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Fall Harvest: How to Preserve Your Summer Herbs

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Photo 1 How To Preserve Herbs

Summer is giving way to fall’s cooler temperatures, and now is the time to harvest the herbs in your garden so that you can preserve them for winter. Herbs need to be harvested before the first frost kills the growth on your plants. Depending on where you live, that first frost might be just around the corner.

There are a few different techniques for drying and preserving herbs, some should be dried while others do well frozen. Here are simple step-by-step instructions for storing your basil, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme. This is an easy weekend project that you can tackle in under an hour.

photo 3 Sage

Freeze sage in butter.
Rinse any dirt off the leaves. Pull the sage leaves off the stems, place them in an ice cube tray, and then pour melted butter over. When you are ready to use the frozen sage, just melt the sage butter in a small saucepan, and you will have a fantastic sage butter sauce to pour over pasta or butternut squash.

Photo 4 Oregano

Oregano and Basil
Use ice cube trays to freeze these herbs in olive oil.
You can either freeze these herbs together, or separately. First clean the herbs by rinsing in water. Then chop the basil, and pull the oregano off the stems. Place the herbs in ice cube trays. You want the trays to be full, but not tightly packed. Pour olive oil over the herbs, filling the ice cube tray. Place in the freezer and use throughout the winter adding the herb and olive oil cubes to soups and sauces.

Photo 7 Rosemary and Thyme

Rosemary and Thyme
Let these herbs slowly air dry.
Rinse the herbs removing any dirt, and lightly blot with a towel to dry. Simply tie the herbs into small bunches, and then hang in a cool dry place. The herbs are fully dried once they are brittle and crumble. At this point, remove the leaves from the stem, being careful not to crush the leaves, as this will cause the herbs to loose flavor. Store the leaves in a small airtight container; keep in a cool dry place. Dried herbs can be used for a year.

Photo 2

This post was originally published on Coca-Cola Journey.


Monday 13th of October 2014

Love this! I like to freeze my herbs in EVOO and mix them in with the pasta for a hearty winter meal.

Sed Bona

Sunday 12th of October 2014

Great post! Hubby and I are in the process of harvesting all our garden herbs before the weather gets frigid and we weren't sure what to do with all of them. Thanks for the tip!


Friday 10th of October 2014

Love this post, Kit! Dan and I love using fresh herbs when we cook so we are definitely going to but this to use! Katharine

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