Waste not: save those fresh herbs!

The amount of food that Canadian consumers waste is becoming an increasing concern to environmental advocates. Did you know that over 1/3 of food produced and sold in Canada ends up in the landfill? There are a number of reasons why this happens, including that sometimes we simply cannot use everything we’ve purchased.

Better storage and knowing the secondary uses of foods can help reduce the amount of food wasted in your household. A commonly wasted food is fresh herbs. Fresh herbs, such as cilantro, basil, or thyme, can add extraordinary flavour to a dish, taking it from standard to gourmet at a relatively inexpensive price.

Picture courtesy of fettlevegan.com

Picture courtesy of fettlevegan.com

Here are some ideas for the rest of your herb bunches once a portion has been used in a recipe:

  1. Dry them in the oven or upside down. This will save you from having to purchase the same herbs in dried form for another recipe.
  2. Freeze them! Chop the herbs and mix with a little water or vegetable stock before putting them into an ice cube tray. You can use the frozen cubes in recipes later on without having to buy more herbs. You can also make sauces or dressing with the herbs and freeze those in the trays as well. Here’s a great bouillon (stock base) recipe from 101 Cookbooks.
  3. Stir leftover chopped herbs into butter or oil. You can also try making a pesto out of almost any fresh herb.

Happy preserving!

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