Cook / Plant

How to Store Basil: An Experiment


How to Store Basil: An Experiment

I use a fair amount of basil in my cooking but, for the price of basil, I’m constantly disappointed when I go into the refrigerator to retrieve it, only to find a brown, soggy mess. Seeing many different ways to store basil on food channels and in magazines, got me to thinking – what IS the best way to store basil to maximize its longevity? So here it is: four test samples, four ways to store basil, an experiment spanning two weeks.

How I Stored Each Sample:
Sample A: On the counter in a jar filled with water, covered with an inverted food storage bag.
Sample B: On the counter in a jar filled with water, uncovered.
Sample C: In the refrigerator, in a jar filled with water, covered with an inverted food storage bag.
Sample D: In the refrigerator, in a sealed food storage bag, with a paper towel to absorb moisture.
For Samples A, B & C, every 3-5 days, I replaced the water in the jars and snipped off the end of each stem; and replaced the paper towel in Sample D. As needed, I snipped off any browning spots on the leaves.

On day 4, Sample C was taken out of rotation. Sample C is not a good way to store basil.

On day 7, Sample D was taken out of rotation. While Sample D is an acceptable way to store basil, it seems that A & B will keep it fresh much longer.

On day 14, Samples A & B were still fresh and strong enough to use.

The main difference between the final results of A & B was that, Sample A seemed to keep the crispiness of the basil leaves better than Sample B. Sample B’s leaves were droopier than Sample A.

Conclusion: Sample A seems to be the best way to keep basil fresh and crisp the longest.

To keep your basil for 2 weeks or longer follow these simple steps:
1. Place water in a jar or glass.
2. Snip the end of each basil stem.
3. Place the basil inside the jar.
4. Invert a gallon sized food storage bag. Cut one small slit in the top of the bag. Place over the basil.
5. Set in a cool place on the counter.
6. Change the water in the jar and snip the end of the basil stems every 3-5 days.
7. Snip off any black or brown spots as needed to prevent the basil from collecting mold.

Right now, I’m lucky enough to not need to purchase basil. My Cinnamon Basil plant is doing very well and keeping up with my basil habit.

Have a wonderful day!
-Amelia

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