Looking for ways to use up all those extra herbs at home? You’ve come to the right place. Anyone with a home garden can attest to the impossibility of growing just enough produce to meet your needs, and soon enough you find yourself overrun by herbs. That’s why we’ll be sharing 3 nifty ways to get creative with these flavoursome plants.
The options are endless when it comes to herbs:
- Mix your herbs into salads – oregano, dill, parsley and mint all make for fragrant additions.
- Make some fresh pesto; basil and mint work well for this, but you can get creative and put your own spin on the classic dish. Just add in your pine nuts, olive oil, pepper and maybe a little Parmigiano-Reggiano, and you’re set!
- Put some fresh basil onto homemade pizza – or even spice up a store-bought one with your own herbs.
- Add some herbs into soups, curries and pasta dishes to elevate them to restaurant-worthy status.
But if you’re all herbed-out, we’ve got a few unexpected ways to make sure your fresh and fragrant herbs don’t go to waste!
Infuse them into oils
Making oil infusions is a stress-reducing way to make use of your extra herbs, and you use these in the shower or use it in a diffuser to freshen up your home. The calming properties and refreshing scents of lavender, calendula and mint work well for this purpose.
- Get a jar ready – make sure it’s dry so as to extend your oil’s shelf life.
- Fill it with your herbs, coarsely chopped.
- Then pour your choice of oil over the herbs and fill it to the top of the jar – olive or sunflower oil works well.
- Then put the lid on your jar and shake it up.
- Leave it for around a month, then strain the liquid.
- It’s now ready to use! To extend its shelf life, consider adding some vitamin E capsules.
You can also create oil infusions for salad dressings or to enjoy with some sourdough bread. Aromatic herbs like rosemary, sage and thyme are all exceptional choices to make a powerful dressing.
If you can’t decide how to use your herbs right now – or if you’re truly inundated – there’s one easy path: just freeze it. You can come back to use as much or little as you’d like, when you’d like. They'll maintain their strong nutritional profile too, with basil packing in 13% of your vitamin K needs and thyme providing a whopping 40% of our magnesium needs. It's true what they say – big things come in small packages. But when it comes to freezing them, there is a method that works best for herbs and it’s quite different to your usual fruit or veggie freezing techniques. Here’s how it works:
- Wash and dry your herbs.
- Chop them up and place them into an ice tray.
- Pour water over the herbs.
- Put the ice tray in the freezer.
- When you’re ready to use your herbs, just pop out an ice cube and let the ice melt.
Use your herbs in homemade soaps
Why waste money on chemical-laden, expensive soaps when you can make your own at home? It’s surprisingly easy and with your fresh herbs, you’ll have an extra fragrant product. The key ingredient is glycerin soap and note that for every 113 grams of glycerin, you’ll get around 3 soap bars. Take a look at the general formula to make your herb soaps:
- Melt the glycerin.
- Add your chosen herbs in.
- Add a drop of essential oils – this is optional.
- Then simply pour you mixture into some soap molds.
- Let them firm up at room temperature.
- Pop your soaps into the freezer for an hour and then it’s good to go!
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