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At the store, dried organic chives cost at least $6.00 for a little .14-ounce bottle, and fresh ones are at least $4.00 for a tiny bunch. I’ll show you how you can grow your own chives and preserve them for a year-round staple in your kitchen for a fraction of the cost. I put chives on everything so I can’t even imagine how much money I would spend if I bought them all the time. I cook with chives and pile fresh ones on everything from soups and salads to pizzas and potatoes.
Chives are extremely easy to grow in the garden and they’re a perennial, so they grow back after the winter. In fact, they may even be invasive if they’re not divided at some point during the late summer or early fall. You can then plant them in containers or give them as gifts. Here are some quick tips from Organic Gardening on planting chives.
If you’re overwhelmed with fresh chives, you don’t have to let any of them go to waste. You can preserve them to use year-round…and you’re not going to be spending $6.00 for a .14-ounce bottle! My uncle gave me the tip of freezing them as opposed to drying them because their flavor is retained even better that way. Here’s how to do it!
To harvest chives, simply take a bunch of about a dozen stems in your fist and cut two inches above the ground using a pair of sharp scissors. Leaving at least two inches at the bottom of the plant allows for the best regrowth. You just want to keep an eye on your plants and harvest them while the stems are still soft and hollow. It’s also important to remove flowers as soon as they appear to encourage regrowth.
Wash your chives thoroughly immediately after harvesting. I just put them in a colander and spray them with cold water. I shake the water out and blot them gently with a clean towel to remove most of the excess water.
3. Air Dry
These last two tips are my uncle’s. Using your sharp scissors, trim the chives into 1/4″ pieces or smaller if you desire. Place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Put the cookie sheet outside in the fresh air for an hour or two to air dry the chives. The goal here is to make sure the moisture evaporates so the chives don’t stick together when you freeze them. They will still be fresh.
Place the chives into a freezer bag. Try to keep them in a single layer. Press all of the air out of the bag, then seal it. You can roll the bag up or keep it flat in the freezer; whichever way you prefer in order to reserve space. We usually use them within six months. Just remove the amount you need from the freezer; there’s no need to thaw before cooking because the skin is so thin.
Keep harvesting and preserving your chives for as long as your garden’s growing season lasts!
This is one of my family’s favorite chicken recipes because they love its savory-sweet flavor. I love it because it literally takes five minutes to prepare and it’s super healthy. It’s a good source lean protein from chicken, as well as healthy fats from olive oil and coconut oil from the marinade. It’s a great recipe to have on hand for busy weeknights! Serve it up with vegetables and a salad for a hearty but light meal.
- 3 tablespoons organic lime juice
- 4 organic chicken breasts
- Zest from 1 organic lime
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons melted organic coconut oil or butter (I use virgin coconut oil for a healthy alternative to butter, and I like the subtle coconut flavor combined with lime)
- 1 teaspoon dried organic thyme leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, melted coconut oil or butter, thyme, garlic and black pepper to a large measuring cup and stir well.
- Place chicken breasts in a small baking dish.
- Pour marinade over chicken breasts, making sure they're coated well.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked to 165 degrees F.
The chicken can also be prepared on the grill. Just coat the chicken breasts with marinade and periodically brush with remaining marinade while grilling.