Category: Herbs & Spices

Herbs & Spices

Can You Freeze Mint Leaves?

Can you freeze mint leaves? Mint is a versatile herb. You can use it in cooking, baking, and for mixing drinks. Mint gives any drink or dishes a delightful zing and we’re happy to report that this herb freezes so well.

In fact, mint leaves can be frozen in several ways. In today’s post, we will be outlining 4 ways of freezing mint leaves. How you like to freeze the herb is entirely up to you! These methods apply to a variety of herbs apart from mint leaves.

Image used under Creative Commons from Marco Verch

Prepping the Mint Leaves for Freezing

To start, always choose the freshest and healthiest mint leaves you can find at your local supermarket or in your garden. Herbs are most intense in flavor during the morning so we recommend freezing the mint leaves at this time.

After picking the best mint leaves you can find, give the herbs a good rinsing but do so gently. Mint leaves are prone to bruising. Remove any wilting leaves and other debris. Once the mint leaves are clean, pat them with a paper towel. If you have time, give them a few minutes to air dry. You want to make sure the herbs are as dry as possible before proceeding to the next step.

Cut the stems of the leaves and set aside. At this point, you can cut the leaves to your desired size. You can also leave them uncut. Now the mint leaves are ready for freezing.

How to Freeze Mint Leaves?

Flash Freezing the Mint Leaves

This is a great freezing method if you are pressed for time and you have no plans of storing the herbs for the long term. Spread the clean and dry mint leaves on a lined tray or baking sheet. Make sure the mint leaves are not touching each other while laying them on the tray. If you are freezing a lot of mint leaves, do this in batches.

Stick the baking sheet or tray in the freezer and leave the herbs to freeze for an hour or two. After an hour or two, take the baking tray out of the freezer and place the frozen mint leaves in a resealable plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing then seal. Write the storage date then stick flat in the freezer.

Freezing the Mint Leaves in Water

This is a great freezing method if you are planning to extend the freshness and color of the leaves. Best used for making drinks too!

After prepping the mint leaves for freezing, you can either chop them roughly or leave them whole. Take out a couple of ice cube trays and with a spoon, spoon the herb bits into each section of the tray. Repeat until all ice cube sections are filled with the mint leaves. Pour a little filtered water into each cube, don’t fill the section to the brim. The mint leaves will float when there’s too much water and you’ll make a mess.

After filling the ice tray with water, stick the trays in the freezer. Leave the herbs to freeze solid for at least 2 hours. Once the herbs are frozen solid, take the tray out of the freezer. Pop the cubed herbs out of the tray and place them gently in a resealable plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing then seal. Write the storage date then stick flat in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from Sprogz

Freezing the Mint Leaves in Oil

This freezing method is perfect for storing herbs to be used for soups, stews, and sauces. You can also use this trick to freeze oregano or thyme.

After prepping the mint leaves for freezing, pop the herb in a food processor, add about ¼ cup of olive oil then pulse to blend until a little chunky. Prepare an ice cube tray. Pour the blended mint leaves into each section of the ice cube tray. Again, do not fill each section to the brim because the blend will overflow, causing a mess.

Once the ice cube tray is filled with the blended mint leaves, put it in the freezer. Leave the herbs to freeze solid for at least 2 hours. Once the herbs are frozen solid, take the tray out of the freezer. Pop the cubed herbs and place them gently in a resealable plastic bag. Work fast because the warmth of your hands will cause the frozen oil to melt.

Squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing then seal. Write the storage date then stick flat in the freezer.

Drying and Freezing the Mint Leaves

This technique helps intensify the flavor of the herb while also prolonging its shelf life. After cleaning the herbs, lay the leaves on a microwave-safe tray. Pat the leaves dry or leave them to air dry for at least an hour. Once the herbs are nice and dry, pop the tray in the microwave then nuke on high for 1 to 3 minutes, pausing every 30 seconds to flip each leaf over for even drying.

After the leaves have dried, carefully place them in an airtight, freezer-safe container. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Storage and Freezing Tips

Apart from using a microwave to dry the mint leaves, you can also use a food dehydrator. You can also roast the mint leaves in the oven at 170 degrees for 2 to 3 hours until completely dry.

