Basil fresh to dry

What’s the best way to freeze basil leaves so that they remain as fresh as possible and are easy to use in recipes throughout the winter? Here are six different ways put to the test!

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I’ve always believed that freezing basil to preserve it through the winter is best accomplished through making pesto. And it’s great to have it so convenient to use for bread toppings and pasta dinners, among other things. But if you’ve ever grown a couple basil plants, you know that when they’re happy (in my garden, that’s after getting rid of bugs…) they will continue to pump out leaves until frost kills them.

And you only need so much pesto (plus, it’s not the cheapest thing to make), which is why I researched and wrote about 22 other ways to preserve basil. Because using up is a good thing. But while I was searching for ways to preserve basil, I came across a number of different ways to freeze basil – some in comments, some on Pinterest, and some from websites – that had me curious:

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What is the best way to freeze basil leaves?

Can it really be done and still have that great basil flavor? And since I’ve been pretty vocal about my love for not blanching produce before freezing (like beans, peas, corn, and peppers) because of how easy it is and the better results, of course you can guess I’d have to test this with basil, too.

So I gathered six different methods, tested them all on one day, froze them for a week, and took pictures along the way to share with you. There was a clear winner for me – and a second method that surprised me. Each method is pretty easy to do, though, so you can choose any one you think looks best!

6 Ways to Freeze Basil Leaves

1. Blanched

I’m starting with the method of blanching and freezing fresh basil leaves because it is the “official” way. Meaning, when you search for how to freeze basil, this will most likely be the first thing that comes up.

Here’s how to blanch & freeze basil leaves:

  • Wash & dry basil leaves.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil.
  • Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water.
  • Put fresh basil leaves into a colander that fits into the pot (it’s important to have the basil in something so you can quickly remove it all at once).
  • Dip the colander with leaves into the boiling water for just 3-5 seconds.
  • Transfer blanched leaves immediately to the ice water bath.
  • Spin the blanched leaves dry in a salad spinner (or pat dry as best you can). This is the spinner I use and love – it’s the longest lasting one I’ve had.
  • Lay out on a cookie sheet and freeze until firm, 12-24 hours.
  • Transfer leaves to a freezer bag – they start thawing immediately, so move quickly.

Results: Brightest color, though most time-intensive. If leaves are blanched just a few seconds too long, some turn brown, which I found stressful. Transferring to freezer baggie was hard since they start to thaw within seconds on tray and are very wilted. Once in the bag, though, the individual leaves were easy to remove to use in recipes.

2. Unblanched, spread on tray

This is my typical go-to method for preserving produce from berries to green beans, so it made sense for me to try it with basil, right? Of course it’s super easy:

  • Wash & dry basil leaves.
  • Lay out on a cookie sheet in a single layer.
  • Freeze until firm, 12-24 hours.
  • Transfer leaves to a freezer bag, pressing out as much air as possible.

Results: The frozen leaves looked exactly like they did when I put them on the tray, BUT they started to thaw so quickly it was tricky to get them into the bag and they turned brown rapidly as I did. They, too, were easy to remove for recipes, though they ‘broke’ more than the blanched leaves (which may be better for recipes?).

Here’s a side-by-side comparison after bagging up both the blanched and unblanched leaves. You can see on the left how brown the unblanched leaves became as I transferred them to the bag. The smell and flavor (I pulled off pieces to taste just to see if there was a difference) seemed the same, however, so it’s a matter of visual appeal, I think.

3. Fresh Leaves Rolled in a Paper Towel

I read about this method in a comment on a website, “I have always rolled my basil in paper towel and then in Ziplock bag in freezer” and was curious to see if the paper towel made any difference. I’m assuming it is to soak up moisture?

  • Wash & dry basil leaves.
  • Add a single layer of leaves to a paper towel and roll it up.
  • Place in a gallon freezer bag, removing as much air as possible (have you used this trick yet?) and freeze.

Result: Hard to peel leaves off paper, not easy to access leaves for recipes (have to take roll out, unroll and peel off leaves…), and some of the leaves actually turned brown in spots. This was probably my least favorite method – there wasn’t much to recommend it in my opinion.

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4. Unblanched Straight Into Freezer Bags

This was another method I read about in a comment on a website I visited: “I often harvest my basil leaves and put them straight into freezer bags. Once frozen, I just take out what I need to cook with and chop while still frozen. They maintain that great fresh taste.”

