How To Preserve Fresh Basil ?
Basil leaves are quite useful. These are used for adding flavor in cuisine and also used as medicinal herbs. We can find enough basil leaves during summers because these plants grow well in warm climates but during winters it is difficult to get basil leaves. Therefore, if you do not want to run out of stock, you should preserve them when they are abundant.
Basil leaves can be preserved in many ways. Basil leaves can be either frozen or dried. To dry the basil leaves, tie them in small bunches along with the stems. After this hang them in an area that is well ventilated. If you dry them outside, the heat of the sun might take away some of its aroma though it will not destroy them completely.
When the basil leaves becomes dry, take them out gently and without breaking them and put them into an airtight container, like plastic bags that can be sealed or sterile jars. After placing them in suitable jars or bags, label them and store in a cool and dark place. When you want to actually use them, crumble them just before cooking. Basil tends to lose some of its flavor after drying, but if you dry the farm fresh leaves in this way it might keep maximum of its flavor.
Another way to preserve them is by freezing them. There are two methods of freezing. You can chop fresh basil leaves and put them in ice cubes tray. Then pour some warm water in the ice-cube tray and place the tray in the freezer. Whenever you want to use basil leaves for cooking you can use these ice-cubes. One more way is to put the leaves in a plastic bag that has a zip on the top and put this bag inside the freezer. You can also preserve them in olive oil. But this traditional method may develop mold and can cause botulism.
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