Release the aroma of thawed mint leaves by crushing them between your palms before adding to your favorite dish or drink.

Air-drying the mint leaves prior to packing them for freezing is also a great way to extend the herbs’ shelf life. Just leave the mint leaves to air dry for 1 to 2 weeks then pack for freezing.

Always use distilled or mineral water if you are freezing the mint leaves using water. This minimizes the risk of contamination after thawing.

Image used under Creative Commons from Darya Pino

Shelf Life and Thawing Suggestions

Frozen fresh mint leaves will keep in the freezer for at least 3 months. When dried, dehydrated, or roasted prior to freezing, the herbs will keep for at least 6 months.

There is no need to thaw the mint leaves if used in cooking or as an ingredient in drinks. Just add the frozen herbs directly into the cooking dish and the herb will thaw on their own due to the intense heat. As for the drinks, it’s best to use mint leaves frozen in water or dried mint leaves. Just pop a cubed mint leave in your drink and it will defrost slowly while cooling your drink!

Summary

Can you freeze mint leaves? Fresh mint leaves aren’t available all year round so it’s great to know that this herb freezes so well! Any of the freezing methods we’ve outlined above will do regardless of the season. Just choose the method that suits the drink or recipe that you are making!

Herbs & Spices

Can You Freeze Fresh Herbs

Herbs make a terrific seasoning and are often used in a variety of cooking. Usually, herbs can be bought fresh and dried. Since dried herbs have been processed to remove as much moisture as possible, they have a longer shelf life than fresh herbs. However, the intensity of the aroma and flavor of dried herbs could degrade the longer you keep them in storage.

Fresh herbs have a shorter shelf life because they are quite delicate. They bruise easily and they are prone to rot. Fresh herbs are sensitive to temperature changes too. But can you freeze fresh herbs? If say, you prefer working with fresh herbs but you need to store the rest for later, is freezing the best way to preserve herbs? Yes it is!

Image used under Creative Commons from Suzette – www.suzette.nu

Fresh herbs can be frozen and when done right, there will be little to no flavor changes! In fact, fresh herbs that are frozen properly retain the same aroma, flavor, and nutrients as freshly harvested herbs. In addition, there are several techniques to freeze fresh herbs!

Frozen fresh herbs may not look as pretty as freshly harvested herbs but they are definitely safe to use in cooking.

One thing to keep in mind when prepping the herbs for freezing is the moisture level. You need to remove as much water as possible during prepping so ice crystals won’t form within the herbs. If you don’t, the ice crystals will melt when the herbs are thawed, diluting the flavor of the herb.

Freezing is not only a fantastic method to maximize fresh herbs; it’s a terrific way to stock up on seasonal herbs! Imagine having summer season herbs all winter long. Now let’s take a look at how can you freeze herbs:

Image used under Creative Commons from Naotake Murayama

How to Freeze Fresh Herbs?

The Best Herbs for Freezing

There are different varieties of herbs, which ones are best for freezing? Hard or tough herbs are best for freezing because they contain less moisture so they do not degrade as easily once frozen. They are also more likely to retain their aroma and flavor once frozen and defrosted. Examples of tough herbs are oregano, bay leaf, marjoram, and thyme.

Soft herbs are herbs with a high moisture content. This makes them a little tricky to freeze. Since they contain more moisture, the ice crystals will develop within the herbs. This will dilute the flavor and aroma of the herbs. Parsley basil, cilantro, tarragon, basil, mint, and chives are some of the most common soft herbs. They can be frozen but expect slight flavor changes.

Prepping the Herbs

No matter what type of herbs you freeze, it’s important to prep the herbs prior to freezing. Start by rinsing the herbs in cool water, removing dirt and other debris. Once the herbs are clean, pat dry with paper towel. Finally, you can either chop the herbs or leave them uncut. Now you’re ready to freeze.

Freezing Fresh Herbs Individually

Hardy herbs such as rosemary, Italian parsley, sage dill, chives, thyme, and bay leaf, can be frozen with minimal steps. Since these herbs have low moisture content, they are able to retain their enzymes and natural flavors.

