NDSU Extension Service - Benson County

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Safely Preserving Herbs

By Kimberly Braulick, Extension Agent Family Nutrition Program/Family and Consumer Science

If you enjoy adding flavor to your food while keeping it healthy, you may have found some herbs that you enjoy.  Most herbs can be grown in North Dakota and can quickly get out of hand.  If your herb crop is more than you can eat fresh this summer, you may be wondering how to safely preserve it. 

Once your herbs are washed, you can simply put them in an airtight bag and freeze them.  Another popular method of preserving herbs is putting the herbs in ice cube trays, freezing the ice, and then dropping an herb filled ice cube into whatever soup or stew you happen to be making. 

When the ice cubes are fully frozen, put them in a freezer bag with the date and what type of herb.  This will allow you to have fresh flavor throughout the year.

If you do not have an herb crop, not to worry.  Fresh and dried herbs can be easily found locally.  Remember that dried herbs last much longer, but can lose flavor over time.  For best results, store herbs away from direct steam or heat.  It is not recommend to store herbs right next to your stove or in the cupboard above it. 

Herbs can be used in almost everything and are a great side kick to flavorful vegetables such as garlic.  When cooking, consider how strong of an herb flavor you would like.  If you would like a strong flavor, add the herbs at the end.  If you would like the flavor to be more subtle, add the herbs into your meal right away.

Here is a recipe for roasted tomatoes with herbs.  It calls for dried herbs, but feel free to add fresh herbs if they are available.  Enjoy!

Roasted Tomatoes with Herbs

Ingredients:

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

 

Directions:  First, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Spray a large baking sheet with cooking oil spray.  Then, cut each tomato in half. Place tomatoes on the sheet, cut side up.  Drizzle tomatoes with ½ of the oil and season with pepper.  Cook for 30 minutes, or until tomatoes are beginning to brown on the bottom.  Next, mix the remaining oil, parsley, garlic, and cheese in a small bowl.  Remove tomatoes from the oven and sprinkle the herb mixture over the tomatoes.  Finally, return to oven for another 10 minutes, or until spices begin to brown.

Makes: 6 servings.  Each serving contains 80 calories, 5 grams of fat, 45 mg of sodium, 6 carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, and 5 grams protein. 

 

Sources:

  • NDSU Extension Food Wise Newsletter, August 2015
  • Maryland Food Supplement Nutrition Education program, 2009 Recipe Calendar
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