Storing your dried herbs in canning jars and Free Lid Labels
Fresh organic herbs are one of the happiest things I can do for myself and my family. From choosing what varieties to grow, growing them, harvesting them, drying them and storing them. It’s an adventure I look forward to every year.
They can turn that same of baked noodle recipe that is a staple from our pantry menu into many exciting dinners… how with the use of herb of course! Say we want a spicy Mexican dinner, herbs and spices can do that and next week we want more of a traditional home cooked turkey I can do that too with my dried herbs. Same recipe to use our pantry ingredients but its the flavor that changes.
The storage of them is the key to keeping them fresh I think. While I have had some jars of herb for many years the fresh flavor does lessen over time and that doesn’t mean they aren’t any good, you just use a bit more for the flavor you want. I read all the time that after a year you should toss them out, hog wash! As long as they are still dry and haven’t been infested with insects, mold or other nastiest they are still very usable.
I store my herbs mostly in my antique blue bail top Ball Mason jars, remember the ones with the bail wire and the rubber rings? Yep, those are the ones. I like them because while they don’t block much light they do block some and every little bit helps. I happen to be in love with them and while they can’t be used for canning much any more they have a lot of life left in them. I also use old cookie tins, remember when you could actually get cookies in a tin and not a plastic bag? Check the yard sales, thrift shops and even ask your friends to save tins for you. They are perfect for storage of dry goods.
I store my bulk herbs are inside a dark wooden cupboard down in the cellar where its cool and the humidity is always just right thanks to the de-humidifier in the summer and the humidifier in the winter. I have smaller containers in the kitchen where I can get to them for cooking daily.
Herbs to have the longest shelf live possible need to be kept dry, well sealed and stored in a cool dark area. The cupboard above the stove is not the place!
As I’m sure you know I have been selling fresh dried herbs over at our Farm Store at Etsy. Recently I have had quite a few questions about storage for the herbs. My answer is how I store them, then the next question is where can I get the labels for the lids!
I had a few minutes of free time and have been wanting to make a few new canning jar lid labels. Here are the newest ones and you can find more free lid labels for both the regular mouth and wide mouth jars. These fit between the screw band and the flat lid. To save these or any of the others, simply right click on the image and choose save as to save it to your computer. You can print them at 100% scale one at a time or use a photo editing program to place many on the same sheet of paper and then print. Enjoy!
IF you are using them for sealed jars. These labels go on AFTER you have processed your jars, allowed them to cool, wiped them down and they are ready for storage in the pantry. I thought I would mention this as one lady asked me how I kept the paper labels from disintegrating in the canner….woops!
For jars not canned and being used for storage simply lay the flat lid on the jar, add the label and screw down the band. Everything from nuts, chocolate chips, flour, spices and herbs can be stored well with out canning them. IF you are trying to store food such as fresh veggies, sauces, soups, meats they MUST BE CANNED following an approved recipe.