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12/04/2018 / By Mary Miller
Herbs can be used for a variety of purposes both before and after SHTF. They can add flavor to otherwise tasteless survival meals or they can be used as natural remedies on their own. They can spoil quickly, so a good prepper knows the importance of extending the shelf life of herbs. Here is a simple guide on proper herb storage and preservation for long-term use. (h/t to BackDoorSurvival.com.)
The two best methods of storing and preserving herbs are dehydration and freezing. Depending on the materials you have on hand, both methods will vary on how well they can keep your herbs fresh and viable.
Dehydrated herbs can last for years, far longer than fresh herbs ever can. The expected shelf life of dehydrated herbs is around three to five years at most. By contrast, frozen herbs can only last for months. They don’t last as long as dehydrated herbs because the longer the herbs stay frozen, the more their flavor and potency will diminish. Frozen herbs will also be directly exposed to moisture constantly. If they are not frozen in water or oil, they will develop freezer burn much more quickly. For these reasons, this guide will focus more on dehydration methods of preservation and storage.
Moisture leads to mold growth and spoilage, so the idea behind dehydration is to remove as much moisture from the herbs as possible. There are many ways to dehydrate herbs, so there is no need to be discouraged by a lack of equipment. A good prepper always learns to improvise. (Related: Learn how to dry herbs for long-term storage and health self-reliance.)
Once your herbs have been dehydrated, keep them in a dry and dark area that is not exposed to direct sunlight. You can either store your herbs in zip-lock bags or in food-grade, storage-quality sealable plastic bags. Don’t forget to squeeze out the excess air before sealing the bags.
If you want to learn more about storage and preservation techniques, visit FoodStorage.news.
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