Herbs: Here are my top tips to make them last longer
This is another video made for This Morning on how to make sure your herbs stay fresh for as long as possible.
Herbs, chillies, ginger and garlic can make a huge difference to your cooking, but it can be difficult to use them up before they go off.
Bags of herbs from the supermarket cost up to £1.75 a pack, but you rarely need the whole bunch all at once. The rest can go limp or mouldy in the fridge very quickly.
Here are some ideas for keeping herbs fresher for longer.
- Trim the stalks then wrap woody-stemmed herbs such as thyme, rosemary and tarragon in damp kitchen roll and put in a plastic bag or container in the fridge. They should remain good to use for at least 7 days.
- Trim bunches of fresh parsley and coriander and place in a clean jam jars with just a couple of centimeters of cold water. Put into a large zip-seal bags and close almost fully, leaving just 2cm open at one corner. Keep in the door of the fridge and they could last up to 2 weeks, or longer, if you change the water every few days.
- For roughly chopped herbs, save time by snipping the bunch with kitchen scissors instead of a knife.
- Freeze chopped herbs in small, lidded pots or baby food containers with a little olive oil or cold water and add to your food from frozen – great for boosting the flavour of casseroles, curries and sauces. If you use silicone baby food or mini muffin trays, you can pop the frozen herbs out and store in a freezer bag to make more space in your freezer. Freeze for up to 4 months.
- Finely chopped garlic and ginger can be frozen in the same way and then placed in a sealed bag to stop flavours transferring in the freezer. A teaspoon of frozen garlic is roughly the same as one whole clove. Use from frozen within 2 months.
- Red and green chillies can be sliced thinly and put into small, lidded containers. Freeze for up to 2 months and use from frozen.
- Freeze your own combinations of finely chopped or blitzed chillies, garlic and ginger in small lidded containers for fresh-tasting flavour-blasts when added to curries, stir-fries, sauces and stews. Use from frozen within 2 months.
- Buy exotic herbs, such as kaffir lime leaves and curry leaves, when you see them. Freeze in well-sealed bags or lidded containers and use from frozen within 4 months.Salads can be revived in a similar way too:
- Revive droopy leaves, such as watercress and rocket, from an open pack, by giving them a bath in a bowl of cold water with a few ice cubes for 30 minutes – they’ll be as good as freshly cut! Drain well.This method also works for soft herbs like parsley and coriander. But remove as much moisture as possible before chopping. Hold the bunch together with an elastic band and trim the ends. Put in the iced water for 30 minutes, then take out of the water, shake well and pat dry with kitchen roll or a clean tea towel. You can also dry them in a salad spinner. Or try giving them a quick blast on the cool setting of your hair dryer. Safety note- do this well away from any source of water.BUY ‘FREEZE’ from Amazon: 120 Delicious Recipes and Fantastic New Ways to Use Your Freezer and Make Life Just That Bit Easier