How many times have you picked up a gorgeous bouqet of fresh basil, only to watch it wilt exactly 28 minutes after bringing it home?
Unless you’re making pesto, you only really need a few springs for dinner… so what do you do with the rest of it?
Put it in the fridge and it’ll turn brown, leave it out and it’ll shrivel up.
Not any more! Let me show you a tip for how to use up the whole bunch, in three different uses.
How to make the most of your basil,
before it wilts
Make a bouquet:
Basil thrives when treated like a bouquet of flowers. Gather a bunch and use a twist-tie to hold the delicate pieces together. Trim the stem and place in a container of fresh water. This will keep right on your counter-top for days (versus minutes!)
Snip leaves as you need, sprinkle it on your salads and pastas. Basil comes in so many varieties and you’ll add tons of flavour to a simple meal.
If you’re lucky, it may even last long enough to shoot roots. You can then plant it in a pot and have your own basil plant.
Freeze for later:
To freeze your basil, all you need to do is remove the stems and cover the leaves in olive oil.
You can use a cube to start your meals, to sauté veggies or make a quick pasta aioli that tastes fresh and flavourful.
Once they freeze, transfer the cubes into a freezer ziploc bag and label it so you don’t forget about it!
Don’t make a million cubes – make what you believe you will make use of and enjoy in the next week or two.
Turn it into skincare:
Basil is a natural skin cleanser and purifier – full of antioxidants and antibacterial properties – it helps to protect your skin and clear away breakouts.
Plan for a little self-care session when you bring home fresh basil.
You can blend a handful of basil and mix it with yogurt for a skin cleansing and moisturizing mask.
Or, what I love is making bath soaks. In a mesh or organza bag, add rolled oats and a handful of fresh basil. Place the bag in a warm bath and the oats will release a silky gel that is exceptional at soothing and moisturising your skin. The basil will steep in the warm water and release its beneficial properties that cleanse, purify and protect your skin. The combination is beautiful.
A good idea is to grind the oats first into a powder. Basil pairs well with essential oils like geranium and lavender, add a few drops in too. Your skin will smell and feel gorgeous!
Go ahead and confidently pick up some fresh basil at the farmer’s market. With these tips, you’ll never have to watch your fresh herbs wilt away again!
I’d love to know, what tricks and tips you have up your sleeve for preserving your delicate herbs like basil. Let us know in the comments below.