Having an herb garden can be great. It can save a lot of money and introduce fresher ways in the kitchen. But, what happens when your herb garden is frozen, and not available in the winter months? Sure, you can definitely start an indoor garden, but you may not be able to make it as extensive as the one you may run outside.
Learning different ways to preserve herbs can be important because drying, though it can be great for many herbs, can also not be great for others.
Rosemary, parsley, mint, and thyme are some that work with the drying method, for example, but some other herbs tend to lose a lot of flavor and good properties when dried. Here are three more methods, other than drying, that can help you preserve herbs.
There are a couple of ways to freeze herbs, so you can pick which you prefer based on taste or reason. Both of them are really easy, which is always wonderful. First, you can take whole, or chopped leaves and lay the out on a baking sheet. Make sure the leaves are thoroughly cleaned and dry.
Then, you freeze the leaves overnight, then put them in sealed containers and keep them in the freezer. This should keep them fresh for months. After a while, though, they will start to look tired and worn out. So, if you would like to store them even longer, there is a better way of freezing them. You can cut the herbs up into small pieces, and pack them into an ice tray.
You may want to know how much of each herb is in each compartment of the ice tray, and usually one teaspoon is a good amount. You can then fill the compartments up about three quarters of the way, then freeze.
The next day, fill them up even more so that you cover any floating plants that may be at the top and are risking freezer burn. When you would like to use the herbs, you can drop the ice cube into what you are cooking, or melt it down until you have only herbs left.
Preserving our herbs is a great way to get good taste, save a little money, and even teach your children if they are old enough to join in the activities!
● Herb Butter
This method is also very simple. All you do is add the herbs into some butter and freeze it. Mince the herbs up, you can make a blend or choose one of your favorites, and add one part of it into two parts butter. Shape it up nice and put it in the freezer. When you need it, just slice yourself off a piece and get amazing, fresh, flavors.
● Herb Vinegar
Making herb flavored vinegar may sound odd, but it really is delicious and adds the flavor that you want into your food. Also, it is another one that is fairly simple to make. To do this, you will need some bottles, and cork stoppers. Vinegar is too acidic for most metal caps, even ones that are coated, so stay away from those.
You will need enough vinegar to suit you and your herbs and spices, which can be dried or fresh. The kind of vinegar can depend on the herb you want to add into it. For example, white wine vinegar can be best for lighter, more delicate flavors, like lemon balm, and apple cider vinegar for bolder flavors, like rosemary. Wash and dry your herbs, then put them into a bottle.
The ratio is about one half a cup of herbs, for every two cups of vinegar and if you want a stronger taste, add more. Then store the mix in a cool, dark place and let marinate. For a longer storage period, you can seal the cork better with wax.
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