How To Store Basil From Store
Modified: November 23, 2023
Learn how to properly store basil that you buy from the store with these helpful articles. Keep your basil fresh and flavorful for longer!
(Many of the links in this article redirect to a specific reviewed product. Your purchase of these products through affiliate links helps to generate commission for Storables.com, at no extra cost. Learn more)
Table of Contents
Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to store basil from the store. Basil is a versatile and flavorful herb that adds a delightful touch to a variety of dishes, from pasta sauces to salads. However, fresh basil leaves can wilt quickly if not stored properly. Whether you have leftover basil from a recipe or bought a bunch from the store and want to make it last longer, knowing how to store basil is essential.
By taking the time to store basil correctly, you can ensure that it stays fresh, vibrant, and full of flavor for an extended period. In this article, we will walk you through the steps to store basil from the store, providing you with different options depending on your preferences and how long you want to preserve it.
From storing basil in water to keeping it in the refrigerator or even freezing it, we have you covered. We will also cover common mistakes to avoid when storing basil to help you maintain its quality. So, let’s dive in and discover the best ways to store basil from the store!
- Extend the shelf life of store-bought basil by storing it in water, in the refrigerator, or freezing it. Enjoy fresh basil year-round while saving money and reducing food waste.
- Avoid common mistakes when storing basil, such as neglecting to wash it, using excessive moisture, or storing it with other produce. Follow proper storage techniques to maintain basil’s flavor and freshness.
Read more: How To Store Basil From Garden
Why store basil from the store?
There are several reasons why you might want to store basil from the store. Here are a few:
- Extended Shelf Life: Basil purchased from the store usually comes in large bunches, more than you can use in one sitting. Storing it properly allows you to extend its shelf life and enjoy fresh basil over an extended period.
- Cost Savings: Buying a bunch of basil from the store is often more cost-effective than purchasing smaller quantities. By storing it properly, you can make the most of your purchase and save money in the long run.
- Convenience: Having a stash of stored basil at home means you always have this delightful herb readily available for adding flavor to your dishes. No need to rush to the store every time you want to use basil.
- Reducing Food Waste: Properly storing basil prevents it from wilting and going to waste. It allows you to maximize the use of this aromatic herb and minimize food waste in your kitchen.
- Enjoy Fresh Basil Year-Round: By freezing basil, you can preserve its flavor and aroma for a longer time, allowing you to enjoy fresh basil even when it’s out of season.
With these compelling reasons in mind, let’s explore the best ways to store basil from the store to ensure that you have fresh basil available whenever you need it!
Tips for Choosing Basil from the Store
When it comes to storing basil from the store successfully, selecting high-quality basil is the first crucial step. Here are some tips to help you choose the best basil:
- Look for Freshness: Choose basil with bright green leaves and a vibrant aroma. Avoid any leaves that appear wilted, yellowed, or have dark spots.
- Inspect the Stems: Check the stems of the basil bunch. They should be firm and not slimy or discolored. A little moisture on the stems is acceptable, but excessive dampness may indicate decay.
- Opt for Organic: Consider choosing organic basil whenever possible. Organic basil is free from pesticides and other chemicals, ensuring a purer and safer product.
- Check the Packaging: If the basil is packaged, make sure the container is clean and free from any moisture buildup. Avoid containers with crushed or damaged basil leaves as they may be prone to spoiling.
- Choose Whole Leaves: Whole basil leaves tend to stay fresh longer than pre-chopped or shredded basil. Select bunches with intact leaves to prolong their shelf life.
- Trust Your Senses: Use your senses when choosing basil. The leaves should have a fresh, herbaceous scent, and they should feel firm to the touch. If the basil smells musty or feels slimy, it’s best to avoid it.
By following these tips, you can ensure that you bring home the freshest and highest-quality basil from the store, setting the stage for successful storage and enjoying flavorful meals in the days to come.
Step-by-step Guide on Storing Basil from the Store
Properly storing basil from the store is essential to maintain its freshness and flavor. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you store basil effectively:
- Prepare the Basil: Start by gently removing any damaged or discolored leaves from the basil bunch. Rinse the basil in cool water to remove any dirt or debris. Pat it dry with a clean towel or use a salad spinner to remove excess moisture.
- Select Your Storage Method: Choose the storage method based on how long you want to preserve the basil. Options include storing basil in water, keeping it in the refrigerator, or freezing it for longer-term storage.
- Option 1: Storing Basil in Water: Fill a glass or jar with an inch or two of water. Place the basil stems in the water, ensuring that the leaves are not submerged. Cover the top loosely with a plastic bag and place it on a counter or in the refrigerator.
- Option 2: Storing Basil in the Refrigerator: Wrap the basil bunch loosely in damp paper towels or a damp kitchen cloth. Place it in a breathable container or a plastic bag with small holes for air circulation. Store it in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer.
- Option 3: Freezing Basil for Long-term Storage: Blanch the basil leaves in boiling water for a few seconds, then transfer them to an ice bath to cool rapidly. Pat them dry and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze them for a few hours before transferring to an airtight container or freezer bag.
