How to Store Epazote and Keep it Fresh

Epazote is an herb with a great aroma used in meals or as a medicinal tea. Surely if you use this plant in your preparations, you will doubt how to preserve epazote, and I will show you how.

You can store epazote fresh at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can also refrigerate it and extend its shelf life by 12-15 days. For the long term, you can dry or freeze the epazote for up to 1 year and six months, respectively. 

Store Epazote

Know each of the forms of conservation of the epazote below. 

How to keep epazote fresh at room temperature

The epazote is well maintained at room temperature since it is a plant with a high content of vitamin C, a natural preservative. 

You must ensure that the storage temperature is around 64-75°F (18-24°C) to remain stable for a little longer. 

Let’s see the steps to keep the epazote fresh at room temperature.

  • Step 1. Clean the epazote.

To better preserve this herb, you must clean or remove the stem leaves that you see discolored or withered. Also, if you notice that the epazote has the root, remove it. 

  • Step 2. Find a glass container. 

The container should be proportional to the fresh branches of epazote you want to keep. 

  • Step 3. Fill the container with water. 

Add water until you measure four fingers. 

  • Step 4. Introduce the stems of the epazote.

Carefully introduce each stalk of epazote into the container. Ensure the epazote leaves are above the water level so they do not deteriorate.

  • Step 5. Cover with a plastic bag. 

When you have the container with all the epazote, you must cover it with an unclosed plastic bag so that it does not damage the grass due to the lack of sweat. 

  • Step 6. Place on your kitchen countertop.

Place the epazote on the countertop away from heat or sunlight. Following these steps will guarantee its quality for about one week. 

I recommend changing the water in the container every two days and removing the leaves you see deteriorated. 

How to keep the epazote fresh in the refrigerator

One of the ways to keep the epazote fresh is using the refrigerator, which is even better than room temperature storage since it will last longer.

To store the epazote in the fridge, do the following:

  • Step 1. Moisten paper towels.

Get four paper towels and moisten them. Then, squeeze each of them by pressing gently enough to drain but not break them.

  • Step 2. Wrap the epazote with the towels.

Wrap the herbs without squeezing them too much so that it breathes and stays fresh.

  • Step 3. Store the epazote in a sealable bag.

Store the epazote in a sealable bag, remove all the air from the bag and then close it tightly.  

  • Step 4. Take the epazote to the refrigerator.

Please place it in the vegetable drawer. This plant has a powerful aroma, so keep it away from other products and foods.

You can keep the epazote fresh for up to 15 days in perfect condition in the fridge. [1]

How to freeze epazote

Can you freeze the epazote? Yes. There are two methods to freeze the epazote, which are in oil or water, lasting between 4 to 6 months.

It would be best to use this technique when preparing soups or fresh drinks in summer; otherwise, it is better to dehydrate it.

Let’s check out how to freeze the epazote in both cases.

Freeze epazote in water

This method works well for juices or cocktails since you add the ice cube with the essence of epazote.

  • Step 1. Wash the epazote well.

Place the bunches of epazote in a strainer to wash well with enough cold water and thus remove any dirt you have. 

Then, drain them to remove all the excess water, grabbing it by the root and shaking it hard.

  • Step 2. Remove the leaves from the stem.

Remove the leaves from the stems of the epazote, taking care not to break them.

  • Step 3. Find an ice cube tray.

Look for an ice cube tray, place a portion of epazote in each bucket, and then fill it with water.

  • Step 4. Freeze the epazote.

Leave the bucket in the freezer overnight. 

  • Step 5. Remove and store in plastic bags. 

After freezing, remove the epazote cubes and transfer them to airtight plastic bags. 

  • Step 6. Store in the freezer.

Finally, store the bags in the freezer. You can stack the bags when they are many.

The frozen epazote in water lasts up to 4 months in perfect condition.

How to freeze epazote in olive oil

Adding olive oil is perfect when you make hot preparations.

  • Step 1. Clean the epazote.

Wash it with plenty of water, ensuring there is no dirt on it.

  • Step 2. Defoliate the epazote.

Once clean, remove the leaves with care not to damage them.

  • Step 3. Find an ice cube tray.

Look for an ice cube tray and place 3/4 part of epazote in each bucket and then fill it with extra virgin olive oil. 

  • Step 4. Wrap the tray with plastic film.

When the tray is full, wrap it with plastic film.

  • Step 5. Take the epazote to the freezer.

Take the epazote to the freezer and leave it there for 8 hours.

  • Step 6. Transfer to plastic bags.

