How to Freeze HerbsLearning to freeze herbs is simplier than you might imagine.
1. Wash the herbs and pat them dry, spread them in a single layer on a pan, and put the pan in the freezer.
Note: Chop chives and lemongrass before you freeze them. These herbs are thin and will freeze in minutes.
2. Put the frozen herbs into labeled, sealed containers, and store them in the freezer. Push all the air out of plastic containers before sealing them. In most cases, you don't need to thaw the herbs before use.
Herbs that Freeze Well
Try these: basil, borage, chives, dill (better frozen than dried), lemongrass, mint, oregano, sage, savory (both winter and summer), sorrel (better frozen than dried), sweet woodruff, tarragon, thyme
Freezing Herbs Pointers
Check the temperature of your freezer to ensure it maintains the proper temperature for food storage. Freezers should be 0 degrees F.
These vessels are the best for freezer-bound foods:
- Plastic Freezer Bags: Use bags designated for freezing, such as resealable bags and vacuum freezer bags. These are made of thicker material than regular plastic bags and are more resistant to moisture and oxygen. In lieu of a vacuum sealer, you can use a straw to suck air out of bags.
- Freezer-Safe Containers: Look for a phrase or icon on the label or container bottom indicating they are designed for freezer use.
- Glass Jars with Tight-Fitting Lids: All major brands of canning jars are acceptable for use in the refrigerator and freezer.
Take a moment to label foods before storing them. Use a wax crayon or waterproof marking pen to note the name of the herb, the quantity, and the date it was frozen.
Alternate Freezing MethodsFreezing herbs with oil in ice cube trays is an easy way to add flavor to your recipes.
Another tasty way to freeze herbs is to make a paste by mixing 1/3 cup of oil with 2 cups of herbs in a blender until smooth. The paste freezes beautifully in sealed jars or in ice cube trays that are thoroughly wrapped to make them airtight. The paste will also keep for about a week in the refrigerator. In winter, retrieve a frozen paste to give a fresh taste to your dishes. Herbs that are good candidates for grinding into pastes include basil, chervil, cilantro, coriander, dill, fennel, marjoram, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, and tarragon.
Herbs can also be frozen to make decorative ice cubes for party drinks. Freeze strawberries and their leaves, mint sprigs, and woodruff sprigs into an ice ring or block. Boil the water first to make it clear. Once it has cooled, fill the bottom of the mold with the boiled water and freeze. Arrange the herbs you plan to freeze, then continue adding water until the mold is filled.