Preserving herbs

Here are three more ways to preserve herbs.

Freezing herbs is an easy way to preserve them for cooking. Clean herbs can be placed in  zip-lock bags and placed in the freezer. To use, quickly open, divide out what you want and reseal the bag. Herbs can also be chopped into small pieces, put in ice cube trays, covered with water and frozen for soups and casseroles.

Herbs can also be preserved by steeping them in oil or vinegar. Add herbs to the oil or vinegar for one week, changing weekly for three weeks. During this period, the flavor will concentrate.

One can also make herbal tea (or tisane)  with fresh grown herbs. The flowers, seeds and leaves of herbs are infused in a pot with just boiled water and allowed to steep for 3-10 minutes. It is best to put the fresh herbs in a clean towel and gently pound with the back of a wooden spoon so they release their essential oils before you steep them. You only need 2-3 teaspoons of the bruised leaves in 2 cups of just boiled water to make an herb tea. Be careful not to over-steep the tea because it may release bitter flavors in the plant. Rather, for stronger tea, add more herbs rather than brewing longer. Freshly brewed herb tea can be strained and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. Just reheat it.

Some nice herb tea combination are:

  • rosemary, peppermint and a bay leaf
  • lemongrass or sage
  • chamomille flowers and lavender flowers

Sweeten with honey.

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