Community Philosphy Blog and Library

HOMEGROWN Life: What’s Growing Where You Are? Preserving Herbs.

 

 

 

 

 

Our few starts are coming along good -well, except for the leeks, not sure what’s going on there.

Our herbs are doing really well, um, that’s an understatement.  They have taken over.  I thought that by only picking one plant of several varieties, they wouldn’t be enough.  I was so wrong.  I brought home three kinds of mint.  THREE!  What was I thinking.  I planted them in a barrel – I do have some common sense, knowing damn well they could conquer a small country.  I also planted two small lemon balm plants, and rosemary with them.  Poor things, they have no idea.  In another barrel I planted some Italian parsley, fennel, and two varieties of thyme.  No need to guess, the parsley and fennel are taking over that one.

preserving herbs

So, we have a massive amount of mint, parsley.  Here’s what I plan to do to preserve my over abundance.  There are several options of preservation.  Drying or dehydrating, keeping fresh in the fridge(not really preserving anything, but it’s not rotting or going to seed in the barrel), and freezing.   This time I’m going to freeze my herbs.  I have two ways that I like to do that.  First one is to roll into a log, whole leaf.  Wrap in plastic wrap or put into freezer bags, secure with a rubberband or twine and toss into the freezer.

preserving herbspreserving herbs

Second, is to put it into my Bamix processor (mini food processor) with a bit of water or olive oil and blend.  From there,  I put the mix into ice cube trays and freeze.  Once they are frozen, you can pop them out into a freezer bag -pull out just what you need, when you need it.

preserving herbspreserving herbs

With the out of control mint, I harvest and freeze cubes with some water or lemon water.  I then can toss these into iced tea, water, or this yummy drink called Limonata.  A nice quick, refreshing drink made with vodka, San Pellegrino citrus drink, and a mint cube- defintely not child friendly, but oh, so yummy.

preserving herbs

How do you preserve your herbs?

 

I live in the Pacific Northwest with my non-tree hugging, environmentally friendly, dreamin’-of-farming husband and our four wild, dirt lovin’ kids.  When I’m not writing of the adventures (or misadventures) on our micro-homestead, you might find me stalking Craigslist, Freecycle, or Facebook.  And since I’m all about multi tasking, I’ll probably be out gardening, baking, menu planning, home-educating, exploring with the kiddos, and scheming on how to get chickens past my HOA.

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2 Responses to “HOMEGROWN Life: What’s Growing Where You Are? Preserving Herbs.”

  1. I don’t have a recipe right in front of me (I guess it’s in my mind somewhere) but I think mixing mint with some garlic, ginger and lemongrass (not local I know) basil and chili peppers in a mortar and pestle would make a great concentrated mix for adding into sauces and the like. You could actually harvest basil, peppers and mint at the same time if you waited a little later in the season.

    I’ve also been thinking about salting herbs and I know there are some traditional recipes (swedish I think) that blend seven cups of assorted herbs with 1/4 cup of salt (at least I think that is the recipe) and use it for flavoring all sorts of things. I haven’t tried it but I think the salt would keep it cured and safe when stored in the fridge.

    Making pungent and concentrated herb blends makes for easy meals and can helps reduce a ton of leaf into a manageable amount.

  2. Yum! Been meaning to make some herbal ice cubes :) Freezer space is often at a premium for me due to roommates, so I usually dry the herbs for year-round teas. Blending the different kinds is so fun! A friend of mine’s mom makes a great mint sauce for lamb using dried mint, sugar, salt, and vinegar.

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