Since this was a version of my favorite non-blanching method, I wondered if it could be any different than how I usually do it on trays?

  • Wash & dry basil leaves.
  • Place leaves into freezer bags.
  • Remove as much air as possible, either by pressing or using this trick, and freeze.

Result: Decent color, easiest method (only handle the leaves one time), easy to break off portions to use.

Oh, my gosh, this was the WINNER in my book! Look at the more natural green color (the blanched basil looks unnaturally green to me) and how fresh the leaves still look! While you have to actually break off chunks to use (vs. the individual frozen leaves of blanched), that’s not hard to do and it’s how you would use them in cooking anyway. It’s true that the leaves will turn brown as you cook with them, but that’s what fresh leaves do, too, so that’s not a negative for me.

I love, love, that again the easiest method proved to be a good one – and the best one for me. But there are still two more popular Pinterest methods to test, one that surprised me with it’s usefulness, the other with it’s…not so usefulness.

5. Chopped & Coated With Oil

This method is very popular on Pinterest and I wondered if coating in oil would somehow help preserve the leaves versus the other methods. Here’s how to do this:

  • Wash, dry & chop basil leaves.
  • Toss leaves with a bit of olive oil (I used 3 c. of leaves to 2 TB. oil).
  • Portion into mason jars and freeze.

Results: Very dark leaves and very hard to remove – I needed to chip away at it just to remove a bit. The oil didn’t seem to help keep color at all. I was actually surprised to learn that this was another of my least favorite methods since it seemed to be so popular.

6. Chopped in Liquid Cubes

I’ve read about this method many times and have done a version of it by processing leaves in a food processor, almost like pesto, before adding them to ice cube trays (one time in olive oil).

I didn’t find these cubes easy to use – they seemed to be a one-shot wonder good for only marinara or pasta sauces (and since I usually have this amazing roasted sauce in the freezer, I hardly make it from scratch in the winter). What I liked about this version (again from a comment) was the differences:

  • Wash, dry & slice basil leaves.
  • Divide among ice cube tray sections.
  • Add either water or broth to cover leaves.
  • Freeze until firm and place in labeled freezer bags (or use ice cube trays with covers and store them in the trays).

Results: The leaves kept good color in both the water and broth. Although there is slightly more time involved with cutting and pouring, it’s easy to transfer the cubes to baggies and easy to use cubes in soups and stews. This was another WIN for us as I see these cubes being a lot more versatile than smaller cut basil or oil-covered basil. The cubes would even be a way to add basil flavor to curries.

SO, I will be preserving the rest of our basil leaves unblanched straight into baggies and I’ll make sure to have a few liquid cubes, too, for our favorite winter soups and stews. I’m happy to have these ways to keep the basil flavor all winter- along with lots of pesto, of course.

Have you used any of these methods for freezing basil? Do you have a favorite? Let me know in the comments!

Other Freezing Preserves To Try:

Homemade Pesto (with secret, frugal ingredient!) to Freeze and Eat All Year!

Three Ways to Freeze Corn

Zucchini Freezer Muffins

4 Ingredient No-Cook Chia Berry Freezer Jam

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Can I freeze basil leaves?

Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

You absolutely can freeze basil, but you won’t end up with beautiful bright green leaves.

How to Freeze Basil: To preserve some of the appealing green color when freezing whole leaves, steam them, pat dry and freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once frozen, the leaves can be transferred to a freezer bag (get as much air out of the bag as possible) and stored for about 6 months.

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My preferred method for freezing garden fresh basil is this: Puree the basil in the food processor with just a little extra virgin olive oil: about 2 tablespoons to 1 – 1 1/2 cups of basil. Spoon the puree into ice cube trays to freeze. Once frozen, transfer the cubes to a freezer bag. The cubes maintain their flavor longer than the individual frozen leaves.

For more tips and recipes for basil, see 7 Ways with Fresh Basil.

Want to learn how to make basil pesto? Here’s an easy way to do it:

How to Dry Leaves

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Drying Fresh Basil: How To Dry Basil From Your Garden

Basil is one of the most versatile herbs and can give you big yields in sunny summer weather. The plant’s leaves are the main component of the flavorful pesto sauce and are used fresh in salads, sandwiches, and many other recipes. The fresh leaves are used throughout the growing season but the plant will die back as soon as temperatures begin to cool. Drying basil is an easy way to save the delicious leaves and provide you with that summer taste even in winter.

