How To Freeze Your Herbs

Why Freeze Herbs?

  • Prevent waste: Freezing prevents your bountiful garden herbs or bulk purchases from going bad before you can use them all.
  • Year-round flavor: Enjoy the taste of fresh herbs even when they’re not in season.
  • Convenience: Frozen herbs are ready to use whenever you need them.

Best Herbs for Freezing:

  • Soft-Leafed Herbs: Basil, parsley, cilantro, mint, dill, tarragon, chives
  • Hardy Herbs: Rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, bay leaves (These can also be air-dried)

Methods for Freezing Herbs

1. Freezing Bare

Ideal for: Hardy herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, bay leaves, or finely chopped chives.

Instructions

  • Wash and dry: Rinse herbs thoroughly and pat them dry with a paper towel or use a salad spinner.
  • Individual sprigs (Hardy herbs): Lay herbs with stems in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze for 1-2 hours until solid. Transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container.
  • Chopped herbs (like chives): Chop finely, and freeze in a freezer-safe bag or container.
  • To use: Add frozen hardy herb sprigs directly to recipes. Chopped frozen herbs can be incorporated as well.

2. Freezing in Ice Cube Trays

Ideal for: Soft-leaved herbs like basil, parsley, cilantro, mint etc.

Instructions:

  • Wash and dry: Clean herbs thoroughly and pat dry.
  • Chop: Chop herbs to desired size.
  • Fill the tray: Place about 1-2 tablespoons of chopped herbs in each ice cube tray compartment.
  • Add liquid: Water: If using herbs in soups, stews, or sauces for a slight flavor boost. Oil (olive or neutral): Protects flavor best and prevents herbs from sticking together.
  • Freeze: Freeze the tray until cubes are solid (about 3-4 hours).
  • Store: Transfer frozen cubes to a freezer-safe bag or container, label, and date.
  • To use: Add cubes directly to hot dishes during cooking.

3. Freezing in Oil as a Paste

Ideal for: Basil (for pesto), parsley, cilantro, etc.

Instructions:

  • Wash and dry: Clean the herbs and pat them dry thoroughly.
  • Blend: Combine 2 cups packed herbs with 1/3 cup olive oil in a food processor or blender. Process until finely chopped or a paste forms.
  • Freeze: Ice cube tray: Pour into ice cube trays and freeze. Freezer bag: Spread paste in a thin layer in a freezer bag, seal, and freeze flat.
  • Store: Transfer frozen cubes to freezer-safe bags or break off portions of the frozen paste in the bag.
  • To use: Add paste to dishes while cooking, or thaw slightly to make pesto.

Important Tips:

  • Use high-quality herbs: Freeze herbs at their peak freshness for the best results.
  • Label and date: Label your frozen herbs with the type and date of freezing.
  • Use within 6-12 months: Frozen herbs tend to lose some potency over time, so aim to use them within this timeframe.

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