Just spread the fresh herbs in a single layer-baking sheet, making sure the herbs do not touch each other so they don’t clump together. Stick the baking sheet in the freezer and leave to freeze for an hour or so.

Once the fresh herbs are frozen, prepare several resealable plastic bags. Take the baking sheet out, place the frozen herbs inside and then squeeze out as much air as you can. Seal the plastic bag and flatten the bag. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Freezing Fresh Herbs in Water

This technique is best for tender herbs such as cilantro, mint, and parsley. You’ll need several ice cube trays and filtered water. You can either chop the herbs or leave them uncut. Place the herbs in every ice cube slot then fill with filtered water. Make sure the herbs are covered completely with water before popping the tray in the freezer. Leave the herbs to freeze for two hours or so.

Once the herbs are frozen solid, prepare quart-sized resealable plastic bags. Take the ice cube trays out, pop each cubed herb and place it gently into the plastic bag. Squeeze as much air as you can prior to sealing. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from jules

Freezing Fresh Herbs in Oil

Freezing in oil is perhaps the best technique when it comes to retaining the flavor of aromatic herbs. This is a great way to preserve hardier herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme, and oregano. It is a great technique for freezing basil to make pesto as well!

The great thing about freezing herbs in oil is that you can customize the herbs to create your own flavor concoction. For instance, you can combine sage, thyme, and rosemary and freeze them in oil so you have instant flavoring for roast chicken!

One thing to consider when choosing this technique is the quality of the oil. For starters, you need to use oil that has a neutral taste. You don’t want the natural flavor of the oil to overpower the flavor of the herbs. Good quality olive oil is one of the best oils to use for this technique. The delicate flavor of the oil will enhance the flavor of the aromatics. If olive oil is not available, you can use coconut oil or melted butter.

After prepping the herbs for freezing, prepare several ice cube trays. Place the herbs into each ice cube slot and pour the oil. Make sure the oil is covering the herbs well. Stick in the freezer and leave to freeze for an hour or so.

When the cubed herbs are frozen stiff, prepare several fun-sized resealable plastic bags. Take the ice cube tray out of the freezer and pop each cubed herb. Place everything in the resealable plastic and squeeze out the air before sealing. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Freezing Fresh Herbs in Broth

Yes, you can freeze fresh herbs using your choice of broth. You can use beef, chicken, or a mix of both, depending on the recipe. The steps are similar to freezing fresh herbs in oil, just prep the herbs then place them in ice cube trays. Pour the broth, just enough to fill each cube slot. Make sure the broth is covering the fresh herbs well.

Stick the ice trays in the freezer and leave to freeze for 2 hours or so. Once the herbs are frozen solid, take the ice cube trays out of the freezer and pop the cubed herbs. Place everything in small resealable plastic bags, squeezing out the air before sealing. With a marker, write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Freezing Specific Types of Herbs

If you’re freezing a specific type of herbs, check out our step by step guide below:

Dill

Dill is a soft herb that requires care when being prepped for freezing. Check out this guide to learn how to freeze dill right.

Cilantro

The tangy, zippy flavor of cilantro adds live to fresh salads and stir-frys. It’s also a common herb used in Mexican and Asian cooking. Here’s our guide on how to freeze cilantro.

Basil

From pizza to salads, the distinct aroma of basil adds a lovely dimension to any dish. But how to freeze basil? Check out this guide.

Image used under Creative Commons from cookbookman17

How to Defrost Frozen Fresh Herbs

Slow defrosting is best if you’re using the herbs to make salads, marinades, and seasonings. Defrosting frozen fresh herbs slowly is so easy; just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the herbs to thaw for several hours.

If you are using the herbs for cooking soups, stews, etc., there is no need to thaw the herbs at all. Just pop a portion of the frozen herbs in the pot and the herbs will thaw as the dish cooks.

Summary

Fresh herbs leave more room for experimentation. If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, it pays to store fresh herbs properly for your next culinary adventure.

