Tips for spare herbs
March 05, 2023

all about herbs

Brought a bag of fresh herbs and only used a fraction of the bag or you have a bumper crop of herbs this year and don’t know what to do with them without them going to waste? 

Here are a few ideas to utilise your herbs and stop them from going to waste. 

  • Freeze your herbs in oil in an ice cube tray to save for a future meal and it saves time for those quick mid-week meals. 
  • Dry your herbs out so they last longer and can be a store cupboard essential that can be used in a multitude of dishes, make your own spice blends or infused oils. 
  • Propagate herb cuttings to grow more herbs or gift a homegrown herb garden to friends and family. 

freezing herbs and fruit

To freeze your herbs in oil, chop up your herbs, place in an ice cube tray and fill with oil, then place them in the freezer, it is as simple as that 🙂 

I also like to freeze fruit or mint in juice or water, perfect for a G&T on a hot day or for a summer cooler. You can puree fruit and veg to freeze, these can then go in soups or smoothies! 

Garlic slices in oil save time and hassle for future dinners. If you have some pesto you won’t use up before it goes past its best, freeze it and use it another day! 

drying herbs

To dry herbs out, simply bunch them together like you would if you were arranging flowers, then with string or an elastic band tie the stems together leaving a loop at the end. Then hang the herbs upside down. This will draw all the moisture out of the herbs, they will then go dry and crispy. Depending on the temperature of the room the herbs will take about a week to dry out. Once dried you can chop the leaves or leave them whole and place in an airtight jar. 

low-cost windowsill herb garden

You don’t need a big garden or lots of money to grow your own. Start small with a sunny windowsill. You can propagate herb cuttings to start growing your own plants or save seeds and stems from various veg. Worst case, a packet of seeds is usually quite a minimal cost. 

Haven’t got any plant pots? Save tins, jam jars and any containers. You can grow from pretty much anything, even egg boxes to yoghurt pots. 

For any seeds that have just been planted they need to be warm and moist to help them grow. If you haven’t got any propagator trays (Basically a mini greenhouse – it’s a plastic tray to plant your seeds with a plastic lid). You can use clean jam jars with the lids removed as replacement for the plastic lids. Just remember to water your herbs and occasionally remove the jam jars to lt the plant breath. 

Save seeds from fruit and veg, for example, a pepper. Remove the seeds and wrap them in kitchen paper for a few days to help draw the moisture out of the seeds. Once they are dried, plant them at the appropriate time of year or put them in a pot or envelope ready for when you want to plant the seeds.