Find out how to preserve and store dried basil.
Dried basil is one of the most useful and beneficial spices available in kitchen counters. Compared to fresh basil, dried basil has a fuller flavor. Hence, it’s best to sprinkle dried basil over dishes sparingly.
Aside from having culinary benefits, dried basil also has advantages to one’s health. It’s good for the respiratory system and can be steeped to make tea. It can also be used as a remedy for nose and throat infections.
In fact, basil tea can aid you whenever you have stomach cramps, dysentery, or nausea. It’s likewise recommended for people with diabetes and asthma.
Dried basil leaves are sometimes hard to find. Thus, it is better to prepare, preserve, and store dried basil on your own.
LEARN MORE: How to Dry Basil for Long-Lasting Flavor
Preserving and Storing Dried Basil Leaves All Year Long
If you want to preserve basil until it’s ready for crushing—that is if you don’t want to wait until harvest time—you can do any of the following preservation methods.
Pureeing and freezing
Separate the basil leaves from the stem and wash them thoroughly. Dry the leaves and put them in a food processor. Add one tablespoon of olive oil for every one cup of basil. Freeze the puree in an ice cube tray, then store in Ziploc bag.
Pureeing and blending
Instead of simply freezing them, puree the dried basil and add half a cup of extra virgin olive oil and 3 cloves of garlic. Garlic is an excellent food preserver. Add a pinch or two of sea salt. Puree the mixture until it becomes a smooth paste.
If you prefer to keep the basil leaves as they are before using them for your recipes, remove the basil leaves from the stem and boil them for two seconds. Submerge the leaves in an ice bath for an hour or two. Dry the leaves and transfer them in a container.
How to store dried basil
Here are some easy-to-follow tips for storing dried basil.
- The key to keeping the flavor when storing dried basil is to choose the right container. Mason jars are a good choice for their tight lids. Tins without glass tops are also an excellent option. The important thing is that oxygen does not pass through.
- Avoid exposing the herbs to sunlight for this will cause the leaves to change their color and their flavor. Store dried basil in a dark place, such as in the cupboard.
- Check the overall temperature of the room. The herb should be kept in a place which is neither too hot nor too cold. Aside from that, basil should also be dry before being stored, as moisture compromises the quality of the leaves.
- Lastly, label the containers with the right expiry date. On average, dried basil leaves can be used anywhere from 2 to 3 years from the point of drying. For safety’s sake, don’t hesitate to discard an entire batch if the leaves change in color.