How to Dry Fresh Basil

Dry basil has a more intense flavor when it is fresh but it degrades quickly. Dried herbs are generally three to four times stronger than the fresh herb. The leaves have high moisture content and need to dry quickly to prevent molding. Air has to circulate freely around both sides of the leaf for the fastest drying. Drying fresh basil is an easy way to preserve the fresh lemony-anise to spicy-pepper flavor of the herb.

The first

step in how to dry fresh basil is the harvesting. Herbs that are harvested for drying should be harvested in the morning just after the dew has air-dried the leaves. Cut the herbs from the plant before it gets too hot. Remove the stems back to ¼ inch above a growth node. This will allow more leaves to flush at the cut point. Harvest more than you would use when drying basil because the leaves will reduce in size by more than half.

There are two quick and effective methods of drying basil. You can cut stems around 6 inches long and bind them together in small bunches to hang dry. Place a paper bag around the bundles, which has holes punched in it. Hang the drying basil in a dimly lit to dark room with low humidity and warm temperatures. The bag will catch dry bits of the leaves as they fall off. You can also dry basil in a food dehydrator. Lay each leaf in a single layer on the racks and allow them to dry in the machine until completely crisp.

A super fast method of drying basil uses the microwave. Use caution to prevent the herbs from scorching. Lay the leaves in a single layer on paper towels and microwave on low for up to 3 minutes. Check them every minute and remove any that are dry to prevent burning.

Storing Dry Basil Leaves

Dried herbs will lose flavor over time and excess light increases this process. It is best to store them in a cupboard or dark pantry where light cannot penetrate. The container for storage must be dry and air tight. Remove stems and flowers if they were dried with the leaves. Crumble the leaves into containers so they are ready to use in recipes. A rule of thumb is to use one-quarter to one-third the amount of fresh basil leaves listed in a recipe.

The Cookful

by Amy Bowen 0 comments ”

How to Dry and Store Basil

Drying your freshly grown basil is easy peasy. All you need is a pot of fresh basil and some time. Then you’ll enjoy this herb all year.

Summer’s growing season is here, and growing basil is super easy (for most people, anyhow. My thumbs are a bit black but I’m trying!). There’s absolutely every reason to dry your own herbs this year.

Air drying your basil

Let’s air dry some basil. All you need is basil (of course), some string, a plastic bag and two eye hooks. I bet you already have these in your house.

Cut your basil and wash it. Let it soak for a few minutes and swish it around (my toddler LOVES doing this). After you pat it dry, look at your basil. Toss the leaves with holes or any that look weird. Now, gather your basil in even bunches, with the cut ends of the stems at the top. Tie the string around the top of the bunches. Make sure you tie them very tight because the basil will shrink as it dries. Make a loop with the string at the top so you can hang it up.

Choose a space in a cool, dry place and hang your basil. Hang your eye hooks and string. You can use a paper clip to hang up your basil bunches. Just thread it onto your loop of string.

Limp basil is gross. You need a month to dry your basil. You’ll know the basil is ready when it’s dried and crisp when you break it. If it’s limp, hang it back up. Once it’s ready, store in a plastic bag.

Oven drying

Don’t want to wait four weeks? Use your oven. You’ll need parchment paper and a cookie sheet.

Clip and clean your herbs as before. Dry in a salad spinner or in between two clean kitchen towels.

Cut the basil into 1/4-inch sections. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place your basil on it.

Preheat your oven to the lowest possible temperature. Place the cookie sheet on the top rack and cook for 2-4 hours. You’ll know it’s ready when you can crumble it.

Storing

Do yourself a favor. Take an extra 10 seconds to label and date your freshly dried herbs. I’ll be honest, I never do this for my herbs. And I always regret it after I find a forgotten bag of some kind of herb buried in the abyss that is my spice drawer.

If you store your herbs in a cool, dry place, you can keep those suckers for years. Although it’s recommended to keep dried herbs for one year for best taste.

Crumble

You can chop or cut the basil when it’s dried. Store in an air-tight container. Here’s a tip: Store your basil leaves whole. Crumble them right before cooking for best flavor.

last updated on October 1, 2019

Amy Bowen

Amy had no clue how to cook until she became the food reporter for a daily newspaper in Minnesota. At 25, she even struggled with boxed mac and cheese. These days, Amy is a much better cook, thanks to interviewing cooks and chefs for more than 10 years. She even makes four cheese macaroni and cheese with bacon, no boxed mac in sight. Amy is also on the editorial team at The Cookful.

