how to: store herbs

We used to have a class in school called ‘Life Skills’. I can’t remember anything the teachers taught during that period, but since leaving school, I’ve always wondered why they didn’t teach real life skills, like how to look good in a passport photo, or how to cook the perfect roast chicken, or how to walk in high heels.

Or how to store herbs.

When we lived in Australia, herbs were super expensive. We wanted to make them last because they cost so much. Now we live in Kenya, where the herbs are super cheap, but they came in huge bundles. We want to make them last because so much is wasted if we don’t.

I tried a gazillion things until I realised, duh, Google! So here’s the down low on what’s worked with the four herbs I use most:

Mint

Place the mint in a cup with a small amount of water in the bottom for the stems. Loosely cover the whole thing in a small plastic bag and put in the fridge. You can change the water every few days if you don’t use it all up!

Coriander / Cilantro / Dhania

Sometimes I store it just like mint, but I’ve found keeping it unwashed in a plastic bag or container in the fridge works just as well with coriander. I wash it as I need it.

Rosemary

Wrap the rosemary in paper towel, then loosely wrap it in a plastic bag and put in in the door (or any warmer part) of the fridge. Again, don’t wash the rosemary until you need it and it will last longer. Alternatively, I sometimes let the rosemary dry out on our spice shelf for a few days before using it.

Basil

Think of basil like flowers. Trim the stems, place in a cup with water and leave it out on the bench. Any time I’ve put basil in the fridge, it turns brown really quickly.

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