Freezing fresh herbs does require several steps but the time it takes to preserve these aromatics are certainly worth the effort. Now that you know how can you freeze fresh herbs, there is no need to worry about what to do with your leftover aromatics!

Herbs & Spices

Can You Freeze Dill?

Dill is an aromatic herb that’s been extensively used in cooking for decades. Native to the eastern Mediterranean, dill is typically used to flavor fish, poultry, and meat dishes. This grass-like herb has a tangy flavor that adds depth and character to soups, stews, casseroles, dips, and sauces. The flavor of dill is so popular that dill pickles became widely popular because of this herb!

Suffice it to say, dill is one of the most versatile aromatic herbs out there and it’s not surprising that most people stock up on this herb for future uses. But can you freeze dill? Yes, fresh dill can be preserved through freezing.

Dill isn’t available all year round and if you love to cook, stocking up on fresh dill is a great idea. This way, you have a steady supply of your favorite herbs all year long. That said, it is important to prep the herb first prior to freezing otherwise, dill will lose its flavor.

can you freeze dill

Image used under Creative Commons from Stacy Spensley

Unfortunately, dill is quite a delicate herb. Once dill wilts, it goes bad within just a few hours. When kept in the fridge, fresh dill keeps up to 10 days. Freezing helps keep dill’s freshness for longer. Freezing dill at 0°F, the herb will keep safe indefinitely.

However, it’s best to use up your supply within a couple of months just so the herb remains flavorful. Below is a step-by-step guide on how can you freeze dill:

How to Freeze Dill?

Unless you grew the dill yourself, do not rinse the herb prior to freezing. Rinsing the herb with water will only accelerate spoilage because of the excess moisture. Store-bought dill has been cleaned well and is ready for cooking or freezing without extra rinsing. That said, you could rinse the herb if it is full of critters or dirt.

After giving fresh dill a good rinsing, lay the herb on a clean cloth while patting with paper towels to wick away the excess moisture. If you’re freezing whole stalks of dill, there’s no need to cut the whole stalks before freezing unless you’d like to keep them on a per serving size. Just place the herb, stalk and all, in a freezer-safe resealable plastic bag and stick it in the freezer.

For dill that’s already been chopped, our advice is to transfer the herb in an ice cube tray. You can also do this if you’d like to keep the dill in serving size cubes. After transferring the dill in the ice tray, pour water then stick in the freezer. Once the ice cubes are frozen, take the ice tray out, remove the ice cubes from the tray and place them in a resealable plastic bag. Then, stick the plastic bag of frozen herb back in the freezer. Whenever you need dill for a single dish, just take a couple of ice cubes.

Image used under Creative Commons from Dianna Ott

Committed to preserving the vibrant color of the herb as well as maintaining its plant enzymes? Try blanching dill first prior to freezing. Blanching is a  cooking method that requires shocking veggies with boiling water for a few seconds to boost their color. After blanching, pat the herb with paper towels then you can pack the dill for freezing.

How to Defrost Frozen Dill?

Defrosting frozen dill is easy. Just transfer a portion of the frozen herb in a saucer then stick it in the fridge to defrost for a few hours. Once the herb thaws, use right away. Defrosted dill is perfect for soups, stews, and dips. Do not re-freeze defrosted dill because the herb will lose its flavors once it’s left standing at room temperature for too long.

Summary

Freezing dill is a great idea during the winter months when supply is scarce. With this guide, you can now keep a large batch of dill all year long! Do you like dill? We hope that this guide has helped you preserve your favorite herb the right way!

 

Herbs & Spices

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.

 

Fresh 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:

How to 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.

How to Defrost Frozen Parsley?

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.

Summary

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!

Herbs & Spices

Can You Freeze Ginger?

Ginger is often sold in a quantity too large for the average home cook to use before it spoils, so freezing your ginger is a good way to preserve it.

Ginger is an herb that is used to flavor foods and beverages. For centuries, ginger has been used for its beneficial health properties, most notably for digestive ailments. Fresh ginger root is used in a variety of dishes, and can be grated, minced, or sliced. In terms of storing this spice for later, can you freeze ginger?

