What do herbs
Preserving herbs - 5 possibilities presented
Fresh herbs are only available to us for a limited time each year, which is why you should preserve your herbs. Here are 5 ways you can do that.
There are various ways to preserve fresh garden herbs for the winter months. To do this, you have to harvest most of the garden herbs completely shortly before the first frosts so that they can sprout again immediately in the coming spring.
If possible, you should always harvest or cut the herbs for preservation in the morning, immediately after the morning dew has dried off. This has the advantage that the plant can still regenerate itself during the day and the cold that often prevails in the nights in autumn will not affect it much.
Once you have harvested all the herbs, you can try the following options for preserving the herbs.
Preserving herbs - 5 possibilities presented
Option 1 - freezing:
You should freeze all types of herbs with soft leaves, such as parsley, chives, dill, etc. Harvest them fresh, wash them, pat dry a little with paper towels and chop them up.
However, you should not chop mint up for freezing, as this will cause it to lose its aroma. So leave the mint leaves on the branches and freeze them whole in freezer bags.
You can of course determine the respective herb portion size individually. However, ice cube portions that can be removed individually are ideal. Put the freshly chopped herbs as loosely as possible in an ice cube tray and then fill it up with a little water. Put the bowl in the freezer and let the herbs freeze through.
Option 2 - drying:
Drying herbs is always recommended when it comes to types of herbs that will later be cooked in dishes, such as thyme, rosemary, oregano, marjoram, etc. or are used in a salad dressing. Only borage is not suitable for drying. It's better to freeze this herb.
To dry them, you have to harvest the herbs with long stems as possible, wash them and carefully pat dry with kitchen paper. Then you can bundle the herb stalks and tie them together at the ends with kitchen twine. You should then store the herbal bundles upside down in a warm, preferably dark room until they are completely dry after approx. 2 weeks. After this drying time, you can remove the bundles and store them in an opaque, closed container for the winter.
Dried herbs should never be crushed immediately because they usually lose their aroma completely. Chopping is always done when cooking!
Option 3 - insertion:
Of course, you can also soak the herbs in high-quality vinegar or good cooking oil. Here, however, you have to distinguish whether the herbs are to be preserved or whether vinegar and oil should be given a herbal flavor.
To preserve herbs in vinegar or oil, you should use dried herbs - see the drying process. Put these in a sealable glass jar and only pour enough oil over them to just barely cover them. The type of cooking oil used in each case changes the typical herbal taste a little.
If, on the other hand, you fill the glass vessel completely with oil and place it in a sunny window for a few days / weeks, you get an excellent herbal oil for frying and refining salads. You can also achieve the same effect by soaking the herbs in vinegar. However, you must then store the glasses in a cool place so that the herbal aromas in the vinegar can soak through.
Option 4 - making pesto:
Some herbs, including basil, are difficult to dry or freeze (they turn brown). You can preserve these in the form of pesto over the winter months. To do this, simply proceed as follows:
Wash the basil, pat dry and pluck the leaves. Then roast the pine nuts in the pan, chop the garlic cloves (depending on your taste) and dice the Parmesan cheese. Put everything together with the sea salt in a mortar, crush them well and then pour the mixture into a small glass. Now fill everything up with oil until a creamy paste is formed.
But it doesn't always have to be the classic basil pesto. For example, you can try a delicious coriander pesto recipe. There are even recipes for groundgrass pesto too. Just experiment with a few herbs.
Option 5 - make herbal salt:
Another variant of the herb preservation is the production of herbal salt. Here, too, there are two possibilities to make the herbs durable.
For example, you can wash the fresh herbs, dab them briefly and finely chop them. Now add salt (7 parts herbs, one part salt). Then spread the mixture on baking paper to dry and dry in the oven at 40 ° C for about an hour. Or let it air dry for about two days. Then you can pour the herbal salt into glasses.
But you can also grind or chop herbs, mix them with plenty of salt (mixing ratio 7 parts salt, 1 part herbs) and fill them in portions - e.g. in smaller, opaque cardboard boxes or in paper bags.
Here is a suitable video on the subject
You might also be interested in:
»Harvest herbs properly
»Planting herbs - that's how it works
»Creating a herb garden - step by step instructions
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