It really does work: How to store Cilantro

DSC02764I have been harvesting cilantro leaves from this jar for over 3 weeks now. After reading in thekitchn the best way to store cilantro which was an experiment done by blogger Jodi over at the Vegetable Gardener, I knew I had to give it a go. She found that the best way to keep cilantro fresh longer was the jar/bag method.  I love having fresh herbs and while I just planted a bunch, they are still young plants and not ready for harvest.  All winter long I buy, use once, and toss rotten herbs. I hate that and wonder how much money I have wasted over the years. {I don’t want to know}  I finally got around to trying Jodi’s method, and it works!

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TIPS:

1.  Remove any leaves at the bottom of the stems. You do not want the leaves in the water- an old flower arranging tip. So go through each sprig, pick the best ones, and trim the lower leaves. Use those trimmed leaves right away.

2. Trim a small bit off the ends of the stems.

3.  Wash and shake the herbs dry. I even pat them with a towel. Get them dry as possible.

4.  Place herbs in a tall narrow jar. I use 12 ounce regular mouth mason jars.  Fill with water, but not to the top so they don’t spill all over.

5. Holding the herbs upright, place a plastic bag over the herbs and secure loosely with a rubber band.  I have been using Forever bags with success.

6. Store in the refrigerator and harvest as needed. Herbs should last 4 weeks or more. Unless you use them all of course.

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On the left is the new jar of cilantro all ready for storage and on the right is the jar that I have been harvesting from for the last 3 weeks. You can tell I picked off as much as I could!

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I am also going to try this with parsley and see if it works out the same. Here is the cilantro and parsley camped out on my fridge door. Once my young herb plants in the garden are bigger then I can use them, but for now this system seems to work fine. Good to know for winter!

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I am going to try this with hydroponic basil as well. I have never been able to keep it fresh more than 3 days and it goes to waste before I can use it all. I do my best to chop the leaves up and freeze in ice cube trays with olive oil, but there are times I can’t get to them fast enough.  Hopefully this will buy me some more time! I will leave these on my counter since the leaves get black in the fridge. I’ll let you know if I have any success.

UPDATE: The cilantro and parsley lasted for 2-3 weeks, while the basil was dead in 3 days. So, huzzah for cilantro and parsley!!

If you have tips on how to keep herbs fresh longer, please share.

5 Comments

  1. Posted May 6, 2013 at 3:09 PM | Permalink

    What a great idea! While cilantro is cheap (my store sells it .25 cents a bunch) I hate when it goes bad before I’ve used it all.

    And I just discovered that cilantro is great on an egg sammie! 😀

  2. Lisa
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

    Super! I needed this info! I LOVE Cilantro and snag it when I see fresh, and am planting it in my garden, BUT my kiddos haven’t acquired the taste for it yet, and so I often feed the last bits to my worms!

  3. Posted May 8, 2013 at 11:39 AM | Permalink

    This is exactly what I need to start doing. Just last week I threw away a rotten batch of cilantro that went bad in a matter of 4 days. Its frustrating to waste fresh herbs.

    @Biz I need a store like yours is they are selling cilantro that cheap. Mine costs about .65 cents a bunch.

  4. Ranee
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

    I grow fresh herbs on my back porch in container gardens. My favorite is basil. After harvesting a new batch of basil I pinch off the lower leaves so I have a nice long stem and place them in a glass of water (which I change the water every other day or so) and they keep for weeks. Every few days I add new leaves I have harvested with the older ones. I do not refrigerate them. I do the same for cilantro and parsley. It has worked well for me. I do not rinse them off or clean them until I am ready to use. I keep them in a non direct sunny spot. The stems will grow roots eventually.

  5. Posted July 12, 2017 at 10:39 AM | Permalink

    I love cooking with cilantro a lot and it’s difficult to store them! Thanks for sharing your tips here! Now I don’t have to worry about this problem anymore!

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