General information

Harvesting herbs for the winter


Nutritionists recommend adding healthy and fragrant green grass to the diet, because:

  • they contribute to the normal functioning of the digestive organs,
  • improve the activity of the cardiovascular system, the brain,
  • activate blood circulation, increase the body's immunity,
  • protect the body from the negative effects of free radicals,
  • help to cleanse the liver, kidneys, intestines from toxins,
  • saturate the cells with essential minerals.

It is necessary to prepare fresh greens so as to keep a maximum of useful substances in them.

Preset time

It is advisable to procure any spicy grass in the season when it is juicy and tender. For example, sorrel is harvested before flowering, while it does not contain a lot of oxalic acid, and the leaves are juicy. During the period of mass flowering, I cut sorrel, feed it, and by the fall it grows. That's when I cut the young juicy leaves for blanks. You can read about the cultivation of sorrel.

Ramson must be cut in the spring or early summer, while the leaves are still not hardened. Dill, parsley, celery is better to buy in July and August, when its price is the lowest.

Of course, it is now possible to buy greens almost all winter. However, it is grown in a greenhouse with artificial light and abundant fertilizing chemicals and less benefit from it. It is much easier and more useful to use their blanks.

Frozen Greens

This is a very simple and most convenient way. It is advisable to freeze the collection of spicy herbs. Mistresses use several ways:

  • it is necessary to wash the spices, dry them on a cloth, cut them into large pieces, put them into plastic bags, label them and put them in the freezer,
  • cut the prepared greens and fold them into vacuum containers,
  • 0.5 kg of prepared fragrant herbs cut, pour 0.5 liters of water, mix and pour into molds.

A beautiful way: the prepared spicy grass is finely cut and laid in molds, into which clean water is then poured and frozen. Then the grass cubes are placed in a bag and stored in the freezer.

Frozen spices can be stored for at least two years. It is used in the preparation of soups, salads, main courses without thawing.

Drying grass

This method is simple and does not cause difficulties for hostesses. Spicy herb, for example, fragrant dill should be washed, dried on any fabric. It needs to be cut, put on a baking sheet in a dry dark place and dry until completely dry, stirring occasionally daily. Dry grass can be placed in a bag made of cloth or in a glass jar with a lid.

You can dry the herbs in the oven or drying cabinet, spreading it in a thin layer.

Pickling spices

Per 1 kg of green mass will need 250 grams of pure salt-free. Remove thick petioles and yellow leaves from grass, rinse, dry, cut and mix with salt. The resulting mixture is folded into jars, tamp and close the capron lids.

You can spice up the seasoning by adding 6-7 cloves of minced garlic, folded them in layers. Store seasoning in the refrigerator on the shelves for up to 9-10 months. Dishes, where such salty seasoning is used, are not salted.

how to save greens for the winter

Marinated greens

Spicy herbs are prepared in the same way as previously written and put in glass jars.

For the marinade in 1 liter of water take 1 tbsp. l salt, 2 tbsp. l sugar, 2 tbsp. l table vinegar (9%), peppercorns, boil and pour the greens with hot marinade, pasteurized and close the banks. You can store the marinade in the refrigerator for about six months. Of course, pickled spicy herb loses some nutrients, but it is convenient to use.

Spicy Herb in Oil

  1. Prepared favorite herbs cut or chop in a blender, arrange in small jars to the shoulders and pour vegetable oil. Mix gently with a wooden skewer. The oil should completely cover the grass. For the sharpness of the workpiece, you can add garlic (a few cloves) or 0.5 red hot peppers. It is better to store the closed banks in the refrigerator for 6-9 months.
  2. Fragrant preparation. Take the prepared mixture of aromatic herbs: dill, basil, parsley, cilantro, celery, chop, put in jars and pour olive or other vegetable oil. Gently mix. The oil should completely close the spice mixture. Store closed jars in the refrigerator.

Here it is possible prepare greens for the winter. Choose a convenient way for you, and enjoy the aroma and beauty cooked with your food blanks all winter.

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When to collect spicy herbs

It is necessary to collect herbs at the time of the greatest content of essential oils in them, usually before budding, because after that the plant mainly directs all its strength and juice to the formation of flowers and seeds. The best time to collect spicy herbs is just before flowering, always in dry, sunny weather. If you need flowers and seeds - collect herbs during flowering or shortly before the seeds ripen.

