The end of the wonderful summer season is fast approaching. Soon the sun will set earlier, the cute woodland creatures will retreat to the warmth and safety of their shelters and worst of all the beautiful vegetation will die. However, seeing as you have put your time and effort into your garden hear are a few tricks that will help you hold onto your summer vegetation harvest all year round.
Herbs may be a seasonal type of vegetation, but that does not mean they are only useful in the summer sun. Herbs can freshen up a meal and turn the blandest of foods piquant. However, as amazing as herbs can be they seem to always leave our gardens far too soon.
As the winter months approach it is time to take a stand for the flavors that we love and make sure they stay in our hearts, minds, and kitchens all year.
Preserving Herbs In Oil
Since herbs are made of cellular organic matter they are susceptible to rapid deterioration in even the most stagnant environments. To truly preserve your herbs for long periods of time the best possible method is to infuse them into longer lasting organic materials such as oil.
Here is an herbal oil recipe that is easy to make and delicious in any dish.
First grab yourself around an8 oz. jar, make sure it is cleaned and fully dried to prevent molding. Then place a few peeled cloves of garlic into the jar with 1-2 handfuls of fresh basil (or any other herb you wish to preserve), and a small hot pepper (this ingredient is optional).
Finally cover all ingredients in a generous serving of extra virgin olive oil. Make sure to seal the jar tightly and let it sit for 6 weeks so that the oil will be able to fully absorb all flavors. Once the 6 weeks are up strain the oil into another clean jar and enjoy.
Preserving Herbs In Vinegar
much like extra virgin olive oil vinegar can be a great tool when it comes to preserving the flavors of herbs. Vinegar can also be seamlessly added into almost any recipe, making this preservation technique versatile on many different levels.
To make your own herbal vinegar start with a large clear container and make sure that is cleaned properly to avoid molding. Next, place your desired herbs and 1 clove of garlic into the container. Once this step is completed, add in your favorite vinegar and seal the container.
Leave the solution to sit for up to 4 weeks to allow for proper flavor infusion. Finally strain your vinegar into a new bottle and enjoy all year round.
Preserving Herbs In Salt
For centuries salt has been used to preserve foods and spices throughout hostile seasons. Much like sun drying; salting food allows for most moisture to be removed from foods making them less susceptible to decay.
To make your own salted herbs simply grab yourself an air tight container. Make sure to properly clean and dry this container as to not contaminate your ingredients. Next place a layer of ground salt (preferably pink Himalayan salt) into the container next ad in your herb. Create small layers of herbs and salt until you have nearly filled the container. Finally add another layer of salt to the top of the container and seal.
These herbal preservation techniques will keep the tastes of summer in your kitchen and warm up every meal you add them.