What is the average shelf life of a basil leaf? How long do basil leaves last in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer? What is the best way to store basil leaves to increase their shelf life? Find out the answers to these questions and more below:
Shelf Life of a Basil Leaf
|Pantry||Up to 7 Days||2-3 Years||2-3 Years||3-4 Years|
If you have adequately stored your fresh basil leaves in the freezer, they will stay fresh and will also provide best quality flavor for up to six months. Moreover, they remain safe to eat after that period as well. The time mentioned is just for the highest quality flavor that you want from your basil leaves. If you have stored your basil leaves at 0°F, then they will remain healthy for an indefinite period. All types of herbs and spices that are commercially dried don’t tend to spoil at all. However, with the passage of time, they will lose their potency and won’t flavor food as per your intentions.
Purchasing Basil Leaves
Most of the people have their basil plants pots placed in a sunny window and have access to them whenever they are required. Nevertheless, if you don’t have the luxury of a basil plant pots, then you can always purchase them from your local grocery. Prefer to buy fresh and vibrant green colored leaves that don’t have any dark spots. These dark spots are a sign of decay, so always avoid them.
Storing Basil Leaves
Make sure that you keep your leaves in layered in a damp paper towel within a plastic bag and refrigerate it for at least four days. If you have your leaves attached to their stalks, then place them in a glass of water and cover it using a plastic bag that should be connected to the glass. Place this glass in the refrigerator and change the water on daily basis. You can use these leaves within one week.
Make sure that you don’t wash your leaves until you are ready to use them in your recipe. Fresh basil is always a good option for storing in the refrigerator, and you can do it with chopped or whole leaves. Moreover, you can also blanch the entire basil leaves for a couple of seconds and then place them into icy water. Dry them by patting and store them in your freezer within plastic bags.
Handling Basil Leaves
Basil leaves are available in a wide variety and color. They come in green and purple as well as in reddish hues. Over 60 different types of basil leaves are available on the market. Each of them has its distinct flavor. These flavors include hints of thyme, jasmine, lemon, cinnamon, clove, and anise. For the best flavor, use basil leaves before the plant starts to flower if you are growing your own basil plant.
Cooking Basil Leaves
This herb can add vibrant flavor to your food. These leaves are the ultimate compliment to tomatoes as well as lives, garlic, and onions. Tea of basil leaves is beneficial in dysentery, stomach distress and nausea. Always ensure that you discard the thicker stems before use because they are bitter. You can also use oregano, sage, and rosemary in conjunction with basil. For the best flavor, you can use basil at the end of the cooking process because cooking heat can dissipate the taste of the leaves.