Lime Cilantro Cubes and Saving Fresh Herbs

by Heidi @ Food Doodles on May 21, 2012

Just a very quick Monday post from me today!  Even though today is a stat here in Canada it still feels like regular Monday for me – running around and trying to get more things done than possible!  I’m behind, but determined to catch up at least a little bit while the baby sleeps.  Bring on the one handed typing! 😀

So I thought I’d post more of an idea than a recipe today.  I know I’ve been posting a lot of recipes using cilantro lately, but usually I use a little bit and then have no idea what to do with the rest so I’ve been using these two methods to make the most of my fresh herbs because I’m awful at letting them go to waste(please tell me I’m not the only one!).

Even if you don’t like cilantro I use this method for saving all kinds of herbs(especially my favorite – fresh basil!).  Of course, ones like basil or oregano probably wouldn’t work so well with lime juice but water works just as well to seal in the delicious fresh herb flavor and in soups and a lot of other dishes the extra water doesn’t make a difference.  I quite often use lime and cilantro together, in fresh salsas, this red lentil soup and plenty of other dishes, but you could freeze it in water in case you need cilantro without the lime.

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Food Doodles’ Tips for Saving Fresh Herbs

  • After purchasing or harvesting your fresh herbs, remove any elastics or plastic/paper/metal ties holding the bunch together.  Remove any bad looking leaves, either wilted, brown or otherwise looking like they might go bad sooner than the rest of the bunch.  Using scissors, chop off the bottom of the stems and place in a glass of water in the fridge for up to a week removing any pieces as they go bad to prolong the life of the rest of the bunch.
  • With any leftover fresh herbs or if you don’t plan on using the bunch within a week, roughly chop the herbs, removing any tough stems and discarding.  Place herbs in a food processor or mini food processor(or use an immersion blender) with just enough water to cover the herbs.  Blend until no especially large pieces remain(small pieces are fine).  Pour into ice cube trays and freeze until solid before placing in a well labelled airtight container or bag.  Use within 3 months.
  • Some herbs can be dried, like rosemary or thyme, just by hanging them upside down in a dry place until completely dry, or by placing them in a food dehydrator for just an hour or two(depending on the herb).  Of course not all herbs taste the same once dried and the flavor of many(like basil and cilantro) is preferred fresh or frozen rather than dried.

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Lime Cilantro Cubes

  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 2-4 limes juiced(enough juice that the cilantro blends smoothly – or substitute water)

Place in a food processor or mini food processor(or use an immersion blender) and blend until no large pieces remain.  Pour into ice cube trays and freeze until solid before placing in a well labeled airtight container or bag.  Store in the freezer until ready to add to salsas, soups or entrees calling for lime juice and cilantro.  Use within 3 months.

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I want to hear from you!  What other tips do you have for saving or making the most of fresh herbs?

Leave a Comment

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen May 25, 2012 at 03:32

This is a great tip and a good way to ensure that fresh herbs will always be on hand when you need them.

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2 Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} May 24, 2012 at 19:16

Little cubes of flavor! How awesome. Great idea!

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3 The Café Sucré Farine May 23, 2012 at 05:28

Great idea! I love to keep bunches of washed fresh herbs on my kitchen window sill in pretty little glasses. That way when I need them, they’re all washed and easy to get to. Sometimes I’m a little lazy about going outside and snipping them!

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4 em May 22, 2012 at 18:25

Love this idea! I have to admit I haven’t tried to save fresh herbs before, but I’m really encouraged to try after reading your post. Love the combo of lime + cilantro!

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5 Heather May 22, 2012 at 09:53

I am SO terrible at letting fresh herbs to to waste, then I feel so guilty. I LOVE this method of saving herbs, what a great idea….now I need to buy a ice cub tray just for this 🙂

Thanks for sharing Heidi!

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6 Kathryn May 22, 2012 at 02:39

So useful, I always end up having loads of herbs around that I never get round to using. Thank you!

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7 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen May 21, 2012 at 20:53

The cube idea is awesome! Love that for cilantro b/c I tend to buy that for one specific use and then the rest goes bad before I figure out what to do with it. Granted, now I have some growing in a pot on my front steps but this will be great for the winter time when I buy it again 🙂

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8 Marie-Claude May 21, 2012 at 19:03

Great Idea! I love it!

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9 Jac @ sketchfreevegan May 21, 2012 at 18:49

this is such a great idea, lime and cilantro go so well together! I can imagine myself using those cubes in so many different meals!

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10 Eat Good 4 Life May 21, 2012 at 17:50

Wow, I have never seen this before. I have seen them in supermarkets but never cared to get them though. I normally try to use fresh herbs although since Thai basil is hard to get here and there is only one Chinese supermarket that carries it I tend to buy a bit more of it and freeze it on zip log bags with paper towels surrounding it. It works but it is not the same as using fresh. Great idea, now I know for future reference what to do with extra herbs:-)

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11 Jen@thefithousewife May 21, 2012 at 16:28

Great idea! I hate when my herbs go bad so quickly. I love the idea of lime and cilantro together…great combination!

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