The shelf life of bay leaves is greatly dependent on proper storage.While bay leaves are not meant to be eaten (they should be removed from a dish before serving it), bay leaves add aroma, depth, and an earthy, herbal flavor to savory dishes like soups, stews, and roasted chicken.As bay leaves are a handy herb to have around the kitchen, it’s important to have the proper storage conditions to ensure the best quality.As bay leaves are a herb, they have a slightly shorter shelf life than dried spices, such as black pepper.You can find dried bay leaves in any grocery aisle with the other herbs and spices.Protect from light: Storing bay leaves in a dark cupboard, pantry, or freezer is ideal.Storing bay leaves in a dark cupboard, pantry, or freezer is ideal.If you’re keeping bay leaves at room temperature, avoid storing anywhere near the heat of the stove, oven, or dishwasher.Keep it airtight: Glass or ceramic jars or stainless steel containers with tight-fitting lids are preferable to their plastic counterparts.Keeping bay leaves cool helps preserve their volatile oils, aroma, and flavor.If you happen to have a bulk container of dried bay leaves, don’t worry, you won’t need to cook soups and stews twice a day to use them up.Store bay leaves in airtight freezer-safe containers, or in sealed Ziploc bags.To properly store fresh bay leaves, wrap them in a slightly damp paper towel and place inside a plastic bag on the top shelf of your refrigerator.Bay leaves turn yellow once they are exposed to ethylene which is why it’s important to keep them well-wrapped.To counteract this loss of flavor, simply add a few more bay leaves to your dish than the recipe calls for. .
How to Store Bay Leaves
This article has all the details on how to store bay leaves to best preserve their flavor.This is important to remove any dirt or dust that may have settled on the leaves while they were growing, and means that they are ready to use in your cooking straight from storage.Simply rinse them under cool water and gently pat them dry with paper towels.You can store fresh bay leaves in an air tight container in the refrigerator.The benefit is that dried bay leaves, stored correctly, and last up to 2 years.Simply wash and dry the leaves, then place on a baking tray between sheets of parchment or paper towels.Once the bay leaves are dried out, store them in an air tight container in a cool dark place for up to a year.An air tight jar or zip lock bag are ideal.If you have a lot of bay leaves you want to freeze, it is best to store them in small batches. .
What Are Bay Leaves and How Are They Used?
The leaves are added to slow-cooked recipes, such as soups, sauces, and stews, and are removed before serving the dish.Most often, recipes call for dried bay leaves, which have a slightly stronger scent than fresh.The Turkish variety is the most common, with a more subtle flavor compared to California bay leaves, which have more potency and a slightly mint taste.Bay leaves have a long history, originating as an ornamental symbol of honor and success, and worn by Roman and Greek emperors, as well as Olympians, scholars, heroes, and poets.Because of this, two terms were created: baccalaureate, which is the reward for earning a bachelor's degree, meaning "berries of laurel," and poet laureate, an honor given by a government to someone to compose poems for special events.Many cooks believe that bay leaves don't contribute any taste at all while others find the herb adds a subtle depth of flavor.The leaves have sharp points that can cut the mouth, cause choking, or even slice into the digestive tract.Bay leaves should be added at the beginning of cooking as the longer they simmer, the more time they have to release flavor and allow it to infuse the dish.In addition to simmering in soups and stews, bay leaves are great for stuffing into the cavity of a chicken before roasting it, and can also be added to the liquid when cooking rice.Bay leaves can be used in many types of cuisines, from Spanish and French to Indian and Thai. .
4 Easy Methods of Drying Bay Leaves
Dried bay leaves can be used for cooking, flavoring, and even as herbal remedies.You can use them to season your meats, soups, stews, and sauces, as well as add a subtle aroma to your steamed vegetables or fish.Herbs meant for drying must be gathered during warm, sunny days because they tend to produce more oils during this time of the year.Then, you should quickly blanch them by dropping them into boiling water for a maximum of five seconds.If you do not have time to blanch, you should rinse the bay leaves under running water to remove any dust or dirt.Shake off excess water and pat them dry with a clean towel.You can tie them up into small bunches using a thin string if you intend to hang them upside down to dry.After one week, flip the bay leaves over to make sure that both sides dry evenly.However, if you notice any dark green spots on them, you can leave them to dry for another week.Using a food dehydrator is the easiest, fastest, and most ideal way to dry bay leaves.Use an oven tray (preferably with holes) and place a baking sheet on it.Spread the bay leaves on the baking sheet so that they don’t touch.Set your oven to the lowest temperature , max 200F (100C), and put the tray on the lower rack.You can leave a small gap in the oven door to improve the air circulation.You can leave a small gap in the oven door to improve the air circulation.Rinse the bay leaves in cool water to remove dirt.Repeat this step for four to six times or until the bay leaves have become brittle and dry.You can also crush the leaves with a rolling pin if you prefer to turn them into a powdered form.After drying the bay leaves, you have to store them in an airtight container and keep them in a cool, dark place so they can retain their aroma and flavor. .
Can You Freeze Bay Leaves? [4 Must-Read Tips]
Bay leaves are an important part of many dishes, most notably curries, stews and casseroles that merit the little extra kick provided by their inclusion.If you’re lucky enough to have outside space to grow herbs, like bay leaves yourself, you might be wondering how best to preserve them so they don’t go to waste.You’ll be pleased to know that there’s nothing too complicated about freezing bay leaves, whether they’re fresh out of your garden or shop-bought.Simply follow the steps below to preserve your bay leaves in the freezer.Place your bay leaves in a colander and run them under cold water for around ten seconds to wash them thoroughly.It’s better to freeze bay leaves and other herbs in the deepest part of your freezer.However, don’t leave them any longer than this as they will start to dry and shrivel in the sunlight.Although it’s perfectly fine to store bay leaves in your cupboard at room temperature, freezing is arguably the best way to preserve them.With that in mind, add your bay leaves to the freezer as soon as you’ve picked them from the garden or brought them home from the store.If you freeze, defrost, and then refreeze bay leaves, it’s likely to reduce their overall flavour.As with any herbs, you should seek to use them while they’re as fresh as possible, so they retain their full flavours and add something to your food.So, as soon as you’ve picked them from the garden or brought them home from the store, get them in the freezer as quickly as you can in order to preserve their freshness. .
How to Freeze Fresh Bay Leaves
Some green herbs even seem to prefer this method of preservation, as the low temperatures inhibit the oxidization of oils, retaining more of the original flavor. .
How to Dehydrate Bay Leaves @OmNomAlly
Then, as often happens in my little kitchen garden, I awoke one morning to find my bay completely stripped bare and the whole pot laying on it’s side with a massive crack in the trunk.They eat everything else out there eventually though, so all I’ve pretty much got left is a dozen Aloe vera plants, a rosemary bush and some strawberries (for now!).If you’re lucky enough to have your own tree you’ll probably never need to dry your bay leaves – just use them fresh for adding the strongest aromatic qualities to your meals.All the instructions are available at the end of this post to print of save and you’ll discover that the total drying time takes about 4-6 hours at 46C/115F.I would recommend checking on the batch after 4 hours as the leaves are ready when they have curled and lost some of their colour, feel brittle and ‘snap’ when bent.At that point they can be loosely packed into an airtight container and placed in the pantry for long-term storage and can be used in exactly the same way as fresh, or standard dried leaves. .