The most favorable time for collecting herbs:

  • before flowering they collect melissa, coriander, fennel, dill, wild garlic,
  • at the beginning of flowering - peppermint, thyme, marjoram, sage and savory,
  • during flowering oregano, yarrow, chamomile, lavender, arnica,
  • shortly before the seeds ripen - coriander seeds, fennel, cumin, dill.

It is necessary to collect herbs only in good dry weather, in the morning or in the evening, when dew disappears from the leaves. It is advisable not to water the spicy herbs on the eve of the harvest, but after harvesting it is necessary to water well for better growth of new leaves or stimulation of new inflorescences.

How to dry herbs

Drying herbs is one of the most popular ways of preparing herbs for the winter.

In order for herbs to preserve the maximum amount of nutrients and not lose their inherent aroma, they must be properly dried. Carefully cut the parsley, dill, lemon balm or mint, rinse under running cold running water and place in a colander to dry (or use lettuce drier). When the water is drained, lay out the twigs of greenery on a kitchen towel and leave for 30-40 minutes to dry. Next, tie fragrant herbs in bunches and hang them in a shady, dry room that is well ventilated. Depending on the type of greenery, it can take from four to seven days to dry in this way.

Spicy greens are considered to be well dried, if it has not lost its natural color and has acquired a brighter, more saturated odor. It crumbles easily in the hands, almost instantly turning into a powder.

[attention type = green] Important! Do not leave well-dried herbs in the air - dried greens become yellowish and almost completely lose their flavor. And remember, the main rule of storing herbs is careful packaging in tightly closed glass jars. [/ Attention]

Italian herbs
Italian herbs consist of dried herbs and vegetables in equal proportions, namely: basil, parsley, oregano (oregano), garlic, sweet dried peppers, onions, rosemary, cumin (whole).

This composition of herbs and vegetables is used to make pizza, soups, sauces, meats and side dishes. This mixture will give your dishes a fragrant flavor, typical of Italian cuisine.

Provencal herbs
Provence herbs include such dry herbs in equal proportions: oregano, basil, marjoram, rosemary, mint, thyme, savory, sage.

This composition of spicy herbs with a wonderful aroma will give your dishes a refined taste and smell. With these herbs you can cook such dishes: cold and hot soups, omelets, pizzas, salads, fish and poultry.

Mediterranean herbs
The composition of Mediterranean herbs include such dry herbs in equal proportions: oregano, dill, coriander, marjoram, savory, parsley.

This composition of 6 herbs is suitable for making sauces, salads, meat dishes and sausages.

How to freeze greens

Freezing, another method of harvesting herbs for the winter. Most often frozen: parsley, dill, celery, basil. Indeed, frozen parsley contains twice as much vitamin C as it is grown in winter in indoor (greenhouse) conditions.

Highlight a corner in the freezer where spicy greens will be well stored and will delight you with vitamins, taste and flavor of summer almost all year round.

Ways to freeze greens

Freezing whole and sliced ​​greens. To freeze the herbs you need: wash the spicy herbs and herbs in cool water and place on a towel to dry. Lay the prepared greens on the shelves in one layer, leave for 2 hours in the freezer, and then fold in a plastic bag or plastic container.

You can also freeze the already chopped greens, after drying, finely chop it and pour into a container. All greens ready for the winter.

Freezing in the form of ice cubes

Fractionally chop the dill, parsley, celery or basil, fold into ice molds and tamp carefully. Pour some water on top and send the prepared greens to the freezer. Ready cubes pour in the package, and the molds reuse. A couple of these cubes, thrown into a saucepan in the winter, will give any dish a summer flavor.

Freezing greens in oil

Freezing herbs in butter or butter is a great way to get herbs ready for winter stews, soups, and potato dishes. These dishes usually require oil, and you can easily get herbs in the oil from the freezer and use them as a base for your dish.

7 steps for freezing herbs in butter or butter

  • Choose hard and fresh herbs.
  • If you want, you can chop them. Or leave with sprigs and leaves. And you can combine finely chopped and whole
  • Put the herbs in ice cubes about 2/3.
  • Pour olive oil or melted, unsalted butter on herbs.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer overnight.
  • Remove from the form of frozen cubes and store in the freezer in containers
  • Remember to tag each container or bag with the type of grass (and oil) inside!

The right time to harvest

Many people know the truth that if he didn’t have time, then he was late. This is especially true of harvesting. Do not have time to collect strawberries, it will rot. You miss the time with apples, there will be nothing to collect. And what about the spices? When is it best to collect herbs for the winter to get a quality product? Consider the advice of experts.

