Yes, you can freeze fresh herbs. Here’s how to do it right

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We’ve all done it: A recipe calls for parsley, we use a few stems and let the rest molder in the crisper. There is a better way!

Can you freeze herbs? Absolutely. Learn how to freeze fresh herbs and stop wasting the bounty from your garden or even the grocery store.

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How to Freeze Herbs in Oil – Prep


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  • Wash and dry the herbs.
  • Cut or mince them into the size dice you like to use.

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Next Steps

  • Place loose pockets of herbs in the ice cube dish compartments. Do not pack the herbs in. If you like, measure the amounts, such a one teaspoon per cube or whatever fits your ice cube tray. This comes in handy when you are following recipes later.
  • Now, pour olive oil in to cover.
  • Then put the filled trays in the freezer. Once solid, remove the frozen cubes and store in a Ziploc bag or other freezer safe container for up to six months.
  • When ready to use, simply add the number of herbs required for a recipe straight into a skillet or thaw first if adding to a cold dish like pasta salad.

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How to Freeze Herbs Without Oil – Prep

  • First, rinse the herbs and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Then place herbs in a single layer on a baking sheet and put it in the freezer.

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Next Steps

  • Once frozen, transfer the herbs into an airtight container or freezer-safe Ziploc-type bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible.
  • To use, simply remove the herbs one sprig at a time and add to recipes.

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Tips for Freezing Herbs

  1. Learn which herbs are best frozen in oil. Herbs with thinner, more fragile leaves – think basil or cilantro – take best to being chopped and frozen in oil. Their fragility makes them less suited to freezing whole. Heartier herbs, think those with thicker leaves and twig-like stems – rosemary and oregano – do well being frozen whole.
  2. Dry your herbs off very well before freezing. You can do so by blotting with paper towels and/or leaving to dry in a strainer for a while.
  3. Freeze while fresh for the best taste. While less-than-fresh herbs can be frozen, ensure they have the most zing by freezing when fresh from the garden or store.

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Question: My defrosted herbs are darker in color. They no longer look fresh. Are they OK?

Answer: Yes, they are still fine. Freezing does not always do so, but it can change the color of fresh herbs.

Q: Is there a way to avoid herbs changing color in the freezer?

A: Taking the extra step of blanching herbs like basil will help keep their color bright but may not be worth the effort. To blanch, immerse herbs in boiling water for a few seconds and then immediately plunge into an ice bath.

Q: Generally, when should I use frozen versus fresh herbs?

A: If you want to float one perfect green basil leaf on top of a pizza, totally fresh is the way to go. However, for minced herbs, especially in cooked dishes, it is hard to tell the difference.

Just like saving leftovers, extending the life of your herbs is like having money in the bank. They are a culinary asset, there to withdraw (from the freezer!) as needed.

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