Refrigerating Your Sage
Fresh sage will last up to five days in the fridge before it begins to deteriorate or mold.
Freezing Your Sage
You can simply snip a batch, wash and dry it, then put it in a freezer bag. It will last until the following summer!
Or, a great way to preserve sage for cooking is in olive oil. Wash and dry your sage, then purée it in a blender with some olive oil, and freeze it in an ice cube tray. If using in a skillet, make sure that no ice has formed over the cubes, or it may pop once the oil comes to temp.
Turning Your Sage Into Oil
First find the bottle you want to use, and fill it with olive oil, so you know you aren’t making too much or too little. Simply pour the oil into a small saucepan with a handful of sage, and simmer at low heat for about five minutes. Remove from the heat and cover until completely cooled. Then, strain the leaves out and pour your infused oil back into the oil bottle and store it in a dark cabinet between uses.
Drying Your Sage
Dried sage has a more concentrated (read: delicious) taste when it’s dried than when it’s fresh, and it’s tasty with pork, sausages, poultry, and in stuffing. If you would like to dry your sage for future use, cut several stems and hang them upside down out of the sunlight. When dry, strip off the leaves and store in an airtight container. You can also freeze the leaves. Wash them, pat dry, remove the leaves from the stems, and pack them loosely in a freezer bag. They’ll keep for one year.
Drying Sage for Smudge Sticks
To make a smudge stick, all you need is sage and some cotton string. I like to use a full handful of sage. You’ll get an idea of how big the smudge stick will become by squeezing it a bit. I like mine to be at least an inch thick or more in my hand. Tie the base of your bundle in a knot with cotton string to keep everything together. Wrap your cotton string around the bundle, crisscrossing and keeping the bundle tight, going up to the top, then back down and tying a knot at the bottom. Then, hang it upside down in a cool, dry place. Sage is a bit of an oily herb, so it can take a couple of weeks to really dry out. Once dried, you can burn the tip to clear the air in a room.
Note: Drying or freezing sage leaves intensifies their flavor—use accordingly!
How do you preserve your sage for the long haul? Leave a comment below.