According to experts, spice plants are harvested before flowering. At this time, the foliage is very soft and contains a huge amount of substances that are beneficial to health. After all, when flowering, herbs direct their strength to the development of buds. And after it, lose their flavor and get a bitter taste.

Before preparing spicy herbs for the winter, it is necessary to note such moments for yourself:

  • flowering period
  • weather,
  • Times of Day,
  • type of plant (annual, perennial),
  • procurement method.

Since all herbs are different, it means that each has its own flowering period. A simple observation will help determine when and how to prepare herbs for the winter. Consider some of them:

  1. Parsley. This perennial plant is ready for harvesting when mature foliage grows.
  2. Cilantro Fragrant spice is collected as soon as the bushes reach 12 cm in height.
  3. Basil (oregano). In mid-summer, the plant is most suitable for harvesting.
  4. Rosemary. On the territory of the southern latitudes collected during the year several times.
  5. Mint. It blooms in late May, so it’s important not to miss the moment.
  6. Melissa. It is best to pluck in mid-June before the appearance of buds.

Similar guidelines are used when herbs are harvested for drying. It is good to do it in the early morning after evaporation of moisture. Some cut the greens in the evenings when dew has not yet appeared on the grass. As a result, there will be practically no dirt and dust on them. This method is used for harvesting marjoram, sage, thyme and dill. To preserve the beneficial properties and flavor of spices, they are dried naturally.

When to mint for the winter

Mint is most useful in the middle of summer - at this time the essential oils in the leaves and stems reach their maximum concentration.

Growth in the second half of the summer slows down and the plant throws all its forces on the inflorescences, and in the blossoming mint the amount of useful substances is significantly lower.

The most correct time for harvesting is considered period before flowering. Stalk itself need cutting downbut not cutting it off, cutting off can damage the plant.

Mint is better cut 1/3 length, thanks to which the plants will again grow overgrown until autumn, and will give another crop.

How to keep mint fresh?

If you want to save a mint for a short period of time, then as an option the stems can be put in a container of water. So it will stay fresh a few days, and if every day to change the water for fresh, even longer.

If you want to save mint, then you can not do without a refrigerator. Rinse the stalks before storing, place on a paper towel and dry well.

For storage in the refrigerator you will need a plastic container or a bag with a clasp. Put the mint in the package and pre-releasing the air from the bag, hermetically close and put in the refrigerator. With this method, the mint is kept fresh. about a week.

How to freeze mint for the winter?

And to keep mint until the next harvest, it can be frozen. So it can be stored for at least six months.

Freezing is the easiest and most useful way of harvesting any products, they retain all the nutrients and vitamins.

For this whole greens put in a bag with a claspand send in the freezer. You can also chop mint stems wrap in foil and freeze.

Another way to mint for the winter - freezing it in ice molds. To do this, pre-tear the leaves, put 2-3 pieces in each cell, pour boiled (cooled to room temperature) water and freeze.

Another way to freeze mint - in the form of gruel

Grind mint in mush with a blender. Blender capacity to the top to fill with mint, add a couple glasses of water, knock down to a homogeneous mass. Then packaged in tins for freezing.

Such frozen pieces in the winter can be used as tea, and for the preparation of desserts, drinks, cocktails.

How to dry mint for the winter?

Probably the most popular way of preserving greenery for the winter is drying. To do this, mint must be cut, rinsed and slightly dried. Collect the stalks into bunches, tie them with a strong thread, hang them in a dry and dark room.

To protect against dust and insects can be wrapped with gauze in a single layer. About a week later, when the grass dries, separate the leaves from the stem and chop them.

And to dry the leaves separately from the stem, you need to place the leaves evenly on a sheet of paper, leave in a dark, dry room. Stir the leaves periodically to prevent debate.

Dried mint can be stored in glass jars or in linen bags. This spicy herb is also added to roasts, soups, or to meat.

Features of drying greens

Air drying is one of the most popular and easiest ways to preserve green in winter. But this method is also the longest. Spicy herbs keep their oils, taste and quality relatively well. This method works best on low-moisture herbs: dill, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, savory, sage and thyme. To preserve the best flavor of these herbs, you need to allow them to dry naturally.

