What to do with Extra Herbs

We got a question from Jen from Diet Plaid:

I have a ton of mint, lavender, and rosemary in my garden. I’ve never done any of them so I’m not sure if I should dry them or freeze them or what before it gets too cold outside. Halp?

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Drying is probably your best option for the lavender and rosemary. They really do take well to this method and will keep their potency for a long time. What you can do is cut about 1′ long lengths off of the plant and tie them into a bundle. You will then want to hang them in a warm, dry place out of direct sunlight. I like to hang them in my house as they can be decorative. When they are nice and dry you can pull the leaves off of the stems and store them in glass containers out of direct light. They should keep for several months, though over time they will lose potency.

Mint can be dried as well just like the lavender and rosemary, though I prefer to freeze it. Something about dried mint – it seems like it’s not as bright as fresh mint. Simply freeze your mint in a suitable container (ziplock bags work fine) and store in the freezer. When they thaw they will be wilted because the freezing causes water in the cells to expand, breaking the cell walls, but it will still have that nice bright flavor. You can also put the leaves with a bit of water into ice cube trays and create mint ice cubes for drinks. Though, in the winter, you probably aren’t too interested in having iced drinks.

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