Fresh Herbs: Grow and Eat to Your Health

10.29.2018

Fresh herbs are the bread and butter of delicious cooking, yet wilt so fast! Learn how to store fresh herbs easily for long lasting flavor.

how to grow fresh herbs

Herbs are absolutely beautiful. They add life to so many recipes, gardens, and beverages. I first learned how to garden through fresh herbs on my kitchen window sill. My kids also have a growing love for creative cooking and flavor combining through growing and tending to herbs. Let’s talk about how to grow, how to use and how to store fresh herbs.

I want you to fall in love with eating plants, and herbs are a great place to start!

Growing herbs

If growing herbs is new to you, then start small. I relied on Pinterest and neighbors with green thumbs to help me understand how to prune + water those little leafy babies.

Basil is the plant I recommend to anyone wanting to grow fresh herbs for the first time. It’s such a happy plant that does well with a lot or a little sunlight (in my experience). You can also use basil in sweet as well as savory dishes, a win-win!

Mint is another fun one to grow, though mint tends to grow wild and vine-y, so make sure it’s got plenty of space to flourish. Whatever you decide to start with, just go for it! Fresh herbs are little risk, high reward kind of plants.

How to store fresh herbs

Ever notice how you grow and nurture those little green plants, then clip them at their most aromatic, put them on your kitchen counter…. and then they shrivel up and go bad within hours. No more! We will collectively learn how to take care of our fresh herbs so that they can be enjoyed in any and all foods.

Parsley and cilantro are stalky. I like to cut a bunch, tie in a string, then immediately place in a jar of water, kinda like flowers. I put them in my fridge that way so they can last all week. When I need to grab some, then I just clip off the leaves I want. It’s also good to change the water every 2 days to keep everything fresh.

Basil and mint have a better storage life when I pull off the leaves, pat them dry with a paper towel, then store loosely in an air-tight container in the fridge. Basil wilts within an hour in the lovely Florida humidity, even indoors. Yet when I store it like this, it lasts for several days.

Finally, if you want to freeze your herbs, then treat them just like leafy greens! I’ve got a super easy freezing guide here. Now that you know how to store fresh herbs, let’s get to the recipes!

beautiful basil

FAQs

Which herbs are best fresh?

Herbs have the most nutrients when fresh, yet have a variety of uses both fresh and dried. Fresh basil makes great pesto while dried basil seasons a tray of roasted veggies beautifully.

What are the top 10 herbs to grow?

My fav fresh herbs to grow are mint, basil, lemon balm, chives, dill, oregano, parsley, rosemary, cilantro, and sage. They can be grow indoors or outdoors, on a patio, in a raised bed, or in hanging baskets. Start with 1 or 2 that you really enjoy, then expand from there!

Where to buy herbs?

I used to buy herbs in those little plastic containers in the produce section of the grocery store. However, I realized that buying a small mint or basil plant cost the same amount AND I had the opportunity to regrow those herbs to last longer. Trader Joe’s has plants right when you walk in the door, or you could check out a local nursery. Next time you buy seeds for your garden, toss in a few herb seed packets and see what you can grow!

Fresh seasonings in food

If you struggle eating fruits and veggies, then I encourage you to try seasoning them. Season them in a variety of ways until you find a combo you love.

Fresh herbs are also loaded with nutrients. Studies show sage helps improve memory + brain function. Peppermint can ease pain from IBS symptoms. Rosemary is used as a decongestant for those suffering from allergies.

So how do I know what herbs to add and when? Check out my fav recipes below for some great examples on how to utilizes these delicious plants.

sultry cilantro

Cilantro recipes

Basil recipes

easy to grow fresh herbs

Parsley recipes

Mint recipes

What are your fav fresh herbs to add to recipes? Let me know in the comments below; I love sharing new ingredients!

pretty parsley

Detoxing the body through whole food

Plants are designed to provide our bodies with the nutrients we need to thrive. Yet in today’s world, we often miss out on those nutrients through convenient, more processed foods to keep up with our fast pace. 4 times a year I focus specifically on fueling my body with plants. Whole food cleansing helps me reset not just my body, but my mind, sleep, work patterns, and more. I love to seek adventure, and foods helps me fuel my passions.

If you’re ready to reset your eating patterns and experience better sleep, more energy, losing a few lbs, better focus… then you’re ready for a cleanse. Choose the season that best fits the availability of your local produce + fresh herbs from Winter, Summer, Spring, or Autumn, then get ready to dive right in to amazing recipes, cleansing smoothies, and snacks you’ll continue to make on a regular basis.

how to grow and store fresh herbs
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About Jen Hansard

Mom of 2, ran across the Grand Canyon and lover of smoothies, coffee & tacos. I transformed my family's health with a plant-based diet. I also found myself again along the way.

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  1. El says:

    I have toxic thallium that Dave aspire say
    S kale is toxic! What do u think? No More Kale

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      We def recommend switching up your greens on a regular basis when blending smoothies. That helps to avoid any build up of toxins (which is usually a rare occurrence). Check out our guide to leafy greens for more info here.

  2. t reynolds says:

    start with chia or quinoa and add nutritional yeast, dark cacao flax meal, hemp flakes, shake black pepper, onion powder, cumin, lemon pepper, oregano, fennel nutmeg, thyme, cinnamon, rosemary, mustard, clove, turmeric, and cardamom. to that i add spinach green beans or collards carrot sweet potato slice of pineapple apple and mango. add some water and blend with my a2300(Vitamix) on smoothie setting. takes about 10 minutes but it seems satisfying.

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