The Canned Food That Lets You Enjoy Basil's Summer Flavor Year-Round

It's the end of the growing season and your basil plant is still going strong. You hate to let the frost kill it. After all, what's better to enjoy on a cold winter day than a treat that reminds you of a beautiful summer day?

While sweet basil is the variety that likely first comes to mind as it is the most common in the United States, there are many others that offer different flavors. Thai basil is often found at farmers markets and makes for a great addition to stir-frys and adds a spicy flavor that Southern Living compares to licorice. Lemon basil, on the other hand, works well in dressings and lemonade, and with seafood because of its citrusy flavor. 

One way to save some of the basil in your garden to be used during the cold months is to dry it, per Almanac. It will take about three to four days for them to dry after they are picked from the plant. The leaves need to be placed in a place that is shady and has good airflow. If that doesn't quite do the trick, according to Almanac, put the basil leaves in the oven, which should be on the lowest setting. Don't forget to leave the door open a little, according to Almanac. However, making dried basil leaves will result in some of the flavor being lost. 

Thankfully, there is a way to preserve your fresh basil that will delight your taste buds all year.

Savor versatile basil jelly

Preserving your fresh basil in the form of jelly is a method you may not have thought of before. However, according to Taste of Home, it is a versatile and delicious way to enjoy the herb when you can't simply walk out to your garden and pick a few leaves. Sue Gronholz of Wisconsin shares a recipe for basil jelly with Taste of Home that she said pairs well with cream cheese or can be mixed with barbecue sauce for marinade for mini meatballs or cocktail wieners for appetizers. 

While recipes for basil jelly often include green food coloring, a recipe on opts to keep it clear. Simply take a cup of fresh basil leaves and put them in a pot with lemon juice, water, and sugar to be brought to a boil. Then, liquid pectin is added to create jelly. Stems should be removed at this point from the mixture. Place the mix in jars and preserve for a taste of summer a day or even months later.  Other variations of basil jelly include incorporating strawberry, chili, blueberry, and lemon. Don't let your basil go to waste nor should you go without a summery treat when it's cold outside.