Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collards are easy to grow, but they can also be tough to store.
The same goes for lemongrass, which has a strong flavor that can quickly fade if not kept fresh.
But there’s good news: You can easily preserve this herb by freezing it, drying it, or even making homemade lemonade out of it.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to store lemongrass so you can enjoy its unique flavor all year round.
What is the best way to store lemongrass?
The best way to store lemongrass depends on what you plan to do with it after you harvest it.
If you’re going to freeze it, then you’ll want to slice the leaves off the stalk and put them into freezer bags.
This will allow the roots to dry out before they rot, and the leaves and stalks will stay separate from each other.
Drying works well too, since you can hang the whole stalk up in a warm room.
Or, if you just want to make lemonade out of the leaves, then just chop them up and add them to your glass of lemonade.
How long does lemongrass last when stored properly?
This is one of those questions where the answer really depends on the method you choose to store it.
For example, if you freeze it, you can expect it to last at least six months — maybe longer.
But if you dry it, you might only get two weeks.
And if you just chop it up and add it to lemonade, you can expect it to go bad in a matter of hours.
So, the best way to preserve lemongrass is to pick it early in the season, before it flowers and starts producing seeds.
Then, you can either freeze it or dry it as soon as possible.
It won’t last forever, but you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy its lemony goodness throughout the summer.
What is the ideal temperature for storing lemongrass?
Ideally, you should keep your lemongrass in a room that stays between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit (18-24 C).
That means you don’t want it sitting in direct sunlight, and you don’t want it sitting in a closet that gets very cold.
Instead, you want to keep it somewhere that’s comfortable and bright enough to be able to see it without having to strain your eyes.
Also, you’ll want to avoid letting it touch any mold or mildew because these things thrive in humid environments.
So, if you find that your home is getting too hot or too cold, move your lemongrass to another location until you can fix the problem.
Does lemongrass need to be refrigerated?
No, it doesn’t.
As long as you keep it away from anything that could spoil it, you can keep it in the fridge for up to a month.
Just remember that it won’t taste as great if you leave it there for too long.
How often should lemongrass be replaced?
It varies depending on whether you’re freezing it, drying it, or chopping it up for lemonade.
In general, though, you should replace it every two to three months.
For example, if you’ve frozen it, you should probably let it thaw out first.
Once it’s completely defrosted, you can take it out of the bag and rinse it off with cold water.
Then, you can trim off the roots and the ends of the stems and discard them.
After that, you can cut the rest of the stalk into small pieces and lay them out on paper towels to dry.
When they’re mostly dry, you can wrap them in plastic wrap and put them in a large freezer bag.
Keep doing this until you run out of lemongrass.
When you’re done with that batch, you can repeat the process again.
After it’s dried, you can chop it up and mix it into lemonade or other drinks.
Or, if you’d rather dry it, you can hang it up in a warm room and wait for it to turn brown.
Then, you can remove the leaves and store them in jars.
What are the benefits of storing lemongrass?
There are many ways to use lemongrass.
You can eat it raw, cook it in soups and stir fries, or use it as a garnish for desserts.
Plus, it makes a wonderful addition to cocktails, especially martinis and margaritas.
But perhaps the most important thing about storing lemongrass is that it lasts so much longer than other herbs.
Not only can you freeze or dry it, but you can also keep it in your pantry for years to come.
How does lemongrass compare to other herbs?
Like most herbs, lemongrass has a short growing period.
It takes four to five weeks to start flowering, and it usually stops producing seeds within a few weeks after that.
So, once you plant it, you can expect to harvest it in about eight to 10 weeks.
And while it may seem like a short amount of time, it’s actually a lot more than most people realize.
Most herbs only produce one or two harvests per year, but lemongrass can produce multiple harvests in a single season.
What are some recipes that use lemongrass?
You can use lemongrass in a wide variety of dishes.
Some common ideas include:
- Baked chicken wings
- Chicken soup
- Rice dishes
- Fruit salad
- Fish sticks
- Jerk chicken
What are some tips for using lemongrass?
Here are some basic tips to keep in mind when working with lemongrass:
Don’t wash it until you’re ready to use it.
Don’t throw away the roots.
They contain a lot of nutrients, and you can add them back to your
Try to keep it away from mold and mildew.
Always wear gloves when handling lemongrass.
Keep it away from heat sources.
Be sure to shake it around whenever you handle it.
Use scissors to cut it instead of knives.
If you’re cooking it, try not to chop it up too fine.
With these simple guidelines, you’ll be able to enjoy lemongrass all year round.