Best Practices for Storing Basil After Harvesting

Basil is a highly fragrant and delicious herb that is used in various cuisines around the world. It enhances the taste of any dish with its sweet, peppery flavor and aroma. When it comes to using fresh herbs like basil in cooking, there’s nothing better than harvesting them straight from your garden or buying them freshly picked from a farmer’s market. However, storing basil can be tricky as it loses its flavor quickly if not stored correctly.

In this blog post, we will guide you through some simple steps on how to store basil after harvesting to keep it fresh for longer periods.

The importance of properly storing Basil

Basil is known for its delicate nature and short shelf life; therefore proper storage methods are crucial for keeping your precious herb fresh for an extended period. The essential oils present in basil make it more susceptible to losing flavor when exposed to air, moisture or direct sunlight.

When stored correctly, you can enjoy the full flavor and freshness of your harvested basil leaves up 1-2 weeks or even longer depending on the storage method used.

Step-by-step Guide: How To Store Basil After Harvesting

1) Washing And Drying Your Basil Properly:

Before you start storing your freshly harvested basil leaves, wash them thoroughly under cold running water to remove dirt residue and other contaminants that may have accumulated during harvest time.

After washing gently pat dry with a kitchen towel or wipe down with paper towels until completely dry. The drying process should take no more than 30 minutes so ensure they are fully dry before proceeding further.

2) Choosing The Right Storage Container:

The type of container you use plays an important role in preserving the quality of your herbs over time. You want something that allows adequate ventilation but also keeps moisture out which can cause premature spoilage.

Glass containers with tight-fitting lids, plastic bags or cling wrap are all good options to consider when storing basil.

3) Making Use Of The Refrigerator:

Refrigeration is an effective way of keeping your freshly harvested basil leaves fresh for longer as it slows down the growth of bacteria and mold spores that can cause spoilage over time.

Wrap your dried basil in a paper towel, moistened slightly on one end and place inside a resealable plastic bag. Make sure you remove as much air from the bag before sealing it shut and store it in the vegetable crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Keep an eye on them every few days to ensure they remain dry and fresh.

4) Storing Basil In Oil Or Freezing:

Another great way to store basil after harvesting is by preserving its flavor in oil or freezing.

To make herb-infused oil simply blend fresh basil leaves with extra virgin olive oil until smooth then transfer into sterilized glass jars and refrigerate for 2-3 weeks. Alternatively, you can freeze whole fresh leaves in ice cube trays filled with water or oil then transfer into freezer-safe bags once frozen solid.


Storing basil may seem like a simple task but doing so correctly can have a significant impact on maintaining its freshness, color, aroma, and flavor over time. Whether refrigerating, preserving in oils or freezing; always remember to choose suitable storage containers such as glass jars or bags that allow adequate ventilation while preventing moisture buildup which causes spoilage.
By following these easy steps above you can prolong the shelf life of your precious harvests ensuring they stay deliciously flavorful for any culinary creation!

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