I couldn’t imagine cooking without fresh herbs – the flavor that comes with them is irreplaceable. But I get it…that hesitation of buying fresh herbs. There’s the cost, using them before they end up in the back of your fridge, wilted and brown, and thinking of how to actually use them in their entirety before they do go bad.
Hesitate no more, because this life hack has completely changed the way I store – and buy – fresh herbs.
If we’re on the same page about grocery shopping, it only happens on the weekend. Hellloooo real life and that too-busy-during-the-week vibe to actually make it to the store anytime besides the weekend. I’m all about the weekend planning and shopping life. Which means buying fresh produce and crossing my fingers hoping that it stays good until I use it (which if it’s for a recipe I’m making on Thursday, I’m really crossing those fingers).
Or when I have fresh herbs. Cilantro is one of my absolute favorites… Cilantro Salad w/ Peanut Sauce Dressing, Veggie Pad Thai, 15 Minute Asian Cold Remedy Soup, Coconut Shrimp Curry, Spicy Mango Salsa… I mean, you get the point, right? I love cilantro as both the shining star and the bright accompaniment.
And of course, since it’s one of my must-haves, it’s also the herb that tends to wilt and get really sad, really fast. Until now.
Here’s the scoop:
Step 1: Trim the ends and rinse.
Trim off the ends of the cilantro stems so they’re ready to soak up fresh water. Be sure to rinse the bunch super well, because cilantro can be one of the sandiest herbs out there. I like to do it “top down” (starting with the leaves) with a gentle stream of water, just so any sand doesn’t some how make it’s way up into the leaves unintentionally.
Step 2: Find a jar & fill with a little water.
Find a jar or cup that will hold the stems of the cilantro bunch but not suffocate too many (if any) leaves. 8 ounce mason jars have been my favorite for such a thing, but I’ve also used small juice glasses before.
Step 3: Reuse the produce bag!
Or you can use a baggie, but the reusable part is so earth friendly, isn’t it? Anyway, cover the cilantro (or herb) with the bag and place it in the fridge. This keeps the cilantro from getting too cold and wilting and also has some other magical power I can’t quite describe. Nonetheless, what matters is that your cilantro will last for probably close to two weeks (if you don’t use it by then!) and you won’t waste a penny. Save money and have your amazing, delicious, fresh herbs? I’d call that winning.
This method also works great with parsley (you know, for all those risottos or popcorn nights) mint, and basil. If using basil leaves, you’ll want to use a much smaller glass and be sure just the stems are in the water. Be sure to leave your basil covered on the counter, not the fridge; it’s far too delicate for such cold things. 😉
If you’re as obsessed with basil as I am, check out this Click & Grow Indoor Smart Fresh Herb Garden – in less than two months I have three luscious basil plants that have been begging to be used in everything.
What other food life hacks do you have?! I get my best ideas from you, my favorite foodie friends, so do share! <3
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