Basil has been around for centuries.
It’s one of those herbs that almost everyone loves—whether they use it in their cooking or not.
Whether you grow your own basil or buy it from a local farmer’s market, you’ll want to know how to keep it fresh.
We’ve got all the information on what to do with your basil once you get it home, but first, let’s talk about keeping it fresh so it stays good through the season.
Here are some tips to make sure you have plenty of fresh basil to enjoy throughout the year.
How do you keep basil fresh?
The first thing you need to do is cut off the stem.
This keeps the leaves from getting too wet and helps them stay fresh longer.
If you don’t cut the stem, the leaves will wilt and die quickly.
You can also trim the bottom third of the leaf.
Next, put the basil in a glass of water.
The more air it has, the better.
Place the glass in the refrigerator.
You want to change the water every three to five days.
If you wait longer than this, the basil will rot and lose its flavor.
What is the best way to keep basil fresh?
Once you’ve washed it, dried it, trimmed it, and placed it in a glass of water, you want to give it as much exposure to air as possible.
Store it in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
This will prevent mold from forming and keep the basil fresher longer.
How long does basil last when kept fresh?
Basil will last up to two weeks if you wash it frequently and store it in a cool area of the house.
Once it starts to go bad, you’re better off tossing it out rather than trying to salvage it.
If you’re going to eat the basil within a week, it’s fine to leave it outside on the counter, but if you plan to use it sooner, you may want to bring it inside.
This will help it last longer.
What temperature should basil be kept at to remain fresh?
If you’re planning to use your basil right away, like a pesto or something else where you’ll be using it soon, you can keep it in the fridge.
But if you’re going to use it later, you’ll want to keep it somewhere between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
This will slow down the growth of any bacteria or fungi that could cause it to spoil faster.
How often should basil be watered to keep it fresh?
You don’t need to water basil daily.
In fact, you don’t really need to water it at all. If you live in a dry climate, you can skip watering it altogether.
When you do water it, mist the leaves lightly.
If you have a greenhouse or porch, you can let it sit out during the day without worrying about it drying out.
What type of soil should basil be grown in to keep it fresh?
Basil likes to grow in full sun, but it doesn’t need a lot of light.
It needs lots of water, though.
Soil made specifically for growing basil is perfect.
You can find it at most gardening stores. Just make sure it’s well drained and contains no fertilizer or pesticides.
How much sunlight does basil need to remain fresh?
Basil grows best in full sun, so if you plant it outdoors, make sure it gets direct sunlight.
If you grow it indoors, make sure it gets six hours of direct sunlight per day.
What pests or diseases can affect the freshness of basil?
There aren’t many pests or diseases that can affect the freshness of basil.
However, if you notice insects crawling on your plants, remove them immediately.
They could carry disease-causing bugs into the rest of your garden.
What harvest methods can help keep basil fresh?
You can pick and choose which basil leaves you want to use.
If you just want to use the entire bunch, you can pull the whole thing and put it in a container.
That way, you won’t have to worry about leaving anything behind.
What storage methods can help keep basil fresh?
When you’re ready to use your basil, you can either cook it or freeze it.
If you decide to freeze it, you’ll want to blanch it first.
Blanching means boiling it in salted water for 30 seconds, then putting it in ice water to stop the cooking process.
This will help preserve the color of the leaves.
After you’ve cooked it, you can add it to sauces, soups, or avocado pasta dishes.
Or, you can chop it up and sprinkle it over salads.
How long does basil last when frozen?
Fresh basil lasts anywhere from four to eight months when frozen.
It’s okay to thaw it before using, but you should try to avoid letting it sit in the freezer for too long.
This will allow moisture to escape and make the leaves soggy.
What storage methods can help keep basil fresh?
Just like with fresh basil, you’ll want to take care of the stems.
Trim them off and discard them.
After you’ve cleaned the leaves, wrap them individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
This will protect them from moisture and prevent them from getting mushy.
Place the wrapped leaves in a resealable bag and store them in the freezer.
They’ll last for several months.
When you’re ready to use some, just grab a handful and toss it in your favorite dish.
Basil Avocado Pasta
- 1 bowl
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
- Toss to mix well.
- Chill until ready to serve, or serve immediately.