Genius hack for keeping herbs fresher for longer

Bianca Soldani
Lifestyle Editor Australia
A nutritionist's tips to get more out of your fresh herbs. Photo: Getty

Herbs are notorious for their incredibly poor shelf life – you buy a perky bunch of parsley one day, and the next it’s a wilted wreck. 

But if you’re doing your weekly shop and don’t want to be pressured into using the entire bunch of herbs that same day, nutritionist Dr Joanna McMillan has a nifty hack (or three) for getting a little more life out of them.

Create a mini greenhouse

Dr Jo, who is a spokesperson for Westinghouse fridges, says your herbs can go further with the help of a couple of tools in your kitchen.

She suggests placing the cut stems into a small glass of water and covering the whole thing with a plastic bag to keep the humidity high. Store that in your fridge and use it up as soon as possible.

Dr Jo recommends putting your cut herbs in a glass of water and covering with a plastic bag before storing them in your fridge. Photo: Supplied

Another alternative, she says, is to sandwich your leftover herbs between two damp pieces of paper towel, and place that inside your fridge’s crisper drawer (with the humidity set to high) or inside a Tupperware container. The same can be done to keep your leafy green veggies fresher for longer.

Don’t cut them in the first place

But while the above options are great for squeezing a little more vitality out of cut herbs, Dr Jo actually recommends avoiding buying bunches of herbs in the first place if you aren’t planning on using it all at once.

Instead, she suggests purchasing the tiny pots of herbs they now stock in supermarkets, this way, you can keep it on your windowsill - and keep it hydrated and alive - until you’re done using the whole crop.

Then just chuck the soil into your compost bin or a nearby garden bed when it’s finished.

Of course, if you have the space to keep a little herb garden at home, that would be even better, not to mention cheaper, but not everyone has that option available.

Buying herbs in little pots of soil is the best way of keeping them fresh if you don't plan on using the whole bunch at once. Photo: Supplied

Don’t lose your leftovers 

With food wastage being such a big issue in Australia, another way to ensure your leftover herbs don’t wilt away at the back of your fridge is to chuck them into your freezer.

Dr Jo suggests freezing your leftovers either as chopped herbs in a zip lock bag, or in little ice cube trays filled with olive oil, that way they’re to be popped out and used in cooking whenever you next want that flavour boost.

Fill an ice cube tray with chopped herbs and olive oil for easy use in the future. Just pack in far more herbs than this stock photo suggests! Photo: Getty

You’ve been stacking your fridge wrong

For more of Dr Jo’s tips, she’s also shared her advice on how to properly stack your fridge to make sure you get the best out of all your produce, including wrapping your cheese in baking paper, storing your onions separate from your potatoes, and keeping your eggs out of the fridge altogether.

Read her advice here.


Dr Jo shows us how we've been stacking our fridge wrong. Photo: Westinghouse

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