them upside down to air-dry for a minimum of two weeks. Once they are completely dried, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place and use for six months up to a year.
  3. There are different ways to freeze your herbs to use for up to a year. Chop up the herbs, filling an ice-cube tray halfway, and then fill the rest with water. You can also repeat those steps, but instead of water use oil. Similarly, making a pesto with your herbs and freezing the pesto in ice-cube trays is fun.
  4. Herb butter is another way to store your herbs. Let butter get to room temperature, chop up your herbs and mix into the butter using the back of a fork. Reshape in grease-free paper. Lasts two weeks in the fridge and six months in the freezer.
  5. Another fun way to use extra herbs is to make rejuvenating and relaxing herbal bath salts. Adding dried herbs to Epsom salts (and essential oils if you prefer) can spruce up your bath time with their natural benefits. Herb salts can be stored up to two to three years but slowly lose their potency over time.


Did you know?

Perennials herbs (such as thyme and rosemary) survive all year by going dormant in the winter and growing in the spring. If you are using herbs from a perennial plant, only pick about 10 percent of your plant to keep it alive. Other herbs and spices (basil and oregano) must be planted and harvested the same year.


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