How To Freeze Fresh Herbs
Freezing fresh herbs is one of the easiest ways to preserve them. Just pick off what you need for a recipe, wash, dry and freeze! It couldn’t be easier. Today I’ll be sharing some simple steps to help you preserve fresh herbs, rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, mint, cilantro and basil.
Why Freeze Fresh Herbs?
Well, you can also dry your fresh herbs, but it’s pretty hard to beat the convenience of having frozen herbs on hand. They’re easy to measure and use, they don’t take long to rehydrate when you need them and unless you have a green thumb, growing a fresh herb garden is most likely going to be a seasonal thing.
Avoid Food Waste: Freeze Fresh Herbs
So why not take advantage of the freshness and abundance that is available to us in the summer months, by freezing herbs for use all year?
When Is the Best Time to Harvest Herbs?
Ideally you want to harvest your herbs just before a rain storm. Why? This will ensure that they are as lush as possible, which means more flavor and more yield.You may find this article useful. How to grow fresh herbs.
How to Harvest and Prepare Fresh Herbs for Freezing:
Pick off what you need for your recipe and place it in a colander to give them a good rinse under cold water. Shake off the excess water and spread the herbs a clean kitchen towel. This will help dry them out so you can get more into your freezer bag.
Storing Fresh Herbs
Place your ziplock bag in another freezer bag for extra protection against freezer burn, then place that bag into a large bowl or container to help protect it from getting squished when you put other items in your freezer.
How to Rehydrate Frozen Fresh Herbs:
To rehydrate your frozen herbs, simply place them in a small bowl of warm water and allow them to sit for about 20 minutes until they soften back up. When it comes time to use your herbs you can just snip off what you need with some kitchen shears or tear them by hand into smaller pieces. Now, I’ll go into more detail for specific herbs, so you can ensure you get the best flavor when you’re cooking.
How to Freeze Rosemary – Freezing Rosemary Easy
Rosemary is a woody herb that’s best fresh. If you happen to have an abundance of rosemary on hand, I recommend making a sugar scrub ! It can be a little tricky to dry out rosemary because it grows in thick, spiky bunches. My dad has a ton of rosemary in the garden and so we needed to freeze some for future use.
- I laid the sprigs down on a baking sheet and froze them until they were solid.
- Next I I popped the sage into an airtight container for safe keeping.
- I then labelled and dated the container
Herbs to Tear or Snip?
When it comes to chopping up rosemary, sage, thyme and oregano you’ll want to snip with some kitchen shears. This is much easier than chopping by hand and helps you avoid bruising the herbs as you chop them.Now, basil, cilantro and mint are best torn by hand which will allow more of their oils to be released.
Fresh Sage: What Can I Do With It?
Love the fresh flavor of sage? We do! Whether it’s fresh sage, dried herbs or frozen, sage is a great companion to many recipes.There are so many uses for fresh sage. Here are a few versatile ways to use the herb in your cooking.
- Sprinkle on top of stews and soups.
- Add to roasts and stuffing recipes.
- To make sage butter, combine chopped leaves with butter.
- Tomato sauce benefits from a sprinkle of chopped leaves.
- Serve sage with an omelet made with eggs.
If you have an abundance of sage then you’ll want to know how to freeze sage for future use.
How to Freeze Sage – Freezing Sage in 3 Simple Steps
Now sage can often become a little tough when it’s dried, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a fantastic herb to have on hand. You can easily freeze it by following these 3 simple steps:
1. Lay Out on a Paper Towel
Lay the fresh leaves out on a paper towel and place another paper towel over top of them until they are dry enough to go in your freezer bag.
2. Place in a Freezer Bag
Place the leaves in a freezer bag, press out as much air as possible and seal it up. Lay the bag flat to avoid squishing your sage when you store it.
3. Label Your Sage
Label all your bags with what they contain and put them into another freezer bag for extra protection.
How to Chop Fresh Sage Ready for Freezing
If you’ve frozen your sage well, be sure to remove it out from the freezer the night before you need it so that it can thaw. The best way to chop sage is to use kitchen shears, before placing it in your dish.
Different Ways to Freeze Herbs
There are several different ways to freeze herbs. For example, you may want to pop them directly onto a baking sheet until your extra herbs are frozen.
Then pop in the plastic bag.
Alternatively, if you’re freezing a herb such as chives, you might want to use a cutting board to chop your herbs before freezing.
Whilst freshly chopped herbs freeze well, you might also want to place some herbs into the food processor and create pureed herbs in ice cube trays with olive oil.
Once frozen, the ice cubes can the be transferred to a container or plastic bag ready to be used in different meals.