  1. Remove the lower leaves near the trunk, as well as all dry, yellowed or spotted diseased leaves.
  2. If you collected herbs in your own garden and are confident in their purity, you can simply gently shake off the excess soil and remove insects.
  3. If necessary, gently rinse each sprig in cold water and dry thoroughly with a soft towel. Ensure that the herbs have good air circulation so that they can dry quickly. Wet greens will rot.
  4. Next you need to tie the greens into small loose bunches of 3-4 branches, tie a rubber band or thread and hang upside down in a dark, well-ventilated room, protected from light, dust and foreign odors. Bundles will shrink as they dry, and the gum may loosen. Therefore, periodically check that the greens do not slide off.
  5. Every day, examine the grass for signs of mold or insect pests (spiders). If necessary, remove the unusable leaves. Discard all dried herbs that show the slightest signs of mold. It is better to adapt the construction in your kitchen in order not to forget to periodically monitor the drying process.
  6. Drying will take 2-3 weeks, depending on where you live, a humid climate will take much longer.

The second option. If you do not have a place to hang greens, or for any other reason, the first option of drying does not suit you - use the following, no less effective technology of drying greens:

  1. Simply separate the leaves from the stalks. Select only good healthy leaves.
  2. Spread the leaves in a single layer on white paper or on a paper towel. А лучше подготовьте заранее специальную поверхность для сушки: деревянную решетку, покрытую марлей, натяните ткань или сетку на раму, используйте сито.
  3. Дайте листикам высохнуть на воздухе в течение ближайших недель.
How to store and use dried greens for the winter? After complete drying, store herbs in tightly closed containers, glass jars or airtight pouches. Try to keep the greens in a dry, cool place, protected from direct sunlight (for example, in a dark kitchen cabinet). Leaves can be stored whole or chopped before storage. Herbs retain more flavor if you leave the leaves whole. Therefore, it is better to chop the herbs immediately before use (in the palms or with a rolling pin).

The fastest and most profitable way - freezing herbs

Drying greens is a good way, but it is not always effective and is not suitable for plants with a high moisture content. Greens will be covered with mold before they have time to dry. To preserve herbs such as basil, chives, lemon balm, peppermint and tarragon, fresh freezing is best. Frozen herbs will retain their essential oils. The aroma will also be maximally preserved, unlike dry herbs, where the smell becomes more concentrated.

Normal freeze

Dill, green onions, mint, basil, oregano, sage, savory, tarragon and thyme - all these cultures have a fine structure and freeze well. Conventional freezing keeps herbs for up to six months and does not require much effort, it is an easy and quick process:

  1. If necessary, wash the greens, separate the leaves from the stems (chop the green onions) and let them dry or dry with a paper towel. To achieve absolute dryness is not necessary.
  2. Lay the leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the freezer. Herbs are frozen overnight.
  3. Then place the frozen leaves in any airtight plastic container or airtight bag.
  4. Return the herbs to the freezer and store them for later use. After such freezing the leaves will not stick together.
  5. Use the greens for several months before its appearance begins to deteriorate.

For longer storage of fresh herbs by freezing, freezing in ice cubes is great. How do you manage to keep the greens for the winter in simple ice cubes? The freezing process:

  1. Rinse greens if necessary. Drying is not necessary.
  2. Greens must first be blanched: keep in boiling water for about a minute. Then cool and slice.
  3. Half fill the ice cube tray with water. Instead of water, you can use any broth.
  4. Try to put chopped greens in water. Greens will emerge, but in the future we will fix it. Place the half-filled tray in the freezer.
  5. The next day, you need to pour water into the tray so that the water covers all the greens.
  6. Return the tray back to the freezer to freeze its contents to a solid state.
  7. Transfer the finished cubes to an airtight container or bag and store in the freezer for two weeks.
  8. Cubes are ready to use. Throw them in your favorite hot dishes.

Frosting herbs in oil

Another great way to store herbs is to make a paste by mixing herbs with oil, which can then be frozen in ice cube trays. This method reduces wilting and preserves the aromas of spicy herbs much better. Basil, thyme, parsley and sage are usually harvested in this way. For freezing use vegetable (olive) or butter. So, place the chopped greens in the ice cube tray and cover with a little oil. All containers must be dry.

If you have a lot of greens, put whole leaves in a food processor or blender, add a few tablespoons of oil and finely chop. Transfer this mixture to an ice cube tray and freeze. Frost will take one night. Transfer cubes to an airtight container or bag for long-term storage. Use cubes as needed, adding to all dishes where you used fresh greens before. Frozen butter cubes melt much faster than equivalent sized ice cubes. The method of freezing herbs for the winter can make many wonderful recipes. Here is one of them: mix the butter with chopped parsley and chopped garlic - in combination with black bread you get a surprisingly tasty and flavorful snack.

