How to Freeze Herbs
Fresh herbs are a great way to flavor to your recipes food (especially crockpot meals), but when you only grow herbs in the summer, you might find your supply is limited. To ensure that there are always fresh herbs nearby for your favorite dishes, try freezing them in olive oil this year. Doing this will not only guarantee a post summer supply, but it is a great way to cut down on the prep time it takes to get your cooking done every night.
Freezing herbs is easy, but there are a few things that you need to prepare and remember with different types of herbs.
What You Need
- Fresh herbs, all types
- 12 ounces olive oil
- Ice cube tray
1. Harvest Your Herbs
When you are working with fresh herbs it is important that you use them as soon as possible after harvesting. The longer herbs are sitting, the more flavor they loose, and it is that flavor that you are trying to capture. Some herbs wilt faster than others, but all herb types should be handled as soon as possible after cutting. In most cases it is the leaves of the herb that is used in your cooking so make sure that you cut the herb cleanly to prevent any damage to the leaves.
2. Prepare Your Herbs
Thoroughly rinse and dry your herb plants. This removes the dirt, residue and any critters that may be hitching a ride on the plant. Once the plants are dry, remove leaves from the stem. Herbs, like rosemary and thyme do not need to be handled any further. Larger leafed herbs will need to be cut or minced. To reduce the amount of bruising, roll up larger leaves and make two or three clean cuts through the leaves. Turn the strips and do the same thing in the other direction.
3. How to freeze herbs in Ice Cube Trays
Clean and dry your ice cube trays, you do not want any water leftover in the tray. Fill each ice cube space up halfway with each type of herb you are preparing. Slowly pour olive oil into the tray, filling each cube up and occasionally pressing the herbs down with a clean fork to make sure the herbs are entirely covered by oil.
Once your tray has been entirely filled, place it in the freezer. Once the tray is frozen, pop out your “ice cubes” and place in a freezer bag. Make sure to label. They can remain for up to three to four months in the freezer.
How to use after frozen.
When you are ready to use herbs in your cooking, remove the cubes one at a time and place immediately into the recipe. Remember that each cube contains an ounce of olive oil and herbs combined. I love using the fresh herbs after they are frozen in my crockpot meals and in casseroles. They really amp up the flavor in our winter dishes.
My favorite herbs to freeze:
If this post helped you make sure you read some of my other freezer cooking post:
- How to Freeze Garlic Bread (and how it saves you money)
- How to Freeze Pasta
- How to Freeze Rice
- How to Freeze Milk
- How to Cook Black Beans in the Crockpot (and how to Freeze them)
- How to Freeze Pancakes and Waffles