Nothing beats using fresh herbs for making delicious and mouthwatering dishes at home. Sadly, like summer itself, herbs don’t really last that long. Once you pick them from your garden, you need to use them at once, or you risk losing all of their flavor and aroma. It turns out there’s a way to keep all the flavor of your herbs so you can use them again for another day. In this guide, we talk about how freezing can keep the freshness in your herbs and how it can come in handy in the kitchen.
Why Freeze Herbs
One of the biggest reasons for freezing herbs is to preserve their freshness. Just like fruit and other plant-based food, herbs can dry out quickly and lose their flavor. Freezing herbs is a great way to keep the great taste of fresh herbs all year long.
Freezing is a method that’s been used for centuries to keep fresh herbs vital and edible for a long time. It is also a great alternative to canning, which requires a lot of time, effort, and money.
Freezing vs. Drying
Freezing keeps herbs in their raw form, retaining their flavor and aroma. It is also easy to use, as you just need to take them out of the freezer and use them like before.
Drying herbs is a more time-consuming process that can also involve cleaning and cutting. Although it dries herbs and removes moisture, it doesn’t preserve their flavor or aroma.
When to Freeze Herbs
Herbs can be frozen any time of year. They can be frozen from either their whole or chopped state. If you want to freeze herbs during the summer, then you should prepare just enough to last you through the winter.
How to Freeze Herbs
It’s best to stock up on fresh herbs when they are in season. As soon as you get them home, wash, remove the stems, and place them in a container or bag. You can freeze fresh herbs in many ways.
Blanching is a common method to freeze herbs. All you need to do to blanch herbs is to immerse them in a pot of boiling water and remove them after a few seconds. This method can be used for a variety of herbs, including basil, cilantro, dill, parsley, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme.
2. Freezer Paper and Zip-Top Bags
Freezer bags and freezer paper are an easy and economical way to store your herbs. Simply place the washed and trimmed herbs in the bags or wrap them in freezer paper and label each with the name. You can also use freezer jars.
3. Ice Cube Trays
Ice cube trays are also a great way of preserving herbs. Just fill the trays with chopped herbs, add water, freeze, and store in freezer bags. You can add the herbs to soups, stews, and sauces.
4. Foil or Waxed Paper
You can also wrap herbs with foil and store them in the freezer. Just like the ice cube method, this allows you to take what you need without having to thaw out the entire tray of herbs. You can keep the herbs in the freezer for up to six months.
5. Butter Cubes
Herbs can also be frozen in small butter cubes. When you need an herb for a recipe, just pop off the appropriately sized cubes and use them as you normally would.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind while you are freezing herbs:
Arrange the herbs in a single layer on a tray or waxed paper to freeze. Properly labeling your herbs is also very important when you have to remove them from the freezer. All the herbs in your freezer should be able to be thawed at the same time.
You should freeze herbs within a week of picking them.
The best herbs to freeze are basil, dill, parsley, cilantro, chives, and thyme. These herbs will retain their flavor and aroma for up to five months.
Freezing herbs is a simple process that you can use to keep your herbs fresh and flavorful. It’s one of the best ways of preserving your best-tasting herbs. Make sure to properly label and date all of your frozen herbs so you can use them for all your cooking recipes.
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