7 Ways to use up your herbs
I’m gonna let you in on a chef secret:
Herbs are our secret weapon.
Sure, you’ve probably used them in recipes here and there. As a chef, this is one of the easiest and most sought after ways to develop unique flavors and delight our clients. And for good reasons!
For starters, they make everything taste super fancy, especially when used in unexpected places. (Have you ever had rosemary ice cream? Call me when you have.) They add so much flavor to simple foods, without needing a ton of cooking skills to add them. They’re often inexpensive – newsflash: parsley and cilantro are two of the cheapest items in the produce isle. Not to mention they’re packed with phytonutrients. Translation: they do your body good while tasting good and costing next to nothing. If you ask me, herbs are a non-negotiable when it comes to home cooking.
It’s so common to buy herbs for a recipe, and then end up throwing out the remaining unused bunch the following week. People constantly ask me: “What do I do with herbs after I use them in a recipe?” In case you’ve ever wondered this yourself, I’m here to help you out. Here are 7 ways to use up your herbs so you never have to throw them away again:
#1 - SNEAK THEM INTO SALADS
Rough chop and add them to tossed greens for an unexpected pop of flavor. My favorites are dill, basil, parsley, or cilantro.
#2 - ADD TO SMOOTHIES
Mint is a star for this one! I like adding mint to anything with cacao powder. Yum.
#3 - USE IN GROUND MEAT
A little chopped parsley in my burgers? Don’t mind if I do! My favorite meatball combo is the sage, thyme, and rosemary trifecta, oh yes.
#4 - THROW INTO STOCK
Whenever I’m making bone broth or vegetable stock, I’ll throw in whatever herbs I have leftover to add even more nutrients to the broth. Great way to clean out the fridge --nothing goes to waste.
#5 - MAKE A COMPOUND BUTTER
If you’re feeling fancy, mix some room-temperature grass-fed butter with sea salt and chopped herbs -- I like thyme or sage for this one. Spoon into plastic wrap and roll into a log, then store in the fridge up to 1 week, or the freezer up to 2 months. Great for spreading on bread or adding on top of perfectly seared steak.
#6 - CREATE HERB-INFUSED OIL
The procedure will differ based on the herbs, but here’s one of the easiest and most delicious: fill a glass jar with high quality extra virgin olive oil. Add 2 cloves garlic and a few sprigs of rosemary. Seal and store in the fridge for future dressings, grilled breads, or brushing on fish.
#7 - BLEND INTO SALAD DRESSINGS
A little oil, a little acid, a little garlic, and some tasty fresh herbs, all blitzed together in a blender. Easier than you think and so delicious.
There you have it! These tips will help you use all the food in your fridge, AND make your batch cooking more exciting and delicious! In case you missed it, batch cooking is setting aside time once a week to prepare mix-and-match dishes that enable you to feel nourished during even the busiest week. Think of it as your ticket to nourishing your body and soul during even the busiest week. Yes, this means spending a few hours on a Sunday afternoon or Monday night to prep healthy food for the week. Look at it like this: when you consider your lifelong longevity, a few short hours once a week will actually add hours to your weeknights and your life, so you’ll feel grounded no matter what the world throws your way.
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