Fresh greens start to go bad faster if not exposed to adequate sunlight, moisture and oxygen
It is great to bring some freshness to your food with finely chopped herbs but the biggest challenge is the preservation of these greens. It can feel near impossible to use them before they start to wilt. Fresh greens start to go bad faster if kept without adequate sunlight, moisture and oxygen. Excessive moisture can cause your soft herb leaves to wilt and become slimy while too much sunrays can turn them yellow.
Here are ways how one can avoid having to throw away soggy herbs just a day after use
Know your herbs
First of all preservation pattern depends on the herbs you are using. If the stems are tender and green like in cilantro or coriander, parsley, mint, basil, dill, they need a different kind of storing method compared to the ones with woody stems and former leaves like sage, thyme, rosemary.
Wash thoroughly and dry before storing
Wash your herbs under cold running water from all the dirt that promotes decay. Dry them in a salad spinner or leave them on a kitchen towel and pat them dry as much as possible before storing.
Storing herbs to use sooner
For tender green clips off the bottom of the stem, remove brown wilted leaves and put them on a long tumbler kind of container like mason jar or water glass with an inch of water at the bottom. Keep them in the fridge and change the water every couple of days. For woody herbs wrap them in a damp paper towel and then in plastic and chill in refrigerator. This method will ensure your leaves remain hydrated and won’t dry out in the cold refrigerator climate, as well as limit the amount of oxygen coming into contact with the leaves to avoid browning
Storing herbs to use for months
For longer use, hardy herbs can be frozen in a resealable freezer pouch, while for the tender green turn them to puree with olive or canola oil, put them on ice trays to freeze up.
Using up unused herbs
If you no longer need the herbs as you have planned, you can turn them to dry herbs for adding flavours to your dish. Bundle your herbs with a rubber band, place in a paper lunch bag with holes for aeration and hang upside down in a warm, dry room until they are crisp to the touch and crumble easily. Now store them in an airtight container with holes on its lid for convenient use.