Freezing Oregano – How to Freeze Oregano
Oregano has an intense flavor perfect for Italian dishes such as bolognese. If you have an abundance of oregano then you’ll want to know if oregano herbs can be frozen. The answer is yes!
- Finely chop your oregano on a chopping board.
- Transfer the chopped leaves into an ice cube tray, and add a splash of olive oil and water to help it freeze.
- You could also do this with the basil in your freezer too, ready to use in different meals.
- Label and date your herb cubes
Can You Freeze Thyme?
Yes, you can certainly freeze thyme. Thyme is a great herb to add to recipes, it can be frozen to conveniently add flavor to your meals as and when you need.
- Finely chop your thyme and transfer into an ice cube tray.
- Add a splash of olive oil and water to help it freeze. This makes the herb easy to pop out and use in different dishes without having to defrost a whole bunch of thyme.
- Again label and date the fresh herbs so you know how long they will last.
Freezing Thyme leaves, whether they are from your garden or the farmer’s market will allow you to access delicious herbs with ease whenever they are needed.
How to Freeze Basil – Freezing Basil at Home
Do you love the fresh flavor of basil? Basil goes well in so many dishes, but if you have a surplus of basil then you can freeze the leaves to save you time when cooking.
- To freeze basil, take your washed basil leaves and place them on a cutting board.
- Finely chop it using your kitchen knives until it is all chopped up.
- Place the chopped basil into an ice cube tray.
- Leave about half of the ice cube tray empty, to allow for expansion when you freeze your basil.
- Add a splash of olive oil and water over top of the chopped basil. This will help it all to freeze more quickly and easily.
- Label and date the fresh herbs so you know how long they have been in the freezer.
Have you tried Our Tomato and Basil Soup recipe! The chopped herbs and great flavor make this a real tasty soup!
Fresh Mint – The Best Uses?
With a mint growing in your garden, you might be wondering what the best things to do with fresh mint leaves are.You could make yourself an iced tea or mulled wine at Christmas time when friends and family come around, or perhaps add it to a lamb tagine if you like Moroccan food. Mint is also wonderful with fruit such as melons or strawberries if serving the fresh herb with desert.
How to Freeze Mint Leaves
Mint leaves are easy to freeze, making them great to have on hand when you need to add a splash of flavor to dishes without having to go out and buy more mint at the supermarket.
- If you want to freeze your mint leaves for later use, make sure they are washed in a salad spinner to remove any dirt.
- Be sure to pat dry your mint leaves so there is no water residue on them.
- Place the washed and dried mint leaves onto a plate or baking sheet.
- Make sure there is space between each leaf to allow air flow.
- Once frozen, you can transfer your mint leaves to a labeled container or bag as needed.
Freezing Cilantro – Can I Freeze Cilantro for Later Use?
Cilantro is a great herb that goes well in many Mexican recipes, but if you have too much cilantro then it can be difficult to use up. Cilantro is also known as coriander leaves, so don’t get these two herbs mixed up!
How to Freeze Cilantro
If you want to freeze your cilantro for later use then follow these simple preserving herbs instructions:
- Finely chop your cilantro and place it onto a plate or baking sheet.
- Allow the leaves to fully dry out, this will help them to preserve well in the freezer.
- Once dried, pop your cilantro into an airtight container before placing it in the freezer for later use.
- If you freeze cilantro in water, the leaves will go soggy so avoid this if you can!
- Label and date your container of fresh cilantro so you know how long they will last for.
Freezing Dill Leaves – How to Freeze Dill Leaves
Dill leaves are great to use in fish dishes, but if you have an excess of the herb then it can be difficult to use up. If you want to freeze your dill for later cooking, this is what you need to do:
- Wash and pat dry your fresh dill leaves so they are free of moisture.
- Finely chop the dill and spread it evenly over a baking sheet or plate.
- Allow the dill to dry for about an hour so that no water droplets form on them. This is important if you want your dill leaves to preserve well in the freezer without going soggy once defrosted.
- Once frozen solid, place the dill leaves into a container or ziploc bag.
Freezing Herbs Can Save Money
Freezing herbs is a good habit to get into, especially if you want to save money, live a frugal lifestyle and be more self sufficient. It’s good to avoid food waste and if you have herbs frozen and stored in the freezer, it will be easy to add them when needed to your tasty and delicious meals. Adding flavor to your recipes is a great way to make your meals even better!
Making the Most of Your Backyard Garden
So what are you waiting for, make the most of your garden space, grow fresh herbs at home and for long term storage. Preserve fresh herbs and enjoy them all year long.