Every herb gardener has struggled with a harvest that they don’t know how to use up before it goes bad. Or perhaps you long for homegrown flavors in the middle of the winter. Either way, learning how to dry basil will let you extend your basil harvest.

I think basil can be an acquired taste and some people have to learn to appreciate it. Some cuisines, like Italian and Thai, center around the herb. I, on the other hand, grew up with a mild dislike of Italian dishes (except pizza — it’s the food of the gods) mainly because so many of them were seasoned with basil.

Fast forward a few years. As a gardener, now I’m incredibly familiar with herbs, and I’m no longer basil-averse. I add fresh leaves to homemade pizza and eagerly scoop dried basil into my pasta sauces. Dried basil can be an excellent way to win over basil haters because drying mutes the spiciness. In addition to letting you use your basil year round, dried basil has a unique flavor that improves numerous dishes.

Growing the Best Basil for Drying

Before you can dry basil, you’ll want to make sure you’re growing healthy leaves. Our comprehensive basil growing guide has all the info you need to maximize your harvest.

Here’s a quick overview of what this herb needs to thrive:

  • Basil likes warm weather, so keep it away from temperatures below 50°F. During cold months, that means it’s best to keep basil plants indoors and away from windowsills.
  • Choose a pot that’s large enough. Basil is too-often sold at nurseries and grocery stores in cramped pots. If you buy a basil plant, transplant it to a larger container.
  • Plant in a well-drained area. Outside, that means avoiding spots where the soil is often waterlogged. Inside, that means choosing a pot with drainage holes.
  • Care for your basil by regularly watering it and allowing the soil to dry out completely once in a while.

When to Harvest Basil

Picking leaves from your basil plant the right way is essential to the drying process. Frequent picking is a signal to your plant to keep producing. It will also encourage it to grow bushy instead of leggy and tall. Snip flowers to encourage leaf growth and prevent the plant from going to seed.

Even if your goal is to dry basil, feel free to harvest fresh leaves throughout the season and add them to dishes as you wish. You can cut a bunch of leaves without completely sacrificing your plant. If your plant is big enough, you can also pick off branches for drying during the growing season, but your best bet is to wait until the season is over to harvest foliage for drying in large quantities. It’s more efficient to dry lots of basil than do it in small batches throughout the season.

If you’re harvesting mid-season, be sure to leave a small portion of stems and foliage behind so that your plant can re-generate. When harvesting, remember that as fresh leaves dry out, they shrink in size, so pick more than you think you need.

Why Bother Drying Basil?

Unless you’ve eaten so much basil throughout the summer that you’ve grown sick of it, chances are you’ll crave the herb once winter rolls around and cuts off your fresh supply of leaves.

Basil plants are annuals, so even if you’re lucky enough to garden in a warm climate, you’ll need to re-plant basil each year to enjoy it in your cooking. Drying it provides you with access to the delicious leaves when your new seedlings aren’t yet ready to be picked.

Compared to fresh basil, the dried version is much more pungent, though it lacks the peppery spice that fresh basil has. The flavor also fades over time.

Drying Basil

The key to drying basil is to eliminate moisture content without burning the leaves. Too much moisture left behind can result in mold growth, while high heat can scorch your leaves. Always thoroughly wash and blot basil before setting it out to dry.

There are multiple methods for drying herbs including:

  • Oven drying
  • Microwave drying
  • Dehydrator
  • Air drying

Drying Basil Using a Dehydrator

There are plenty of excellent quality food dehydrators available, and the key is finding a unit that’s the right size for your needs.

A dehydrator uses low heat and adequate air circulation to suck moisture from food to preserve it. It’s important to layer food to ensure even drying. Most dehydrators include a guide to help you pick the right settings and temperature for drying your chosen food product.

Drying with a dehydrator requires no babysitting, and there’s no need to worry about proper air circulation. It takes about 24 hours to two days for drying to be completed with a dehydrator.

Air Drying Basil

The easiest, most low-cost method for drying basil is to air dry it. Create a bundle of basil, tie it together, and hang somewhere to air dry. The somewhere is important, though. It should be away from direct sunlight, warm, and the humidity in the room should be low.

