The best ways to help herbs keep their aroma and nutrients
Fresh herbs are full of valuable vitamins and essential oils. But when cut, they quickly lose their colour, aroma and vitamin content.
For this reason, herbs should ideally be harvested or bought just before they are to be used, and then processed immediately.
Tips for shopping: When buying herbs, make sure that they give off an aromatic scent. Herbs that have already been cut should look juicy and green. A useful test for potted plants is to pull carefully on a stem - if the whole plant, including the root ball, comes loose, the experts advise against buying it.
Storage: If you cannot use the herbs immediately, make sure they are sufficiently moist. You can put the bunch in a glass of water or wrap the herbs in a damp cloth and store them in the salad draw of your fridge. They will keep for about three days.
Alternatively, of course, you can freeze, dry or pickle herbs - allowing them to be stored for longer.
Processing herbs: Fresh herbs should only be rinsed briefly under cold water and then shaken dry or patted down with a towel. Herbs with hard stems can either be added whole or the leaves can be plucked off.
If the herbs have soft stems, you can cut them into small pieces with a knife or scissors. Do not crush or squash them, if you can avoid it. This preserves the ingredients and the aroma.
Basil, for example, contains many minerals and vitamins - including calcium, iron and beta-carotene, vitamins A, C and K. And parsley contains vitamins A, B1 to B6, C and K as well as beta-carotene and folic acid.
Make your own herb pesto: Herbs are excellent for making a pesto. If you want to make a delicious combination yourself, you can try the 7-herb recipe. You will need: basil, parsley, coriander, lovage, thyme, oregano and wild garlic. Simply chop the herbs, add them to fresh olive oil, add some chopped pine nuts and season everything to taste.