Once the epazote is frozen, you can unmold it and store it in ziplock freezing bags, remove all the remaining air and seal it tightly.

  •  Step 7. Store it in the freeze.

Leave it in the freezer, and you have it ready to prepare our meals. Preserving frozen epazote in olive oil lasts up to 6 months in perfect condition with all its properties.

How to dry epazote

Drying epazote is one of the most powerful methods to preserve this herb for a long time without freezing it. It is easy to make but also the best when you want to maintain all the aroma and nutritional value of the epazote. 

There are several drying techniques, but today I want to teach you 3 of them: in the sun, in the oven, and in the microwave. 

Continue reading and learn about the steps for each of the techniques mentioned. 

Steps to dry epazote hung in the sun

  • Step 1. Select a good bunch of epazote.

I recommend that you select the fresher epazote with all its leaves of bright green color which will preserve all its flavor and aroma for longer.

  • Step 2. Wash the epazote.

Wash the bunch of epazote with enough cold water to remove all the soil you have.

Then, grab the epazote by the roots and shake it hard to remove the excess moisture.

  • Step 3. Tie a bunch of epazotes.

Look for a thread or cord and hold the bunch of epazote by the root.

  • Step 4. Dry the epazote.

The bouquet of epazote must be hung in a ventilated place and given by the sun directly, where the most common place for that is the kitchen window.

This drying process should take a week for all the leaves and stems to dry.

  • Step 5. Store the epazote.

Once the epazote is completely dry, you store it in a glass jar with an airtight closure.

Dry epazote in the oven

  • Step 1. Remove the leaves.

Defoliate each of the bunches of epazote with care not to spoil the leaves.

  • Step 2. Wash the epazote well.

Place the epazote leaves in a colander, and wash it very well with enough cold water removing all the dirt it has. 

  • Step 3. Drain the epazote.

Once cleaned, drain them to remove all the excess water. You can place the epazote leaves on paper towels or a tea towel to remove moisture.

  • Step 4. Find a baking sheet.

Look for a shallow baking sheet and spread parchment paper to cover the entire tray.

  • Step 5. Place the epazote in the tray.

Place all the epazote leaves in the tray, ensuring you don’t overlap it.

  • Step 6. Take the epazote to the oven.

Take the epazote to the oven previously heated to the lowest temperature, and leave it for 20 minutes. 

It is ready when the leaf disintegrates very quickly.

  • Step 7. Let the epazote cool.

Once the epazote is dry, remove it from the oven and leave it at room temperature to cool. 

  • Step 8. Store the epazote dry.

Once the epazote is cold, store it in a glass jar or a plastic bag. 

How to dry epazote in the microwave

  • Step 1. Defoliate the epazote.

Defoliate each of the bunches of epazote with care not to spoil the leaves.

  • Step 2. Wash the epazote well.

Place the epazote leaves in a colander, and in the sink, wash it very well with enough cold water removing all the dirt it has. 

  • Step 3. Drain the epazote.

You need to remove the excess water using paper towels.

  • Step 4. Take the epazote to the microwave.

Place a paper towel on a plate, and put the epazote on it, ensuring you do not pile them up. Leave it for 30 seconds or until you observe that it is dehydrated.

  • Step 5. Store the epazote.

Once the epazote is cold, store it in an airtight glass jar or plastic bag.

Regarding the method you use, you should store the dried epazote in the pantry or cupboard, and it will last for a year while retaining its spectacular flavor and aroma.

How do you know when the epazote is bad?

Epazote is a plant that tends to be strong due to its components can be kept in good condition. However, it can be damaged when you do not handle and store it properly. 

So, what are the signs of decomposition of epazote? Let’s check. 

  • Epazote stems and leaves have mold. 
  • When the leaves turn yellowish or have white spots, it warns us that the epazote is in poor condition.
  • If you have dry epazote and notice that it has accumulated mold inside the container.
  • If the epazote has a rotten smell.

How long does epazote last?

ProductShelf life
Fresh epazote at room temperature1 week.
Fresh epazote in the fridge12-15 days.
Dry epazote1 year.
Epazote frozen in water4 months.
Epazote frozen in olive oil6 months.

What is the best way to preserve epazote?

The best way to keep the epazote fresh is by refrigerating it using paper towels with a shelf life of two weeks.

For the long term, I recommend you dehydrate it since it extends its shelf life but maintains its flavor and aroma for up to 1 year.

I hope you liked each way to preserve the epazote; place them in practice and tell me how it goes. I also invite you to read other posts I prepared about food conservation.


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