How to Store Basil for Optimal Freshness
Making sure your basil doesn’t spoil quickly can be tricky. It tends to go brown and wilt relatively easily if you’re not careful. To begin the storage process, you should be selective in the type of basil you use. There are many different kinds, and they all give your dishes an array of flavors. When selecting your basil, make sure you pick the most evenly colored leaves of the bunch. Brown spots or wilting can be a red flag when choosing your leaves. Once you pick your desired type of basil, you’re ready to begin storing.
Step-by-Step Storing of Fresh-Cut Basil
Here is a step-by-step process on how to preserve your basil for ultimate freshness.
Step 1. Cut:
Cut your basil about half an inch from the bottom of the stems. This will help the stems take in water properly.
Step 2. Fill:
Fill the jar you are using to hold the basil with enough cold water to cover the stems by about an inch. Stand your basil sprigs upright in the glass jar to prepare for proper storing.
Step 3. Store:
Loosely cover the top of your basil leaves with a GLAD Food Storage Zipper Quart Bag to help keep it fresh. Don’t tuck the plastic bag underneath the bottom of the jar. This will help the basil breathe and you won’t crush the leaves. Make sure to change the water every few days. You can keep your basil at room temperature for up to 7 days.
How to Freeze Fresh Basil
If you want to preserve your fresh basil to enjoy the taste year-round, make sure you freeze it for the best results. If you attempt to store your basil fresh, it will wilt and spoil quickly. When preparing to freeze your fresh basil, make sure you blanch it first. This may sound complicated, but blanching is just putting your basil in boiling water briefly before dunking in ice water to stop it from cooking. Blanching your basil will allow it to keep its bright green color. Without blanching, your basil will turn dark and brown-looking.
Make sure to dry off your blanched basil leaves before you pop them in the freezer. As an option, you can freeze the leaves in their original form and put them in a GLAD Food Storage Zipper Quart Bag to prevent freezer burn.
Another option is to cut them up and put them in ice cube trays with a few teaspoons of water. This freezing method is ideal for marinara and pasta sauces and also allows you to add that basil flavor to soups and stews.
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