Anyone who’s ever had to throw out handfuls of moldy herbs that got lost in the back of the fridge knows the pain of not using them before they expire. While fresh herbs often taste better than dried ones, it can be tricky to use them up in time.
Luckily, zero-waste Instagrammer Ariana Palmieri has shared her tips on how to reduce this waste in an Instagram post. Under the handle @greenifyme, she offered some simple steps to put wilding herbs to good use by creating herb cubes rather than just throwing them, and the money you spent on them, in the trash.
“I don’t know about you, but my herbs always wilt so fast, so this is a great way to preserve them!” Palmieri explains. She goes on to present her short and simple method of creating herb cubes.
Start off by washing and drying your herbs of choice, as Palmieri demonstrates with some basil. Then, remove any stems you don’t want and chop them up as if you were about to put them in a dish.
Next, fill an empty ice cube tray with the chopped herbs and add some olive oil on top. Once the tray is full, add it to the freezer for at least eight hours. Palmieri recommends leaving it overnight for best results.
The next day, you’ll be able to press out the frozen cubes, which are perfect for cooking with. You can store them in a mason jar or any freezer-safe container, and they will be ready to go for your next meal.
“They keep in the freezer for about three months,” Palmieri advises – aka, much longer than they would in your fridge.
Not only does this hack make for easier cooking with fresh herbs, but it also helps reduce food waste.
In the U.S., the average household wastes 31.9% of purchased food. This doesn’t just mean food goes to waste — it is also a waste of the energy used to make and transport the products and the money spent on them.
Commenters were quick to show their love for the idea, with one writing: “I haven’t thought of this before! Such a great idea! Reduces the food waste too.”
Another added, “Have to try this!” while a third commented, “I’ve never seen anyone do this by freezing herbs in oil, that’s a great idea!”
Palmieri asked her followers to say whether they’ll be trying out the technique by adding green hearts in the comments and, judging by the flurry of green hearts, she’ll have plenty of converts.