Not only can you freeze ginger, most people find ginger easier to work with once frozen. Ginger lasts three weeks or less in the refrigerator when left in its peel and sealed in a plastic bag. This short shelf life makes ginger an ideal candidate for freezing, which can extend its shelf life indefinitely.

Many people find ginger easier to peel frozen ginger, and frozen ginger root can be grated without thawing, and then immediately returned to the freezer. Over time, the ginger root may become a little mushy, but given its use to flavor foods, this change in texture is rarely a problem.

Though it may last indefinitely, for the best texture and flavor, use the frozen ginger within 3-4 months.

Ginger

Image used under Creative Commons from Delphine Ménard

How to Freeze Ginger?

Ginger can be frozen in a variety of states. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze ginger:

Freezing Whole Ginger

Ginger root should first be cleaned and dried, but you can leave the peel on if you intend on freezing it whole. If you plan on using large chunks of the root, you should cut it into segments now, as frozen ginger will be hard to slice. Place these chunks of ginger root in an airtight plastic bag, removing as much air as possible. Label and store in the freezer.

Freezing Cut Ginger

If you prefer, your ginger can be peeled and chopped prior to freezing. Prepare the ginger in the manner you intend to use it (sliced, diced, chopped, or julienned), place in a plastic bag, and freeze.

Freezing Minced Ginger

If you are planning to use minced ginger, peel and finely mince it with a grater or food processor.

Spoon this minced ginger onto a lined baking sheet, either in teaspoons or tablespoons, depending on how you plan to use it. (Three teaspoons are equal to one tablespoon, so if you are unsure, use a teaspoon.)

Do not allow your mounds of ginger to touch. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer. Once fully frozen, transfer your minced ginger to an airtight container or bag. Be sure to label with the date and size of each scoop.

How to Defrost Frozen Ginger?

While there is no need to thaw frozen ginger before using it, you can defrost it by leaving it to thaw in the fridge overnight.

Grating ginger while frozen is often easier than grating fresh ginger, which gets stringy. Peeling frozen ginger is also easier than peeling fresh root and you may find that a spoon causes less waste than a knife.

However, frozen ginger is difficult to slice, so extra care should be taken, or the ginger root should be allowed to thaw in the refrigerator until it is easier to slice. While texture may suffer if ginger has been kept frozen too long, the flavor should remain strong, and not negatively affect most dishes.

Summary

Freezing ginger is a wonderful idea especially if you use this spice often. Now that you know how can you freeze ginger, you can use up the spice and maximize your supply without fears of wasting the product.

Herbs & Spices

Can You Freeze Cilantro?

Can you freeze cilantro? If that’s the question bothering you, you’re in the right place to find the answer. Since cilantro doesn’t stay fresh in the fridge for long and most often in comes in a bigger bunch than it’s needed, people search for a way to preserve it for longer. Basically, there seem to be two possible choices – drying and freezing cilantro. In this article we will focus on the latter. If you’re interested, read on.

Cilantro
(credit: LeafLanguages)

Freezing cilantro – important information

When it comes to cilantro, you can freeze it, but not everyone will be really satisfied with the end result. The most important thing you should know is that freezing changes the appearance of this veggie, so it probably won’t work that well for salads and other similar dishes. When it comes to cooked dishes, frozen cilantro works pretty well and in most cases you will be satisfied with what you’ll get. That being said, please remember that you’re the one who has to freeze it a couple of times and make sure frozen cilantro works (or doesn’t work) for your needs.

Before you get to freezing itself, you need to do a little prep. Rinse the cilantro to remove any impurities and pat it dry. Not it’s time to trim off any yellowish or brownish leaves, we don’t want them anyway. Now cop it. Once done, you can proceed to on the two described ways of freezing cilantro. Make sure to try out both and choose one that works better for your needs.

Freezing cilantro using a cookie sheet

Take a cookie sheet and line it with wax paper, then place as many leaves as you can on it, making sure they don’t touch one another. Then transfer the cookie sheet into the freezer for few hours, so the leaves will freeze. Once they’re frozen, take the tray out of the freezer and transfer the leaves into a small freezer bag. Push as much air from the bag as you can, seal it tightly and label it properly. Now it’s ready to be put into the freezer. Make sure it’s in a place where it won’t get crushed.

