I love using fresh herbs in recipes. I feel like they give a better taste than dried ones. (Although, honestly, I have no idea if that’s actually true or if that’s just an assumption on my part!)
However, fresh herbs are expensive and often come in greater quantities than what I need. In the past, I would use the amount required in the recipe and then put the rest in the fridge thinking I would come up with another recipe where I could use the rest of them. For some reason though, those good intentions rarely played out and I often threw away leftover herbs that had gone moldy or dried up. That is until now!
I finally learned of two options to use leftover herbs so that I’m not wasting them or my money! The first option is to add them to your smoothie. Cilantro and parsley add a fresh flavor, while mint and basil are perfect with all kinds of fruits. You can add just a little bit so the taste doesn’t change significantly, but the nutrition factor will be amped up as herbs are packed with phytonutrients.
The other option for leftover herbs is to freeze them to use later. To do this:
- Prep the herbs to the form you will use them (remove from stems, chop, etc).
- Fill an ice cube tray with an amount of the prepped herb you tend to use (1 teaspoon or 1 tablespoon per mold, generally).
- Add enough water to each mold to just cover the herbs. Note: you may have to push the herbs down initially if the float, so you don’t end up with too much water.
- Freeze over night.
- Remove cubes from tray and keep in a labeled bag (herb and amount) in the freezer until you’re ready to use them.
As I said, fresh herbs are too expensive to throw away the “extras”. And they are so rich in nutrients that I want to be sure I’m getting all of the nutritional value from them that I can.
If you have additional ideas about how to use fresh herbs, I’d love to hear them!