Use a tray below to catch falling leaves or cover the bundle with a perforated paper bag. This method doesn’t require any special appliances or the use of an oven, so it’s ideal if you’re on a budget. It requires patience, though, since bundles won’t dry out overnight.

If it’s still hot outside when you’re planning to dry your herbs, air drying is also helpful since you won’t have to turn on the oven and sweat it out in your home.

Oven Drying Basil

Speaking of ovens, using an oven is another way to remove moisture from your homegrown herbs. Low heat is critical to prevent burning leaves to a crisp. Set the temperature on your oven to the lowest possible — at most 200°F. As with a dehydrator, evenly spread out leaves to ensure everything dries at the same pace. Don’t layer leaves atop of one another.

Bake at the low heat for approximately 20 minutes. Keep an eye on your basil to avoid burning it. After the timer has gone off, turn off your oven and leave basil to continue drying overnight. After about 12 hours in the dry, warm oven you should wake up to find easy-to-crumble bits of basil ready to store.

Microwave Drying Basil

You can also use the microwave to dry out basil in a flash. It’s a delicate process, though, since a microwave emits high heat. You must be careful not to burn the leaves.

You may need to do some trial and error to get the time and heat setting right since microwaves vary. Place dried leaves on a paper towel in a single layer.

You’ll only need to zap the leaves for twenty seconds or so on the high setting to dry them out. Check and return basil to the microwave to zap it again if it’s not dry enough. If you want to be a little more careful, cook the basil a little longer on a medium-low setting. Microwaved basil is dry enough once it’s easily crumbled.

Storing Dried Basil

Don’t forget to store your dried herbs properly. Improper storage can strip your dried flakes of flavor. Store basil in an airtight container away from light. A cupboard is ideal, and make sure to choose the right type of container.

Glass containers that can be sealed airtight are ideal. Think glass screw top containers or clamp top containers. Avoid metal or plastic.

Wait a bit before putting your dried basil into containers and keep an eye on your stored dried basil to check for condensation. Any remaining moisture can cause mold growth, so if you see droplets of water, it means something went wrong, and you’ll have to chuck everything away and start again.

Chop or crumble leaves after dehydrating so that the basil is ready to use for cooking.

Don’t keep dried herbs for longer than a year. They’ll be tasteless by then. They’ll stay fresh for about 6 months – the perfect amount of time to get your next basil plant going.

Another option for persevering herbs is to freeze them. Alternately, if you can’t bear the thought of living without fresh herbs, consider adding an indoor herb garden to your kitchen space. Read our indoor herb gardening guide for ideas on how to grow herbs in the dead of winter.

What are your favorite ways to use dried basil?

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Food Storage – How long can you keep…

Tips

  • How long do dried basil leaves last? The precise answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions – to maximize the shelf life of dried basil leaves store in a cool, dark cupboard, away from direct heat or sunlight.
  • How long do dried basil leaves last at room temperature? Properly stored, dried basil leaves will generally stay at best quality for about 2 to 3 years.
  • To maximize the shelf life of dried basil leaves purchased in bulk, and to better retain flavor and potency, store in containers with tight-fitting lids.
  • Are dried basil leaves safe to use after the “expiration” date on the package? Yes, provided they are properly stored and the package is undamaged – commercially packaged dried basil leaves will typically carry a “Best By,” “Best if Used By,” “Best Before,” or “Best When Used By” date but this is not a safety date, it is the manufacturer’s estimate of how long the dried basil leaves will remain at peak quality.
  • Do dried basil leaves ever spoil? No, commercially packaged dried basil leaves do not spoil, but they will start to lose potency over time and not flavor food as intended – the storage time shown is for best quality only.
  • How can you tell if dried basil leaves are still good? To test whether dried basil leaves are still potent enough to be effective: Rub or crush a small amount in your hand, then taste and smell them – if the aroma is weak and the flavor is not obvious, the dried basil leaves should be replaced.

Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please

Have you started seasonal cleaning? While many use this refreshing time to clean out their pantries, freezer, and refrigerators, the spice rack always seems to go untouched. Contrary to popular belief and practice, spices do indeed expire. There are ways to tell specifically when your spices expire, but recently, McCormick Spices in Maryland posted a message to consumers regarding expiration dates.

Do Spices Expire?

