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Using dried herbs or fresh herbs

How to convert between the two

Depending on whether your recipe calls for using dried herbs or fresh herbs; when it comes to herbs you can almost always substitute dried herbs for fresh herbs (and vice versa)

The general rule to follow:

Dried to fresh
Multiply dried amount by 3 (1/3 C dried = 1 C fresh)
Fresh to dried
Divide fresh amount by 3 (1 C fresh = 1/3 C dried)

Flavors in fresh herbs are always more pure, and flavors in dried herbs are always more concentrated. Fresh is always more desirable, but dried herbs are always on the spice rack and handy. If using dried herbs they should be bright or deep in color. If the color has faded then the herbs have probably gone stale. If you can crush a few leaves and not get the strong aroma of the herb then it’s gone stale. Dried herbs do not have an infinite shelf life.

Herb life expectancy

According to

Dried whole herbs
Pantry for 1-3 years
Dried ground herbs
Pantry for 6-12 months
Fresh herbs
Refrigerator for up to 1 week

Is anyone else guilty of at one time having 5 year old basil (or worse?) on the spice rack, or just me? Ideally we would just buy the amount of fresh that we needed. If you have left over fresh herbs make sure you dry them out and put them in a spice jar.

It is also best practice to buy whole spice and use a spice mill or coffee grinder to grind them fresh each time as needed. Always having some on hand is very convenient so make sure you store what left and rotate them out when they’re too old and the food you’re taking the time to prepare will taste even more amazing.

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I am a real food advocate and blogger at

Tom Davis

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