Preserving Fresh Herbs

2012-09-11

freeze herbs in oil

Source: thekitchn.com

I am all about preserving what we have (Read: avoiding waste!). Whenever I purchase fresh herbs for a recipe, or at this time of year when the herbs I grow over the summer are bountiful but facing frosty evenings, I do all I can to save their fresh flavours for future use. One of the best ways I’ve found to quickly and easily save these summer-fresh herbs is by using the freezer. Ice cube trays are ideal, but any small food containers you have on hand would work. 

The first thing is to harvest, rinse, dry, and chop your herbs. With rougher herbs like rosemary, the finer you can chop them, the better, so this is the time to show off your ‘knife skills’. Once your fresh herbs are chopped or minced, heap a tablespoon in each ice-cube-tray compartment, and top with a small amount of olive oil, vegetable broth (or stock of your choice), or even water. Use only enough to barely cover the chopped herbs. 

Ensure the trays lay flat in your freezer so the cubes will freeze level, and get freezing! After the cubes have frozen overnight (or at least 4 hours) pop the cubes out to store loosely in zipper freezer bags that are labeled with the herb and liquid, as well as the date, and store in the freezer for no more than half a year. I find that these little tidbits of fresh herb flavour are so tasty that we go through them steadily. Be sure to keep them in a handy area of the freezer so that you remember to use them. They add so much depth of flavor to recipes! Plus, you are utilizing your harvest and not wasting these precious edible plants! 

herbs in oil

Source: thekitchn.com

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Related Articles:

http://www.thekitchn.com/freeze-herbs-in-olive-oil-173648

http://www.719woman.com/2012/07/freezing-herbs-in-butter-oil-or-broth-saves-you-time-and-money/

http://naturesnurtureblog.com/2012/07/03/freezing-fresh-herbs-tiny-tip-tuesday/

20 responses to Preserving Fresh Herbs

  1. 

    This is so neat I have a basil plant, but I can never grow any other herbs.. I am going to half to try this..

  2. 

    I was wondering if basil does well this way, too – have a counter full of it at the moment, so will try

  3. 

    What a great idea.

  4. 

    THIS is an amazing idea! I have some oregano and rosemary from a friend that I will try this with. I love fresh herbs in the winter, but hate the supermarket prices. This is such an easy, wonderful solution. Thank you.

  5. 

    I had never thought of freezing them with oil, but yes…this makes perfect sense and will definitely do this. Thankyou!

  6. 

    Great idea, Gina! What a wonderful way to save some of the flavors of summer! I’m going to do it!
    Hugs,
    Cathy

  7. 

    What a great idea! I plan to share it with my wife. Thank you, Gina!
    Russ

    • 
      Professions for PEACE 2012-10-12 at 8:44 am

      Thanks Russ! So glad you enjoyed this idea. I am sure your wife will as well. Cheers! Gina

  8. 

    Yes, this is what I do with my fresh herbs too! It works great! It also works well with pesto. Right before we have a freeze I go pick all my basil and make up big batches of pesto. Then put it in ice cube trays and freeze it. It makes a great treat in the cold months. Even just a cube of it added to spaghetti sauce or melted and spread over bread….mmmMMM! However, I tried to freeze cilantro this way and it lost all its flavor. I don’t know what makes cilantro different, but it was tasteless when it thawed.

    • 

      Hello there! Yes, isn’t this idea great? I’ll have to try it with pesto – good idea. I’ve mostly used whole leaves, or lots of times with chopped rosemary because that’s what I had lots of. Thanks for the tip about cilantro. I guess there’s something about it that doesn’t hold up to this freezing process. Thanks so much for visiting and for sharing this nice comment. Cheers!

  9. 

    brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!

  10. 

    Great tip THANK YOU I am always throwing away coriander because it just goes black in the fridge. I also have so much oregano growing in m y garden that I never now what to do with it all so it ends up in the compost. Thanks again for the great tip!

    • 

      Hello and thank you so much for visiting and taking the time to comment. Yes once I discovered this idea I was delighted by how effective it is to reduce wasting herbs. Thanks again for your kind comment 🙂