By Florence-Léa Siry from Chic Frigo Sans Fric
Herbs are the foods that most often go to waste in the fridge. They are purchased to add some freshness to recipes, but they are very rarely completely used up before they spoil. The following provides a few tricks to extend their shelf life.
Many stands in the markets have bunches of herbs available at very good price. If there is more than you think you can use, ask your merchant to divide the bunch in half, so that it doesn’t go to waste.
Try to buy herbs with their roots or in pots. If, however, they have been cut, ask how long ago. You can then figure out you have enough time to cook them before they wilt or yellow.
There are many ways to conserve herbs. The first step is to sort them as soon as they show any signs of weakness to avoid losing the entire bunch.
Conservation in Water
Put the roots of the herbs in water so that they won’t wilt. Change the water regularly every two or three days. You can leave them out, as a table ornament or in the door of the fridge. If necessary, cover them with a plastic bag to create a greenhouse effect. If your herbs were wilted when you bought them, put a pineapple heart in the water. The natural sugar in the fruit will nourish the herbs and give them a few extra days of life.
Conservation in a Damp Cloth
Roll up freshly cut herbs (without the roots) in a slightly damp cloth and put them in an airtight bag, ensuring that the humidity can escape. Unroll the bag as you need them.
Conservation in the Freezer
Add a surplus of chopped herbs in oil and put small portions in ice cube containers before freezing them. You can then use them in your recipes afterward.
How to Dry Herbs
You’ll never have to buy dry herbs again, because you can prepare them yourself with your surpluses. Dry a bunch of herbs upside down in the open air or in a paper bag. You can crumble them when they are dry and keep them in an airtight jar.
Zero Waste Tip
Freeze the stalks of uncooked herbs to add to your broths, you’ll see it will be a success.