Hints on Herbs

HerbsTired of boring, tasteless meals? Pining for fresh summer produce? You don’t need to wait until summer to punch up your early spring dishes. Try herbs! Whether fresh or dried, herbs are a wonderful and healthy way to add flavor to many dishes. The following are some tips to make the most of your herbs.

  • Keep it fresh. Throw out old herb and herb seasoning blends. According to www.mccormick.com » most herbs and herb blends lose flavor after 2-3 years. If you dry your own herbs, be aware that they may last only 1 year.
  • Store it well. Herbs, whether home dried or store bought, should be kept in cool, dry places away from sunlight and in containers with tight-fitting lids. Some fresh herbs such as chives, cilantro, dill, mint, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and thyme should be stored at 32°F; while other herbs such as basil are cold sensitive and should be stored at 50°F. For more information on herb storage see the following websites:
    http://postharvest.ucdavis.edu/Produce/ProduceFacts/Veg/herbs.shtml »
    http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/filelibrary/1808/68.PDF ».
  • Cook it, Don’t Kill It. To get the most flavor out of your herbs, add them in at the end of cooking rather than at the beginning. If multiplying a recipe for a party, multiply your herbal additions as follows. If increasing the recipe by 100%, increase the amount of herbs by 100%. After the first 100%, only increase the herbs by 50% as much as the original amount. For more great cooking tips and wonderful herbal history check out www.durkee.com ».

About Meredith Hink MS, RD, CD

I am a Corporate Dietitian with a foodservice distribution company. My professional areas of interest include food safety and sanitation, food marketing, food law, and vegetarian nutrition. In my spare time I am an avid food photographer and enjoy spending time with my husband and two dogs.

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