Basil is great. Not only does it provide seasoning for many different dishes, but it is tasty too. While dried basil is great, nothing beats fresh basil added to a pasta dish!
If you have recently purchased basil, you may be wondering what the best way is to store it. There are a few different ways to store basil, which we will be talking about in more detail in this article.
In A Glass of Water
The best method for storing fresh basil is by far to put them in a glass of water. Ideally, you should treat basil in the same way that you would treat flowers.
As you would with flowers, you will need to cut the ends off the basil before you place them in the glass. The glass does not need to be full to the top with water, but it should have enough water to cover the ends of the basil.
We recommend that you wash the basil leaves before doing this so that they are ready to use straight away once placed into the jar.
This method will help to keep the basil hydrated and fresh for as long as possible. It will help to prevent wilting for around 5 to 7 days. You will want to cover over the basil leaves to ensure that they remain as fresh as possible.
In a Sealed Bag or Container
Storing basil in the refrigerator is one of the best and easiest ways to keep it as fresh as possible. Given the texture and consistency of basil leaves, they should be treated in a similar way to salad leaves.
If you leave basil on the kitchen counter, especially when it is warm it will begin to wilt fairly quickly.
If you do not have enough room to store the basil in a jar, you can place it in a bag or container instead. To do this you will first need to wash the fresh basil leaves thoroughly.
This is an important step as it will ensure that the leaves are clean and it will cut down preparation times when you are ready to use them.
After you have washed the basil, you should leave them dry for a short period. Once they are dry they are ready to place in the refrigerator. To do this correctly we would recommend placing the basil leaves on a dry and clean piece of paper towel.
Next, you will want to wrap the basil leaves in a paper towel. Once you have done this, to keep them as fresh as possible, you will want to place them in a sealed plastic bag or an airtight container.
If you place the basil leaves straight into the fridge they will become exposed to condensation in the fridge and they will go off and wilt more quickly.
Before you place the basil in the fridge it is useful to place the date the basil was refrigerated on the bag or container. This will help you to keep track of when it will need to be consumed.
If you want to ensure that your basil lasts for as long as possible, you can choose to freeze it. However, once you freeze basil you will need to be aware of the fact that this does change its overall consistency.
While the basil can still be used once it has been thawed, it will not taste as good as it did when fresh.
To freeze the basil, you will need to wash it and ensure that it is completely dry before freezing. Once dry, similar to how you would refrigerate the basil, you will want to put them in either an airtight container or a sealable freezer bag.
You will need to ensure that all of the air has been taken out of the container or bag before freezing and that they are sealed properly. This will help to prevent freezer burn.
Once placed in the freezer, the basil can be safely frozen for around 6 to 12 months. To keep track of how long the basil has been frozen, we would recommend writing the date on the front of the packaging.
As we have mentioned above freezing the basil will change its texture and consistency, however, it will still taste good when cooked thoroughly. The basil leaves will look wilted and black rather than green. However, it will still be safe to consume.
To defrost the basil, we would recommend taking it out of the freezer and placing it into the refrigerator to defrost overnight. Once it has fully defrosted, you can then add it to your favorite recipe.
As it has been frozen and defrosted, we would recommend that you cook it thoroughly before consuming it.
Blanching Before Freezing
If you want to keep the consistency of the basil as close to what it was like when fresh, you will need to blanch it before freezing. While this process does take a little longer, it does provide the best freezing results.
You will need to add the spinach to a pan of boiling water containing salt for around 20 seconds. Once you have done this, you will need to place the spinach in a bowl of ice water. This will cool the basil.
After the basil has cooled you will need to blend it with a small amount of olive oil. It will then be ready to freeze.
We hope that you found this article useful. As you can see, the best way to keep spinach as fresh as possible is to place it in a cup of water and the refrigerator.
However, if you are lacking space, you can alternatively wrap the basil in a kitchen towel and place it in a sealed bag or container in the fridge.
Alternatively, if you want to store basil for a longer period, you can freeze it. However, its consistency will change and the basil will not taste as fresh. We hope that you have found this article useful.