How to Store Fresh Basil from Garden: Tips and Tricks

Fresh basil is a herb that is easy to grow in your garden or even on your balcony. However, preserving its freshness can be quite challenging. If you love using fresh basil in your cooking and want to keep it so that it lasts longer, this blog post will guide you through the process of storing fresh basil from the garden.

Picking Fresh Basil

The first step to having delicious preserved basil is picking it at the right time. The best time to pick fresh basil is early morning when the plant has had an adequate amount of sunlight and nutrients. When picking, select leaves that are still young and tender as they have more flavor than mature ones.

Harvesting Techniques

There are two methods for harvesting; pruning off branches or cutting individual leaves with scissors or pruner blades. Pruning allows for quicker harvests but reduces future growth while cutting individual leaves can take more time but promotes further growth because less damage occurs overall.

Cleaning Fresh Basil

After harvesting, rinse each leaf under cold water thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated during growing season. Then pat them dry gently with paper towels before moving onto storage techniques.

Avoiding Bruising & Damage During Cleaning

Be gentle with delicate herbs like basil during cleaning by avoiding bruising them excessively through rubbing too hard on their surfaces which could cause damage beyond repair.

Storage Methods For Fresh Basil From Garden

One of the most popular ways to store fresh herbs such as basil is by wrapping them loosely in a damp paper towel then placing them inside a resealable plastic bag (you can put 4-5 sprigs per bag). Airtight containers work well too; place cleaned herbs into jars then cover tightly and refrigerate until use (up to one week).

Freezing Fresh Basil

Alternatively, you can also freeze fresh basil for long-term storage purposes. Blanch the leaves in boiling water for 5-10 seconds then immediately submerge them in ice-cold water. Pat dry and transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container before placing it inside your freezer.

Cooking with Frozen Basil

When using frozen herbs like basil, add them directly into your dish while still frozen as thawing causes discoloration and wilting.

Using Preserved Basil

Preserved basil can be used interchangeably with fresh ones; toss chopped preserved herbs into salads or use it as a garnish for soups & stews. You can also make pesto sauce by blending preserved basil along with garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese & salt until smooth consistency is achieved.

Conclusion

In conclusion, preserving fresh basil from the garden requires proper picking techniques followed by thorough cleaning to avoid any damage during preservation. Storage methods such as refrigeration or freezing are effective ways of extending its shelf life while maintaining its flavor profile. With these tips at hand now you can enjoy delicious homemade meals all year round!

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