Freezing cilantro using an ice-cube tray

Take an ice-cube tray and add a few leaves into each cube (depending on how large the cubes are), make sure leave doesn’t stick out of the cube. Now fill each cube with water, so it will cover the leaves, and the tray into the freezer for a day. Once done, get the tray out of the freezer, transfer cubes into a freezer bag and put the bag into the freezer. This way you can quickly and easily get as many cilantro leaves as you need by getting as many ice cubes from the bag as needed.

Summary
Cilantro can be frozen and quite a few people do it, although it will work well only in cooked dishes like soups or stews. It’s suggested that cilantro shouldn’t be frozen for longer than half a year because of quality reasons. I encourage you to test out both described methods of freezing cilantro and pick the one that works well for your needs. If neither one does, that’s fine as well, you will learn that you shouldn’t freeze cilantro for this certain purpose you’ve frozen it for.

Herbs & Spices

Can You Freeze Basil?

Can you freeze basil? Basil is a culinary herb used both fresh and dried. It plays a major role in some cuisines. Is there anything (besides drying it) you can do to preserve it if you’ve got more basil than you can use at a time? Or is there a way to save some basil for the winter months? Fortunately enough, you can freeze fresh basil with good results. It’s also pretty easy to do that.

Freezing basil – how to

There are a few methods how you can freeze basil. I’ll discuss them in details. In every case you should start off by washing basil leaves and discarding any stems. Make sure every leaf is green, other leaves should be thrown away. Let leaves dry thoroughly.

 

Basil
Image used under Creative Commons from Amanda Slater

 

Freezing whole leaves

If you’d like to freeze whole leaves, there are a few options for you. Once the leaves are dry, they’re basically ready to be frozen for the long term, but freezing them without any further preparation won’t give you best results. Take note that basil leaves after thawing won’t be as bright green as they’re before freezing. There are a least two things you can do to prepare the leaves for freezing for the long term.

Blanching is the first thing you can do to better prepare basil leaves for freezing. It helps with preserving natural color and taste when the herb is frozen. You simply need to place basil leaves in boiling water for a short period of time (15 seconds should do the trick) and then quickly cool the leaves down. A pot or sink of ice water is of a great help when it comes to cooling the leaves. After that you should dry the leaves. Blanching is now complete. Please remember that blanching is optional.

Pre-freezing (or flash-freezing) is another way to prepare the herb for long term freezing. It’s pretty simple to perform. Place the leaves individually on a cookie sheet or a tray and put it into the freezer for a few hours to quickly freeze the leaves. Once frozen, flash-freezing is done – you can take the tray out of the freezer. The leaves should endure the process of freezing and thawing better than without it.

Now it’s time to put the leaves into the freezer for the long term. You just need to transfer the leaves into freezer bags. Remember to push out as much air a you can. Instead of pushing it out, you can try to suck it out of the bag using a straw.

Freezing chopped basil

Basil leaves can be chopped using a food processor, a blender or simply using a knife. Of course if you want to, you can freeze chopped basil following the same steps as in the case of freezing whole leaves. There is, however, another way to freeze basil and it’s used often when people want to preserve basil’s fresh look, green color and taste.

Once the basil is chopped, take an ice-cube tray and put some chopped basil into each little spot. Now it’s time to add some water or oil to cover the herb. If you wish to, you can add water or oil while chopping, it’s up to you. Once done, put the ice-cube tray into the freezer and let little ice-cubes form. Once frozen, take the tray out of the freezer and transfer the cubes into a freezer bag. The chopped basil is ready to be frozen for the long term.

Word of caution. If you’ve decided to freeze basil in oil, add oil directly before freezing. Storing basil in oil (both in the fridge and in room temperature) is a botulism risk.

Freezing basil leaves – useful information

Before putting the bag into the freezer, remember to date and label it. To get the best quality, you should use the frozen basil within 6 months from freezing it. If you’re using it in a cooked dish, you can add frozen basil directly to your dish.

Summary
As you can see, you can freeze basil and there’s at least a few ways how you can to this successfully.