As a stay-at-home mom, my days are filled with juggling tasks, endless to-do lists, caring for my blessings (my children), and ensuring everything runs smoothly. Amid the chaos, spending extra time chopping fresh herbs for every meal sometimes feels like a luxury I can’t afford. However, what if I told you there’s a simple and efficient way to preserve the delightful flavors of fresh herbs without adding extra minutes to your already packed schedule?
In this blog post, I’ll share how I freeze herbs from the perspective of a busy stay-at-home mom. Let’s dive into the world of herb preservation and discover how having a stash of frozen herbs at your disposal can transform your daily cooking routines into flavorful, convenient, and stress-free experiences.
Why freeze herbs?
Freezing fresh herbs is a good idea because it helps to keep their taste and smell for a long time. Here are some simple reasons why you might want to freeze fresh herbs:
- Fresh herbs don’t stay fresh for very long, and they can get old and not taste as good. Freezing them helps keep them fresh for a much longer time.
- When you freeze herbs, you can use them whenever you want, even when they’re not available in the store.
- You can easily get to your frozen herbs whenever you’re cooking, so you don’t have to run to the store just for herbs.
- Buying herbs when they’re in season and freezing them is often cheaper than buying expensive out-of-season herbs.
- Freezing herbs helps you avoid wasting them. You can keep extra herbs from your garden or use herbs that might go bad before you can use them.
- You can use frozen herbs in lots of different recipes, like soups, sauces, and more. They can make your food taste better without much effort.
- When you freeze herbs, you can always have the same great taste in your recipes.
Freezing fresh herbs is a simple and smart way to make sure you always have tasty herbs for your cooking.
How long do frozen herbs last?
The shelf life of frozen herbs can vary, but if stored properly, they can last for approximately 6 to 12 months without significant loss of flavor or quality. It’s best to use them within this timeframe to enjoy the freshest flavors. Over time, herbs may begin to lose some of their potency and vibrant colors, so it’s a good practice to label them with the date of freezing and use older herbs first.
Wide Range of Herbs that You Can Freeze
Freezing herbs is a great way to preserve their freshness for an extended period. However, not all herbs freeze well, as some can become mushy or lose flavor and aroma during the freezing process. Here are some herbs that can be successfully frozen:
- Basil: Freezing basil can be done by pureeing it with a bit of olive oil and then freezing it in ice cube trays.
- Cilantro: Wash and chop cilantro before freezing. You can also put chopped cilantro in an ice cube tray with a bit of water or oil.
- Parsley: Similar to cilantro, wash and chop it before freezing.
- Chives: Chopped chives can be frozen as they are.
- Dill: Freeze dill in chopped form for best results.
- Rosemary: Rosemary can be frozen as whole sprigs or chopped leaves.
- Thyme: Freeze thyme as whole sprigs or strip the leaves from the stems and freeze the leaves.
- Oregano: Oregano can be frozen as chopped leaves.
- Sage: Sage can be frozen as chopped leaves or whole leaves.
- Mint: Mint leaves can be frozen whole or chopped. They retain their flavor well when frozen.
Keep in mind that while the texture of these herbs may change when frozen, their flavor and aroma should still be preserved. Additionally, some herbs like mint and tarragon may not freeze as well, so it’s a good idea to experiment and see what works best for your specific needs.
step-by-step tutorial on how to freeze herbs:
Ingredients and Materials You Will Need:
- Fresh herbs
- Boiling water
- Ice water
- Paper towels or a clean kitchen towel
- A cutting board
- Knife or kitchen scissors
- Freezer bags or airtight containers
Step 1: Wash the Herbs
Gently rinse the herbs under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris.
Step 2: Blanch the Herbs (Optional)
You do not need to blanch the herbs before freezing them using the ice cube method. The herbs are going to be set in olive oil.
- Blanching helps preserve the herbs’ flavors and prevents them from losing color. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then prepare a bowl of ice water.
- Quickly dip the herbs into the boiling water for about 10-15 seconds (this can vary depending on the herb). Use a slotted spoon to remove them and immediately transfer them to the ice water to stop the cooking process. This step is essential to preserve the herbs’ flavors.
Step 4: Dry the Herbs
Gently Pat dry the herbs with a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel. Be careful not to damage the leaves or sprigs.
Step 6: Package the Herbs
- Place the prepared herbs into small portions, which are convenient for your recipes. You can use ice cube trays, small containers, or freezer bags.
- If using ice cube trays, fill each section with the chopped herbs, then add a small amount of water or olive oil to cover them. This helps prevent freezer burn. Once frozen, you can transfer the herb cubes to a freezer bag.
- If using containers or freezer bags, place the herbs in small portions and squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing.
Step 7: Label and Date
Label each container or freezer bag with the herb name and the date of freezing. This ensures you can easily identify them later.
Step 8: Freeze
Place the containers or bags in the freezer. Herbs can be stored for several months, but they are best when used within the first 6-12 months.
Now, you have a stash of frozen herbs ready to enhance your recipes with fresh flavors year-round. Simply take out the desired portions and add them to your dishes during cooking.
If you happen to try this method for freezing herbs? Post a photo to Instagram and tag @luluspov_