You can freeze or dry herbs with equal success. Drying is the most common method, and it’s not hard, but freezing is faster. Blanching herbs before freezing improves their taste and color. No matter how you plan to preserve fresh herbs, cut them early in the morning, snipping them in 6-inch lengths off the plant.

Things You'll Need


Freezing Herbs

Hold herbs by the stems and dip in boiling water, swishing them through the water gently. When the color brightens they are ready. This only takes a few seconds.

Place the herbs on clean paper towels to cool

Prepare for freezing by either removing stems, chopping or simply leaving them whole.

Dry the herbs and lay out in single layers on waxed paper. Roll up and label. Place in sealed bags. Store in the freezer.

Air Drying

Punch holes in a paper bag for air circulation. Gather the stems and place them top side in first in the bag so the stems are at the bag opening.

Gather the bag tops around the stems and secure with rubber bands, yarn or string.

Label the bags and line the bags on a shelf. Herbs will last the winter.

Oven Drying

Spread clean dry herbs evenly in one layer on a baking sheet.

Place in a preheated 140 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Put a spoon in the oven door to prop open slightly for the last 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let stand for 12 hours or overnight.

Place the whole branches, sprigs or leaves in a labeled airtight container. Keep for up to six months in a cool, dark place.

Tips

  • Don’t crush the herbs until you are ready to use them so that you release the oils and flavors into your recipe, not the storage bag or your hands.

  • Oven-drying is a better method than sun-drying; the only problem can be in keeping your oven at the correct, low temperature. You don’t want to heat the herbs, just remove the moisture.