Herbs for Health: Preserving Fresh Herbs at Home

Herbs for Health: Preserving Fresh Herbs at Home

Fresh herbs are a delightful addition to any dish, elevating flavours, and adding vibrancy and health. However, their short shelf life sometimes leaves us with more than we can use at once and we don’t like to let those precious herbs go to waste. So, what can we do with leftover herbs at home?

Drying herbs is an age-old preservation method. Hanging a small bunch of herbs upside down in a warm, dry place. This is effective for hard herbs - those with woody stems, say, thyme or rosemary - but not for leafy herbs like coriander or basil. Unfortunately for us in Singapore, the humidity doesn’t allow us to do this. For those of you in drier climes, we would love to join you sometime!

Freezing in oil, or water, is our favourite method. Chop your herbs finely and pack them into ice cube trays. Fill the trays with either water or olive oil (consider a lighter more neutral-tasting oil if olive oil is too flavoursome), push out any air pockets, and then freeze. Once frozen, transfer the herb cubes into a zip-top bag. The cubes are perfect for dropping into soups, stews and sauces to infuse dishes with herbal goodness. They can be defrosted and used to marinate meats or fish. Cubed Herbes de Provence anyone?

Herb Butters are versatile and can be used to enhance the flavour of various dishes. Blend finely chopped herbs into softened butter, then roll the mixture into a log using plastic wrap. Chill or freeze the log, and when needed, slice off portions to melt over steaks, seafood, or bread. We generally try to limit our use of butter but as an occasional treat, herbed butters are lovely. 

Herb Pestos can be stored in the fridge until needed. Whip up a batch of pesto by blending basil with nuts (traditionally pine nuts but almonds or other nuts can be used), garlic, Parmesan cheese and olive oil. Transfer the pesto to an airtight container and drizzle a thin layer of oil on top to prevent browning. Pesto doesn't have to be limited to basil, other herbs can be used.

Herb-infused Vinegar and Oils can add a burst of flavour to your culinary creations but only use up a small volume of herbs, unless you are making them in volume for friends. Fill a clean glass bottle with vinegar or oil and add washed and dried herbs. Seal the bottle and let the flavours infuse over time. Some recipes involve blending and straining the herbs, fun if you have the time and inclination. Herb-infused oils are excellent for drizzling over salads, pasta, or grilled vegetables.

Enjoy growing herbs at home with Aerospring Indoor Table-top Garden Hydroponic System
As part of a nutritionally rich, whole health lifestyle, at The Whole Health Practice we advocate enjoying herbs (and spices) as a regular part of one’s diet. While some herbs (and their polyphenols) have shown positive results for specific health outcomes, enjoy a variety of herbs that work in synergy to promote maximum health. And taste! That's one reason why the Mediterranean diet is so effective at promoting long-term health.
If you have any other suggestions for what to do with leftover herbs, please let us know!
Stay Healthy,



Bonus Read:

More than just taste, herbs can bring health and joy to our lives. Stay tuned for our complete collection of articles, recipes and more...


This content is brought to you by The Whole Health Practice. Alastair Hunt (NBC-HWC) is the Founder and Chief Wellbeing Officer at The Whole Health Practice. Based in Singapore, The Whole Health Practice supports individuals and teams around the world to improve their health, performance and vitality. Want to learn more about healthy living or sign-up for regular health content? Visit www.thewholehealthpractice.com

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