The brand states that if you see Baltimore, MD on your McCormick spice label, that spice is at least 25 years old. Now that’s some old spices in your spice cabinet. Current McCormick spices will read Hunt Valley, MD because that’s where they are currently manufactured. Additionally, McCormick hasn’t used rectangular tins for herbs and spices in 25 years, so if you have any of those lying around, go ahead and toss ’em because yes, spices do expire.

When’s the last time you took a peek into your spice cabinet? You should see “Hunt Valley, MD” on McCormick labels. If…

Posted by McCormick Spice on Thursday, March 22, 2018

Because I’m from Maryland, McCormick Spices exclusively fill my spice rack because it’s a nice taste of home even out here in Texas. Founded in 1889 in downtown Baltimore, McCormick has become a company synonymous with the Old Line State.

I could wax poetic about McCormick all day, but this brought up another question for me: Just how long do spices really last?

General Spice Care

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Before we get into the common expiration dates of spices, it’s important to note that the best way to store spices to last is in their original container or a similarly sealed airtight container. The shelf life of your spices isn’t dependent on whether they’re unopened or unopened, but that they’re fully sealed after each use. As for seasoning blends, simply follow the two to three years guideline to ensure you take advantage of peak freshness.

It’s best to store your spices in a dry environment and in a dark place, like a dark cupboard or pantry. Of course, how you organize your spices depends on your preferences, but I began to group mine by those with a shorter shelf life and those with a longer sell-by date. Spices in the red pepper family, like red pepper flakes and paprika, will store longer in the refrigerator, but the taste may slightly change.

Under Shelf-Stable Food Safety, the USDA defines spices as a shelf-stable product and in the case of spices, they never truly expire. What occurs over time is that the flavor and potency of that flavor wanes. Whole spices will stay fresh for about four years, while ground spices run between three and four years. For dried herbs, many will last from one to three years, but it varies depending on the type.

You can tell a spice is expired if you rub a tiny bit into your palm and take a big ol’ whiff. In the sniff test, fresh spices will be very fragrant, and you’ll know immediately if your spices are dull and without flavor from sitting around if you can’t smell it.

Suggested Spice Expirations

Just about every fresh herb or vegetable will stay fresh for about five to seven days, and the ground and/or dried versions will stay fresh for about two to three years. The vibrant color of dried and ground spices and herbs will fade as they lose their fragrance and in the case of fresh leafy herbs, begin to wilt. For example, I knew my pumpkin pie spice was long expired when it was no longer a brighter orange, but instead a sad brown.

A good general rule of thumb is to put a small piece of painter’s tape or Scotch tape on the bottom of your spices when you buy them and write down the date. This makes sorting through and cleaning out your spice rack so much easier. For the full list, and its exceptions, check out our round-up of spice expiration dates.

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Allspice: Ground and dried allspice lasts about two to three years.

Basil: Fresh basil lasts about five to seven days, while ground and dried lasts about two to three years.

Bay leaves: Fresh bay leaves last about five to seven days, while ground and dried bay leaves last about two to three years.

Black pepper: Ground and dried black pepper last for about two to three years, while whole peppercorns last about five to six years.

Cayenne pepper: Fresh cayenne lasts about five to seven days, while ground cayenne pepper lasts about two to three years. Like paprika, cayenne pepper will last longer in the refrigerator, though it’s not required.

Chili powder: Ground chili powder lasts about two to three years.

Cilantro: Fresh cilantro lasts about five to seven days, while ground and dried lasts about two to three years.

Cinnamon: Ground and dried cinnamon last about two to three years.

Cloves: Fresh cloves last about five to seven days, while ground and dried cloves last for two to three years. Whole cloves last four to five years.

Cream of Tartar: Ground and dried cream of tartar last about two to three years.

Cumin: Ground cumin lasts about two to three years.

Dill: Fresh dill lasts about five to seven days, while ground dill lasts about two to three years.

Garlic: Fresh garlic lasts for four to six months, while ground and dried garlic each last about two to three years.

Italian Seasoning: Ground and dried Italian Seasoning lasts for about two to three years.

Jalapeños: Fresh jalapeños last for about five to seven days, while ground and dried will last about two to three years.

Mint: Fresh mint lasts about seven to 10 days, while ground and dried mint last for about one to three years.

Mustard: Fresh mustard, not the condiment, lasts for about five to seven days. Ground and dried mustard, on the other hand, lasts for about two to three years.

Nutmeg: Ground and dried nutmeg last for about two to three years.

