Can You Freeze Parsley?
The avid herb gardener who is also a great cook may ponder the question, Can You Freeze Parsley? The short answer is Yes, but the questions of why and how to put this versatile herb in cold storage remain. Here are some tips that experts suggest for successful freezing, thawing and cooking with parsley.
Parsley is one of those plants that yield a crop that is so abundant no one household can use all of it in a single growing season. This applies to both the flat leaf and curly kinds of parsley.
Image used under Creative Commons from Richard North
Yes, be sure to add it to your soups and hot dishes, meatballs, and hummus, and use it as a garnish for everything you set on the table. Then, give it to neighbors and friends. After doing all that, you are sure to have too much to use fresh.
So as not to waste this colorful and flavorful plant, make room in your freezer for it. Unlike fresh parsley which will only keep 2 weeks or so, frozen parsley will last for up to 6 months. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze parsley:
Freezing parsley is not rocket science. In fact, it’s one of the easiest prep, package and freeze kitchen chores around.
Prepping the Parsley for Freezing
Using garden shears, Harvest your crop in the late morning after the sun has burned away the dew. Bring it in the house for washing. Taking small bunches, wash a little at a time under running, cold water, taking care to remove any dead or discolored portions and dirt that may be clinging to the plant.
Allow the parsley to dry on paper towels spread on the kitchen counter or in a large colander. This makes the herb easier to work with. Some cooks even use a salad spinner to ensure the plants are thoroughly dried.
Freezing Un-cut Parsley
When dry, you have a couple of options. One is to double bag the parsley in freezer bags, taking care to eliminate as much of the air as possible. Some people use food sealers.
Freezing Cut Parsley
The other option is to finely chop the parsley or puree it in a blender or large food processor. Add a small amount of water or olive oil to the chopped herbs. Add this puree to ice cube trays which have been prepped with a non-stick spray, or use small plastic storage containers.
Freeze and store in the trays or containers. Alternatively, remove the parsley cubes or blocks and store in freezer bags.
Don’t expect frozen parsley to look the same as when it is fresh. It will wilt some when bagged, and of course, cubed parsley will not work as a decorative garnish.
Thawing frozen parsley couldn’t be easier, just transfer the product to the fridge. Leave the frozen herbs to thaw overnight for optimal flavor. Once the parsley is completely thawed, it is ready to use.
There are many uses for this colorful herb. Parsley fans really love its texture, flavor, and aroma and routinely add it–fresh or frozen– to soup and salad dressings and as a binder in meatloaf and meatballs. Nutritionists also praise parsley’s high Vitamin C content.
Any herb which yields in such abundance is meant to be enjoyed in many ways. So, use your imagination, and experiment with the different ways to freeze, eat and enjoy parsley. Now that you know how can you freeze parsley, you can now extend the shelf life of this delicate herb for future cooking!