Herbs add a fresh flavor to any dish, along with healthful antioxidants. There is nothing quite like a handful of herbs to add taste to foods. While keeping fresh herbs on hand is ideal, the next best thing is keeping a frozen stock of herbs on hand for a quick and easy way to add to them to your favorite foods.
Some herbs freeze better than others as some herbs don’t hold their flavor as well when frozen, others are harvested in winter months but go great with summer foods. Read on to find out which herbs freeze well, and how to freeze herbs for year-round freshness.
Goals for the Garden
Making foods with ingredients from your personal garden can be rewarding, and with all the effort that goes into nurturing herbs, bringing them to your table is a treat. During harvest months, many herb gardeners choose to freeze their extra herbs instead of wasting all of this bounty, and many herb gardeners have learned a few ways to save the fruits of their labor. Drying herbs is one way to keep them for later use, but the preferred method is to freeze single herbs or a combination of herbs to have them on hand any time.
Ice Tray Method – Perfect for use in soups, stews and other recipes, these uniformly measured cubes are an awesome way to add flavor without any additional calories. Make it a habit to freeze herbs so you’ve always got flavor ready to go! Here’s how:
Choose the herbs you will be using, and try to find the freshest
Wash herbs, rinse with a touch of fresh lemon juice and pat dry
Remove stems, and chop the leaves or pulse in a food processor
Place pieces into ice trays (about half way), and then fill trays with drinking water
Place the frozen cubes into freezer bags, and use a straw to suck out excess air
Choose the freshest herbs you can find
Wash, rinse with fresh lemon juice and pat dry
Lay on a piece of parchment paper, on a cookie sheet
Place leaves in freezer bags and suck out any excess air with a straw
When you get the hang of how to freeze herbs, you can get creative and instead of just preserving a single herb, change it up! Add a touch of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to make the flavors really come alive. You can also try a combination of fruit and herbs like mint plus your favorite fruit, or cilantro and lime using the ice try method for frozen cubes that make any drink more refreshing.
Some herbs do not freeze well, and some simply keep better than others. Try basil, chives, borage, dill, lemongrass, mint, oregano, sage, savory, sorrel, tarragon, thyme, parsley, woodruff, chervil, cilantro, coriander, fennel, rosemary and chives to start. These herbs have been known to handle the freezer pretty well. Just remember to label and date each baggie in the freezer so you remember what is what!
Try your new herbal cubes in some of these great SkinnyMs Slow Cooker Recipes!