Onions: Fresh onions last for about five to seven days, while dried and ground onion powder lasts for about two to three years.

Oregano: Fresh oregano lasts about five to seven days, while ground and dried oregano last about two to three years.

Paprika: Dried and ground paprika last about two to three years.

Parsley: Fresh parsley will last about five to seven days, while ground and dried will last about two to three years.

Pumpkin Pie Spice: Ground pumpkin pie spice will last about two to three years.

Rosemary: Fresh rosemary will last about 10 to 14 days in the refrigerator, while dried and ground rosemary will last about one to three years.

Sage: Fresh sage will keep about 10 to 14 days in the refrigerator, while dried sage leaves will last about one to three years. Ground sage will last about three to four years.

Salt: Table salt keeps indefinitely, just like kosher salt and sea salt.

Steak Seasoning: Bottled or bulk steak seasoning will last about one to two years.

Taco Seasoning: Packets of taco seasoning will last about two to three years.

Thyme: Fresh thyme will last about 10 to 14 days in the refrigerator, while ground and dried thyme will last about three to four years.

Turmeric: Ground turmeric will last about three to four years.

Watch: The 12 Different Types of Salt

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Basil gets its name from the Greek word ‘basileus’, which means ‘king’ because they believed that only the king could pick it. Regardless, the origin of the word is still fitting today as basil definitely rules the kitchen. It is one of the world’s most popular herbs, but it’s not only confined to the kitchen. It is also used in cosmetics and herbal medicine. But do you know how to store basil to preserve its freshness and properties?

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What is the best way to preserve fresh basil?

Can basil be kept on the countertop?

A potted basil plant from the store often withers quickly after bringing it home. This is due to the incorrect storage of the fresh herbs in the supermarket. Therefore, the potted basil plant should be immediately replanted into a larger pot and have its soil changed. A layer of gravel should be placed at the bottom to prevent the roots from rotting. Then, place the pot with basil in a sunny, dry, and ventilated place. Water it daily and regularly remove any dry leaves.

A fresh bunch of basil that has been sold cut from the plant shouldn’t be stored on the counter. It should be placed immediately in the fridge, or dried and stored in a jar.

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How do you store fresh basil in the refrigerator?

Fresh cut basil can have its freshness extended by wrapping the leaves in a paper towel, placing them in a plastic bag, and then refrigerating them. It will protect them from moisture and preserve its taste and aroma. Another interesting way to preserve them in the fridge is to put the leaves in a jar and cover them with olive oil before refrigerating.

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Can fresh basil leaves be frozen?

Freezing fresh basil leaves is a very effective method of preserving their taste and aroma. Clean the leaves and rub them with olive oil before putting them in a plastic bag and freezing.

You can also tear the basil leaves and put them in an ice cube tray. Then, pour olive oil over them and freeze. Basil, in this form, can be used straight out of the freezer in soup and sauces.

💡Tip

Never chop basil leaves with a knife. Instead, tear them with your fingers. Using a knife will bruise the leaves making their color change from pleasing green to unappetizing black.

How Long Does Basil Last?

On the countertop In the refrigerator In the freezer
Potted basil lasts for… Up to 3 months
Fresh cut basicl lasts for… 6 months (dried) 2 days (in paper towel)
2 months (in olive oil)
5 months

How to Tell When Basil Has Gone Bad?

Look – the easiest way to find basil freshness is by observing its leaves. If they are withered and they have lost their firmness and vividness of color, the basil is rotting.

Smell – fresh basil leaves are characterized by its signature lively and intense fragrance If you can’t smell this distinct aroma, then it is far from fresh.

Other Useful Tips for How to Store Basil

How long does basil stay fresh in the fridge?

This depends on how you store it.

It will last up to 2 days when wrapped in a paper towel and put in a plastic bag.

If you cover the leaves with olive oil, they can last up to 2 months.

How to Dry Basil

To dry basil, place the leaves on a baking sheet and dry them slowly in the oven at a maximum temperature of 35°c/95°f. Leave the oven door opened slightly to allow steam to escape. You can also dry basil leaves in a shady place, like a shed or an attic. Remember that it must be an airy place without other distinct fragrances. Otherwise, the basil will pick these up as unwanted flavors.

Dried basil should then be stored in a jar on the countertop.

Do you have any alternative ways for how to store fresh basil? How do you store basil in the refrigerator? Let us know in the comments.

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