Harvesting greens with salt

An old-fashioned method of storing herbs is harvesting herbs for the winter with salt. This method is suitable for the preservation of herbs such as basil, rosemary, tarragon, marjoram and thyme, but it can also taste good with sweeter herbs. Salt retains herbs well for long term use. In addition, a mixture of salt and herbs can be used in cooking as a seasoning. Salt can be coarse sea or ordinary cooking. The main proportions of salt and herbs are as follows: 200 g of salt per 1 kg of green mass. Use clay or glass containers. The process of harvesting salted greens for the winter:

  1. At the bottom of the tank evenly pour a layer of salt (2 tbsp. L).
  2. Add a thin layer of your fresh herbs, and then another 2 tbsp. l salt. Thus, alternately fill the container with layers of salt and fresh greens until the vessel is full. Layers must be tightly tamped.
  3. The top layer should be completely covered with salt.
  4. Tightly close the container and allow the aromas to infuse for 4 weeks.
Another option: add about 6 tablespoons of herbs to one cup of coarse salt, and mix in a blender. Store salted herbs in airtight containers.

Herbal oil

There are significant differences between "herbs" and "spices", which are often used interchangeably. Herbs are obtained from the leaves of herbaceous or non-woody plants and are used in smaller quantities than spices. Spices are derived from roots, flowers, fruits, seeds, or bark and are usually used in smaller quantities. Herbal oils are, in other words, oils seasoned with fresh herbs. Herbal oils are used in various forms, the range of their application is very extensive. Herbal oils not only add flavor and texture to dishes, but also are sources of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and have unique healing properties. Essential oils are used in aromatherapy and for massaging the skin.

Essential oils require a large amount of plant material. They must be diluted before use, as they have a very rich composition and flavor. Herbal oil anyone can make at home. It is better to do them in advance, then the grass flavor is better absorbed into the oil. You can store this oil in the refrigerator for a month, and in the freezer - up to three months.

Herbal oil infusion

Infused oils are herbal-based oil tinctures. In the process of infusion, the cells with the aromatic substance are destroyed, and the essential oil of the plant goes into solution. Oil extracts on herbs are nothing but enrichment of vegetable oils (olive, sunflower and others) with the properties of various plants. It is possible to make oil infusions both from fresh, and from dry vegetable herbs and their gatherings. The following herbs are well suited for oil infusions: basil, cilantro, dill, mint, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, savory, tarragon, thyme. Flavored oils are easy to prepare, the required cooking time is about 2 hours.

Cooking process:

  1. Wash your fresh herbs and let them dry completely.
  2. Prepare beautiful glass jars or other containers.
  3. Place the herbs in the jars. You do not need a large number of herbs. One or two branches will be enough.
  4. Heat the oil separately on low heat until warm.
  5. Pour the oil into the jars.
  6. Allow the contents to cool thoroughly.
  7. Close jars tightly with lids.
  8. Set aside the infusion containers for about one week before using in a cool place away from direct sunlight.

Canning greens

Canning is an outlet for those who for one reason or another cannot dry or freeze greens for the winter. Canned herbs can be stored in any convenient place and at any temperature. However, with this method in green less vitamins are saved. Consider the process of harvesting herbs for the winter on the example of specific recipes. Herbs such as dill, parsley, fennel, green lettuce are well suited for canning. Products for canning greens: 1 kg of greens, 1 liter of water, 100 g of salt. Preparation of lightly salted greens: collect the herbs of your choice, put in jars. Fill the greenery with boiling brine, soak for 2-3 days at a temperature of 20-25 ° C. Cork jars with green lids and store in a cool place.

Also consider the process of canning greens on the example of pickling asparagus. Asparagus is a perennial wild plant; only young shoots are harvested. Asparagus is immediately sorted: very short, curved and broken shoots are separated, and damaged, darkened parts are cut out. Then the asparagus is thoroughly washed in cold water. Next, keeping the tops of each shoot, cut pieces up to 10 cm in length and stack vertically in standard glass jars. When canning, asparagus retains a fairly delicate texture and high taste.

As you can see, there are many reliable ways of harvesting, which for a long time will retain the high quality and taste of your greenery. With pleasure do your own harvesting of greens and herbs for the winter - and you can enjoy the aromas of greenery all year round!