19 October 2009, Comments 0

Harvesting Fresh Herbs: Recap

Let’s take a step back and quickly cover what we learned about harvesting fresh herbs from your home herb garden:

  • Harvest herbs before the hottest part of the day. Preferably morning after dew has dried
  • Harvest no more than 30% of the leaves from a herb plant at a time unless you are harvesting an entire annual herb garden plant like cilantro
  • Rinse leaves in a bowl of cool saltwater to remove insects and dirt

The Best, Little Known Tips to Preserve Fresh Herbs – Tip 1: Herbal Ice Cubes: Little Flavor Bombs

  • Lightly mince the leaves of the herbs
  • Place a measured amount (see below) rinsed herb leaves in an ice cube tray
  • Fill ice cube trays with water and freeze
  • Make sure to label the trays so you can identify your herbs later

*Uses and tips for freezing herbs in ice cubes

By preserving fresh herbs in ice cubes, two very useful benefits are achieved. The first benefit, of course, is that your valued herbs from your home herb garden are easily and effectively saved for later use. The second benefit is that each ice cube contains a pre-measured quantity of fresh herbs. Each herb-filled ice cube becomes an incredibly convenient “flavor bomb” that you simply drop into your soups, stews, sauces or other fresh herb recipes.

What quantity of fresh herbs per ice cube? I recommend placing a tablespoon of fresh herbs (lightly minced, so it fits) in each ice cube. This is a common measurement for your recipes. If your sauce or soup recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of oregano, then, “flavor bombs away!” with 2 oregano ice cubes.

Tip 2: Making Herb Flavored Salt

Of course, salt has been used for centuries to preserve food. But most people think of salt being used to preserve meat and fish. Using salt to preserve fresh herbs, especially from your own home herb garden, once again, gives you two nice benefits . The first benefit is that herbs preserved in salt can last for months. The second benefit is that the salt itself becomes intensely flavored from such close contact with the herbs. Herb salt becomes a useful and delicious addition to your spice rack. Here’s how to do it:

  • Spread a layer of salt in a tray
  • Add a layer of fresh herbs of your choice
  • Add a second layer of salt covering the fresh herbs to “sandwich” them between the two layers of salt
  • Store the tray in a cool dry place for a month or more

At this point, you have a choice. You can separate the herbs and place them in an airtight container and place the salt in other containers. Or you can leave the salt/herb mixture together and place them together in air tight containers.

Whichever you choose, make sure to label the containers so they are easy to identify later in your spice rack or on your counter.

"fresh herbs"

Final thoughts about preserving the harvest of your home herb garden

Using herb flavored salt, is actually a great way to decrease the amount of salt in your diet. How’s that? The flavor of the salt is so much more complex and intense, that very little goes a long way in flavoring your new and more delicious diet.

Remember, eating healthier is achieved, not by depriving yourself and your family of the good things in life, it is achieved by rediscovering the even better things in life!

I invite you to continue this article for more great tips for using the herbs from your home herb garden including my popular free 10 part mini-course and my exact blueprint for growing the absolute fastest and healthiest herb garden.

Melanie Stark has been growing fresh herbs and creating home herb gardens for 30 years. For more information about Melanie and her gardens, visit http://www.herbsandgrowingsecrets.com/home-herb-garden/

Thanks for reading my blog post and in the meantime if you would like to read more of my fantastic cooking tips and food recipes you can subscribe to my RSS feed or join my free online Ezine.

To your food heaven


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