Monday, January 26, 2015

Preserve Herbs IN Vinegar

Preserving Herbs in Vinegar
I also love preserving herbs in vinegar and I make several batches of herbal vinegars every summer. Here is a strawberry lemon balm vinegar I made several weeks ago. To make it, I combined 2 cups of clean, dry, organic strawberries from my garden with 2 cups of lemon balm leaves in a 1 quart jar, and then filled the jar with apple cider vinegar (I use organic unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, but any kind will do).

Besides being easy to prepare and surprisingly tasty, herbal vinegars are also quite nutritious because vinegar extracts minerals, including calcium, magnesium and iron, from the plants you use to make your preparation.
When you make herbal vinegar, there is pretty much no chance of contamination: vinegar is a great preservative and the acidity keeps out any potentially dangerous bacteria. I like to use plastic lids when making herbal vinegars (vinegar can eat away at the underside of the metal ones); if you don’t have a plastic lid, just put a piece of plastic wrap under your metal lid before screwing it on.
After giving your herbal vinegar 4-6 weeks to chill out in a dark place, strain out the herbs (and whatever else you’ve used in there: in this case strawberries- you can eat them but I am not sure you’d want to!) and pour the vinegar back into a glass jar where it will keep pretty much indefinitely (or at least for a year or two). Use anywhere you would use vinegar: in dressings, over cooked greens, etc.

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