- Check and Refresh: Regardless of the storage method you choose, check the basil regularly for any signs of wilting or spoilage. Replace the water or damp paper towels if they become dirty or dry out.
By following these simple steps, you can store basil from the store successfully and enjoy fresh basil for an extended period.
Option 1: Storing Basil in Water
Storing basil in water is a simple and effective method to keep it fresh and extend its shelf life. Here’s how to do it:
- Prepare the Basil: Start by trimming off the ends of the basil stems to promote water absorption.
- Choose a Container: Select a glass or jar that is tall enough to accommodate the basil stems. Make sure it’s clean and free from any residue.
- Add Water: Fill the glass or jar with about an inch or two of water. Avoid using cold water as it can shock the basil, causing it to wilt.
- Place the Basil: Carefully place the basil stems into the water, ensuring that the leaves remain above the waterline. Avoid overcrowding the container, as this can lead to increased moisture and potential rot.
- Cover the Basil: Loosely cover the top of the container with a plastic bag or a perforated plastic wrap. This will create a humid environment while allowing some airflow.
- Store Properly: Find a suitable spot for your basil. If you plan to use it within a day or two, you can keep it on the countertop. If you want it to last longer, store it in the refrigerator.
- Check and Refresh: Regularly check the basil for any signs of wilting or discoloration. If the water becomes dirty or cloudy, replace it with fresh water.
Storing basil in water helps keep the leaves hydrated and maintains their flavor and aroma. Just remember to change the water every two or three days to prevent it from becoming stagnant. With this method, you can enjoy fresh basil at your fingertips whenever you need it.
To store basil from the store, trim the stems and place in a glass of water on the counter. Cover with a plastic bag and change the water every few days. This will keep the basil fresh for up to a week.
Read more: How To Store Basil From Grocery Store
Option 2: Storing Basil in the Refrigerator
Another excellent method for storing basil from the store is by keeping it in the refrigerator. This method helps to maintain the basil’s freshness while extending its shelf life. Here’s how you can do it:
- Prepare the Basil: Start by gently washing the basil leaves to remove any dirt or debris. Pat them dry using a clean towel or a salad spinner.
- Wrap the Basil: Take a few damp paper towels or a damp kitchen cloth and wrap them loosely around the basil bunch. The dampness will help keep the leaves hydrated without making them too wet.
- Choose a Breathable Container: Place the wrapped basil in a breathable container, such as a plastic bag with small holes or a produce storage bag. The container should allow for some airflow while preventing the basil from drying out.
- Store in the Refrigerator: Put the container with the wrapped basil in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. The cool temperature will help slow down the wilting process and keep the basil fresh for a longer time.
- Check and Refresh: Regularly check the basil for any signs of wilting or decay. If the paper towels or kitchen cloth become dry, dampen them again to maintain the moisture level.
Storing basil in the refrigerator helps to preserve its vibrant green color and flavor. It’s important to note that basil is sensitive to cold temperatures, so try to use it within a week for optimal freshness. With this method, you can have fresh basil available whenever you need it, without the risk of it wilting or spoiling.
Option 3: Freezing Basil for Long-Term Storage
If you have an abundance of basil from the store and want to store it for an extended period, freezing is a great option. Freezing basil helps to preserve its flavor and aroma, allowing you to enjoy the taste of fresh basil even when it’s out of season. Follow these steps to freeze basil:
- Prepare the Basil: Start by gently washing the basil leaves to remove any dirt or debris. Pat them dry thoroughly using a clean towel or a salad spinner.
- Blanch the Leaves: Bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare a bowl of ice water. Immerse the basil leaves in boiling water for about 2-3 seconds, then transfer them immediately into the ice water. This blanching process helps retain the basil’s color and flavor.
- Drain and Dry: Remove the blanched basil leaves from the ice water and allow them to drain in a colander. Gently squeeze out any excess water, and then pat them dry with a clean towel.
- Arrange on a Baking Sheet: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the basil leaves in a single layer. Make sure they are not touching or overlapping to prevent sticking together.
- Flash Freeze: Place the baking sheet with the basil leaves in the freezer and let them freeze for a few hours until they become firm and solid. This process will prevent the leaves from clumping together during long-term storage.
- Transfer to Freezer Bags or Containers: Once the basil leaves are frozen, transfer them into freezer bags or airtight containers. Be sure to label the bags or containers with the date for future reference.
- Store in the Freezer: Place the freezer bags or containers in the freezer and keep them away from foods with strong odors to prevent any flavor transfer.
Frozen basil can be used directly in cooked dishes like soups, sauces, and stews, or as a flavorful addition to smoothies and pesto. When using frozen basil, remember to add it directly to your recipe without thawing it first. This way, you can enjoy the taste and aroma of fresh basil, even during the colder months.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Storing Basil from the Store
Storing basil from the store requires some care and attention to ensure its longevity. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:
- Leaving the Basil Unattended: Neglecting to store basil immediately after purchase can lead to wilting and spoilage. Make sure to store it properly as soon as possible.
