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How To Keep Fresh Herbs Fresh For Weeks

I like to use fresh herbs as much as I can. They add flavor, color and texture. Read on to find an easy and simple way to store fresh herbs and keep them fresh for weeks.

Fresh Cilantro

Fresh herbs taste better than dried herbs and they look better, they have a more vibrant color. Using fresh herbs on a regular basis sounds easier than it is, especially if you want to use a variety and your household is just the two of you.

When you keep fresh herbs in the fridge without a little bit of extra attention, you will most likely throw them away within a week, because they’re turning slimy, or yellow or both. Let me show you how to keep them fresh for a couple of weeks.

How To Store Fresh Herbs

Washed cilantro

Step 1 – Untie your bundle of herbs and wash them; make sure sand, and whatever else is on these herbs, is washed off. Shake off the excess of water.

Step 2 – Tear of some paper kitchen towel, enough to roll up the herbs. Wet the towel and wring some water out of them, so they’re not dripping wet. ‘Unwring’ the towel – do this carefully as damp towels tear easily. Spread the towel on your countertop and place the herbs on the short side of the towel.

Cilantro on damp towel
Roll of cilantro in wet towel

Step 3 – Loosely roll the herbs into the damp towel. Make sure all leaves of the herbs are inside the roll, not sticking out like a bunch of flowers.

Step 4 – Place the paper towel roll inside a Ziploc bag or any other plastic bag. Place this bag inside your vegetable drawer of the fridge.

Wet 'herb towel' in plastic bag

That’s all there is to it. So very simple and quickly done and in will save you money. You can keep the fragile herbs, the herbs that are fragile and moist, like cilantro, parsley, tarragon, chives, mint, dill and basil. Having that said, basil is a notoriously difficult herb to keep.

The same technique can be used for the more woodsy herbs, like rosemary, thyme, oregano and sage. They are less delicate than the others and thus will keep longer, but the method will work for these as well.

How Long Can I Keep Fresh Herbs Fresh

  • 3 weeks for: cilantro, parsley, dill, tarragon, rosemary, sage.
  • 2 weeks for: chives, oregano, thyme.
  • 1 week for: basil (this is the problem child).

Using Fresh Herbs vs Dried Herbs

You have a great dish in mind, but can’t find the fresh herbs you want. How much dried herbs do you need to use instead?

Always keep in mind that dried herbs are more ‘potent’ than fresh herbs, so a general rule of thumb is to use a ratio of 1 tablespoon vs 1 teaspoon.

That is 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs vs 1 teaspoon of dried herbs.

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