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The Guide to Herbs


Herbs can magically flavor up dishes without resorting to loads of salt, butter, and cheese. Adding a little green to a meal not only makes it prettier and tastier, but can pack some awesome health benefits, too.

And while those 5-year-old dried and bottled versions are convenient, it’s worth it to splurge on the fresh stuff every once in a while (or grow your own at home)! While adding herbs — dried or fresh — to any dish can add healthy vitamins and antioxidants, they may lose nutritional value during the drying process, so stick with fresh if available [1]. Read on to find out how to use some of the most popular herbs in their fresh state, and how to store them for later use.

The How-tos

Store Fresh Rinse herbs with cool water to remove dirt, gently shake off excess moisture, and pat dry with paper towels or a clean dishcloth. Find a medium-sized jar and fill with a few inches of water. Trim the ends of the herb stems so that the bunch fits with the leaves above the jar’s edge. Leave them on the counter, or store in the refrigerator, covered loosely with a plastic bag.

Deep Freeze Chop up fresh herbs and pop them into an ice cube tray to freeze for later use. Try freezing them in olive oil for use in sautés or roasted dishes!

Mincing Made Easy A microplane mill allows users to mince herbs quickly without bruising them or making a big mess. Not a fan of kitchen gadgets? Get yourself a sharp knife, and dry those fresh herbs very well. For best chopability, make sure to pat herbs dry with a clean dishtowel or paper towels before they hit the blade.

Grow Your Own Try growing your own herbs in an indoor herb garden or use a few small planters and an empty windowsill. Then you’ll have a fresh, healthy way to give flavor to dishes right at your fingertips.

Air Dry While we often prefer fresh herbs, sometimes they can quickly rack up a grocery bill. Try buying in bulk, and drying them yourself for later use. Secure stems with twine or a rubber band and hang them upside down in a warm, dry place that’s away from direct sunlight. Pop a paper bag over the herbs to prevent them from getting dusty.

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Category: Food, Wellness

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