I don’t know about you, but every time I grow basil in my garden, I always end up with way more than I know what to do with! I dry a lot of it so I can use it throughout the winter, but a lot of times I want fresh basil for a recipe. So today’s simple tutorial will show you how to store fresh basil so it stays bright green and vibrant for at least a week!
If your basil plants need pruning, but your dinner plans don’t involve basil tonight, don’t worry; you can store fresh basil on your counters for a week or longer! This trick is also perfect if you buy fresh basil from the grocery store but don’t use the whole bunch all at once!
How To Store Fresh Basil
The first thing you need to know is that you should never put your fresh basil in the refrigerator!!! Basil is a delicate herb with a high moisture content, and it does not like cold temperatures. Refrigeration can cause the leaves to wilt and turn black. Blech!
Instead, just leave it out on your counter at room temp in a glass or vase of water, just like cut flowers! Trim the bottoms of the stems so that you have a fresh cut (only necessary for store bought basil; if you just pruned your basil plant, the cut will already be fresh enough) and place the stems into a glass of water.
Try not to get the leaves in the water, if you can. I know when you’re pruning your basil plant, it can sometimes be hard to get a good, long stem, but the leaves will get soggy if you leave them in the water, so do your best!
Then put a plastic bag over the whole thing to help keep the moisture from escaping! It’s not the prettiest, but it definitely works!
Just make sure there’s room for air to flow into and out of the bag. Like any other plant, basil produce ethylene gas, which is what helps fruit to ripen. But if the plant doesn’t have room to breathe, the ethylene gas will cause the leaves to wilt. Make sure the leaves are completely covered by the bag, but leave at least an inch at the bottom for the gas to escape.
Change out the water every day or so to keep it fresh, and your basil will live happily on your counter for at least a week!
Do you have any other tricks for storing fresh herbs? Want to share this tip with your friends? Just click any of the share buttons off to the left to share to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.!
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