Fresh herbs vs dried, fresh isn't always better

When it is better to use fresh herbs versus dried, most of us are under the impression that fresh is always better but that's isn't necessarily true. I'll share my findings on some research I did to find some answers.

For those that are luck or smart enough (like Brenda) to grow your own herbs, we have to purchase at the store. Buying fresh herbs can be expensive and sometimes wasteful as most of us don't use all that we buy.

Then with dried herbs, we call have lots and lots of jars of them. I hate having to purchase new ones for one recipe that I know I won't use again then have to throw it away after a while. Dried herbs do loose their potency overtime. Be sure to check the expiration dates, throw away once they have expired.

This leads to the question of when to use fresh or dried. Some dishes call for fresh herbs which is what most of usually do. However, in Sweden if the herb is not a common one, I am not able to find some fresh herbs without going to a specialty store. I read many articles about which is better to use when, the outcome was pretty much the same in my research. If the recipe is a raw dish like a salad or dressing, absolutely use fresh herbs. For other recipes such as stews/soups or sauces that are going to cook then dried is more than acceptable.

This leads to another question, how so substitute dried herbs for fresh. When a soup recipes says to use a fresh herb, you can replace it with dried but then what is the measurement. The general rule is 1/3 of the amount, 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs is equal to 1 teaspoon of dried (remember there are 3 teaspoons in a 1 tablespoon). We typically substitute dried for fresh however you can always go the reverse and then reverse the amount.

Remember that fresh herbs are best added at the end of cooking or after cooking. Dried herbs, on the other hand, benefit from some cooking, and should be added earlier to better develop their flavor.

Happy cooking,


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