How to Use Basil – Cooking and Eating Tips

How to Select and Store

  • For the tastiest basil choose fresh over the dried. Look for fresh vibrant and deep green leaves without darks spots or yellowing.
  • Buy organically grown basil; being leafy this means that if pesticides have been used they will be highly absorbed.  Also, it has not been irradiated which decreases in its vitamin C and carotenoid content.
  • Store fresh basil, wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel in the refrigerator or in a glass of water at room temperature out of direct sunlight.  Basil may be frozen, whole or chopped, in airtight containers. Some people freeze the basil in ice cube trays covered with either water to be added when preparing soups or stews.
  • Store dried basil in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place where it will keep up to six months.
  • Grow a basil plant in the backyard for fresh leaves whenever you need some.
basil on pizza
For cooking, organic is best and of course, it MUST be fresh.

Tips for eating or cooking:

  • Wash fresh basil in cold running water to remove any dust or pesticide residues.
  • For the best flavour add at the last moment in the cooking recipes; prolonged cooking results in evaporation of its essential oils.
  • Basil and tomatoes love each other!  Also, basil works well with onions, garlic, and olives.
  • When preparing basil for your recipes, it is the leaves that are the best but the small stems are okay.  The thick stems are best discarded as they are bitter. Note: Stems contain compounds that will cause your pesto to turn brown and dark.
  • The creamy white flowers are edible.


Various types of basil
Various types of basil

There are So Many Types of Basil, in fact 35 of them!

Check out this tasty Vegan Pesto recipe. It is so yummy!

Learn all about the health benefits of basil with fascinating trivia and our favorite basil recipes at :   7 Benefits of Basil – The Royal Herb

vital healt assessment

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Get healthy tasty vegan gluten-free recipes and useful lifestyle tips sent to you twice a month

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

A note to our visitors

This website has updated its privacy policy in compliance with changes to European Union data protection law, for all members globally. We’ve also updated our Privacy Policy to give you more information about your rights and responsibilities with respect to your privacy and personal information. Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our updated privacy policy.