- Excessive Moisture: While it’s important to keep basil hydrated, excessive moisture can cause the leaves to rot. Ensure that your storage method provides enough moisture without creating a damp environment.
- Improper Cleaning: Failing to wash basil before storage can trap dirt, debris, and bacteria. Always wash the leaves gently and thoroughly to maintain their freshness.
- No Air Circulation: Lack of proper airflow can promote humidity and lead to mold growth. Choose storage containers or bags with small holes to allow adequate ventilation.
- Storing Basil with Other Produce: Basil emits ethylene gas, which can accelerate the ripening and spoilage of nearby fruits and vegetables. Keep basil separate from other produce to prevent premature spoilage.
- Not Checking and Refreshing: Failing to monitor the stored basil regularly can result in missed signs of wilting or decay. Check the basil periodically and refresh the water or damp paper towels as needed.
- Not Labeling Frozen Basil: For frozen basil, forgetting to label the bags or containers with the date can lead to confusion when determining their freshness. Proper labeling ensures you can use your frozen basil within the recommended timeframe.
- Freezing Whole Bunches: Freezing an entire basil bunch without blanching or separating the leaves can cause them to stick together. Separate the leaves before freezing to make portioning easier.
- Using Frozen Basil as Garnish: Frozen basil tends to lose its texture once thawed, making it unsuitable for use as a garnish. Reserve frozen basil for recipes where it will be cooked or blended.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your stored basil remains fresh, flavorful, and ready to enhance your culinary creations.
Frequently Asked Questions about Storing Basil from the Store
Here are some common questions and answers regarding the storage of basil from the store:
- How long can I store basil from the store?
- Can I store basil in the freezer without blanching?
- Can I store basil in olive oil?
- What is the best way to store basil pesto?
- How can I revive wilted basil?
The shelf life of basil depends on the storage method. When stored in water at room temperature, it can last for a few days. In the refrigerator, basil can stay fresh for up to a week. When frozen, basil can be stored for several months.
Blanching basil before freezing helps retain its color, flavor, and texture. While it is possible to freeze basil without blanching, it may not retain its quality as well. Blanching helps preserve the basil’s vibrant green color and prevents it from becoming mushy when thawed.
Storing basil in olive oil may seem like a convenient option, but it can create a breeding ground for bacteria that can lead to botulism. It is not recommended to store herbs, including basil, in oil at room temperature. However, you can freeze basil in olive oil in ice cube trays for ease of use in recipes.
To store homemade basil pesto, transfer it to an airtight container and cover the surface with a thin layer of olive oil. This helps prevent oxidation and discoloration. Store the container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Alternatively, you can freeze pesto in ice cube trays or freezer containers for longer-term storage.
If your basil has started to wilt, you can try revitalizing it by trimming the ends of the stems and placing them in a glass of water. Leave the basil in the water for a few hours to rehydrate. Afterward, rinse the leaves, pat them dry, and store them using one of the recommended methods. However, note that the quality of the basil may not fully recover.
Remember, storing basil properly helps maintain its flavor and freshness, allowing you to enjoy its vibrant taste in your favorite recipes. If you have any specific concerns or further questions, it’s always best to consult with your local store or a food preservation expert for tailored advice.
Read more: How To Store Basil
Properly storing basil from the store is key to preserving its freshness, vibrant color, and delightful flavor. Whether you choose to store basil in water, in the refrigerator, or freeze it for long-term storage, following the right techniques can significantly extend its shelf life. By implementing these storage methods and avoiding common mistakes, you can enjoy the taste of fresh basil in your dishes for an extended period.
Remember to select high-quality basil from the store, looking for fresh, green leaves and firm stems. Take the time to wash and dry the basil before storing it, and be mindful of the storage options available to you. Each method offers its own benefits, from the simplicity of storing basil in water to the versatility of freezing basil for long-term use.
By understanding how to store basil from the store, you can save money, reduce food waste, and have this delightful herb readily available whenever you need it. Whether you’re adding a handful of fresh basil leaves to your pasta sauce or using frozen basil in your winter soups, the vibrant flavor and aroma will elevate your culinary creations.
Experiment with different storage methods to find the one that suits your needs best. And don’t forget to enjoy the process and savor the rich fragrance and taste that basil brings to your meals. With these tips and techniques, you can make the most of your basil purchases and elevate your cooking to new heights.
So, next time you bring home a bunch of basil from the store, store it with care, and relish the joy of having fresh basil on hand to add that extra touch of flavor to your favorite dishes. Happy cooking!
Frequently Asked Questions about How To Store Basil From Store
Was this page helpful?
At Storables.com, we guarantee accurate and reliable information. Our content, validated by Expert Board Contributors, is crafted following stringent Editorial Policies. We're committed to providing you with well-researched, expert-backed insights for all your informational needs.