How to Preserve Fresh Organic Chives
I have two potted gardens full of organic chives. The best thing about chives is that they are easy to grow and the plant lasts through several harvests. You just cut off the tops, let them grow back, and cut off again. You can do this several times before allowing them to go to seed in preparation for the next season’s garden. Because chives can be so plentiful, it is hard to use them all fresh. I hate to waste my fresh, grown food so in the case of chives, I resort to freezing or drying the extra.
|frozen organic chives|
I have two favorite methods for preserving organic chives. One way is to freeze them. I am always short on time so I keep this method easy. I simply wash the chives and leave them out to dry. Then I separate them into small bunches, wrap them in foil, and put them in the freezer. When you are ready to use them, you can take them out of the freezer, cut them into smaller pieces while frozen and add them to sour cream, soups or to any recipe.
|dried organic chives|
The other method is to dry them. With our hot climate in Arizona, this process happens in two to three days. To dry the chives, I chop them up into smaller pieces, and then I put them into a brown paper bag. I poke some holes in the bag so air can circulate and then I just place the bag outside in the sun. The most important factor using this method is to ensure you have waited until all of the moisture has been removed. If there is any moisture left, you risk the possibility of growing mold.
Which Method is Best?
Both of these methods serve to add wonderful chive flavor to any dish. The only disadvantage of the freezer method is that I feel the chives need to be mixed in or added to a dish once they are chopped. They don’t sprinkle well once they thaw out because they appear mushy and wet. The dried chives work great for sprinkling so they can be left out at a dinner party for guests to apply their own.
How Long Do Chives Last?
Storage is a consideration. I did several online searches and the general rule of thumb for flavor is to only store herbs in a frozen state for one year. General Internet wisdom seems to agree that dried herbs last anywhere from one to three years, depending on the herb or spice.