Myrtle is originally a shrub, having bright green colored pointed leaves, while its fruit is dark purple-colored berries. Both the leaves and berries can be used in cooking to prepare different cuisines, but it is rarely used as food and commonly used for health care treatments, especially since its leaves have great health benefits.
Myrtle leaves are widely used as a spice in the marination of pork and lamb before roasting, while its berries are used in the preparation of different beverages and desserts. Myrtle leaves do not go bad if they are stored properly; otherwise, they can eventually go bad like many spices.
How to Store Myrtle
Myrtle leaves can be used as fresh or dried form. In the case of fresh myrtle, you can keep it in the refrigerator wrapped in a plastic bag, and it can be used for about one week and remains fresh.
But if you have dried myrtle leaves, then their shelf life is way too long, and you don’t have to worry about storing them. You can store it either in your kitchen spice rack or in the refrigerator, and it will be useable for a year.
Following are some tips that can help store myrtle leaves.
Keep It Away from Humidity
If you bought myrtle as fresh leaves, you should keep them in the dried environment; this way, they can remain fresh and aromatic; never place it near the sink or any other place where there are chances of humidity cause them to spoil early.
Wrap it Into Paper Towel
It is always a great option for storing herbs or shrubs wrapped in a paper towel because they can be used for a long time.
First, damp the myrtle leaves with little water, put them on to the paper towel, and then wrap them carefully in a way that they don’t get squeezed. If you want to use them within 1-2 days, you can keep them at your spice rack, or if you want to use them for a long time, you should refrigerate them.
In case of fresh leaves, wrap them into a plastic bag with a perfectly working zip seal, and refrigerate; you can these for about a week.
It is better to use myrtle as a dried form; to do this, first, wash the leaves, lie them on to the baking tray and let them dry for about two days after that. Put them into an airtight jar and refrigerate. These can be used for a year and remains fresh and fragrant.
Can You Freeze Myrtle
If you have bought myrtle and are planning to store it for a long time, freezing it is the best option. You can freeze myrtle through different methods.
Before freezing, make sure to dry it well to prevent it from freezer burns, now. Put it into a freezer bag, make a roll of this bag, and store it in the freezer.
You can also store it using ice cube trays; for this, chop the myrtle leaves and transfer them into an ice cube tray, top it with oil after freezing. You can transfer these cubes into a freezer bag or let them be in an ice cube tray.
How Long Does Myrtle Last
Fresh Myrtle leaves remain stable for a week at room temperature and can be useable for two weeks if refrigerated. If you have dried leaves, they will remain stable for half a year at your spice rack and more than a year after freezing or refrigerating.
Mostly it depends on how well you store them; make sure to provide the ideal conditions to be used for long periods. Fresh myrtle leaves tend to gain too much moisture, which can cause them to develop mold, try to keep them dry.
Dried Myrtle leaves can go stale and lose potency if they are stored in a loosely sealed bag or jar; keep them in a perfectly sealed jar to prevent them from getting stale.
How to Tell If Myrtle Go Bad
Myrtle leaves add orange-like citrus flavor to your cuisines and have a strong aroma; whenever you use it in your cooking and don’t feel this rich flavor and aroma, they are no longer fresh, and you need to buy new ones.
Some ways through which you can tell whether they have gone bad or not are listed down below.
- Weak Aroma: If you want to check whether myrtle leaves are fresh or useable, then take some of the leaves in between your fingers, crush them and then take a sniff; if you cannot smell it in the first place, it means they have lost their potency, and you should toss over them.
- Sticky Texture: If dried myrtle leaves have a sticky texture and cannot be separated easily from each other, it is the sign of mold in them, and you should buy a new one.
- Discoloration: If you observe any darkening of color in leaves, it means they have started to spoil and cannot be used in cuisines.