Using Herbs From a Home Herb Garden

You went through the herbs planting and growing process. Now it’s time to use the herbs from a home herb garden.

First thing to do is harvesting the herbs. There are several ways to know when the right time to reap the plants is. You can tell by the color of the hair, the color of the trichomes or hardness of the buds. It is important to harvest them in the right time as this will provide much better quality of the herbs.

Other harvesting tip is to cut no more than one third of the plant at once. The herb needs a certain quantity of foliage to re-grow in better conditions.

Once you harvested the herbs you can do two things. Use them right away or preserve them.

One of the most common ways to preserve the herbs is freezing them. Herbs that you will not use right away can be kept frozen. You can chop the herbs, once clean, and freeze them in cubes of water or broth. Also they can be frozen between sheets of absorbent paper, especially the big-leaf herbs like sage.

Other preservation method is using oil or vinegar, preferably in opaque containers, so that the light does not reach them.

You can also use salt in a bowl alternating layers of salt and herbs. The ratio would be one part of salt to four parts of grass.

The third most common method is drying fresh herbs. This can be done under hot sun (but without direct sunlight) or near a stove. The herbs are dried without washing, tied in small bunches and hung upside down. You must be careful that the bundles do not touch each other. When using dried herbs in the kitchen, you must bear in mind that 1 teaspoon of dried herbs equals 3 of fresh herbs.

If you decide to add dried herbs into any recipe, it’s recommended adding them in the food in the last ten minutes of cooking, so that the heat releases their aroma. Crumbled dried herbs can be stored in hermetic glass jars.

There’s so much you can do with herbs and even better lots of ways to preserve them to be used at any time.

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