Your recipe called for fresh herbs, your herb garden is exploding with growth, or maybe that little fresh bundle of fragrance just called out to you while you were grocery shopping – whatever the reason, you now have a bundle of amazing fresh herbs and nothing in mind to use them with. What now?
Hang Fresh Herbs to Dry
If you want to cook with your herbs later, then hang them to dry. Using a twist tie, repurposed rubber band, or a string, tie the herbs together into a bunch. Then, hang the bunch upside-down from a kitchen cabinet handle or even from a push pin stuck in the wall. Let them dry for a few weeks. Once they’ve dried completely, crumble the leaves off of the stems and store in a jar, then use them to cook whenever you’re ready. That easy!
Enjoy a Hot Cup of Herbal Tea
Herbs are not only amazingly flavorful, but also host a wide variety of medicinal properties. Take advantage of both by adding fresh or dried herbs to just boiled water for a nice cup of herbal tea. Mix and match to make your own tea blends, or add herbs to a tea that you already have. For a stronger flavor, shred or finely chop fresh herbs before adding the water, and also cover your cup and allow the herbs to steep for 10-15 minutes before drinking.
Herb Infused Water
Throw fresh herbs into a refrigerated pitcher or container with water for a refreshing infused water drink. The combinations are endless! Here’s some recipe ideas to get you started.
Add to a Relaxing Hot Bath
Let your leftover herbs help you unwind by drawing yourself a nice hot bath and adding those bad boys to it. Sprinkle in other essential oils or bath salts to chill even harder.
Use in a Homemade Household Cleaner
Grab a spray bottle or a container, stuff your herbs inside, fill with vodka (optional) and distilled white vinegar, and let sit for a couple weeks before using. Voila! You can get even creative with adding other food scrap leftovers such as the peels of lemons, oranges, grapefruits, or other citrus fruits. Here’s a great all-purpose cleaner recipe.
If you want to get real fancy, you can make herb-infused oil and even go on to make your own homemade skin salves. With so many uses, there’s really no reason to let good herbs go bad. But, we’re all human, so if and when your herbs do accidentally turn for the worst, into the compost bin they go!
About the author: Caylee is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist who believes that both the healthiest and tastiest foods take the environment into consideration. With a background in farmers’ markets, local food, urban gardening, and clinical nutrition, she believes that the intersection between sustainability and health is undeniable. More of her work can be found in Instagram at @eat_yer_veggies, and on her website at www.eat-yer-veggies.com.