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freezing herbs

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If you have herbs growing in your garden and want to preserve some for later, yes, it’s very “old school” to dry them as we did in this lesson.

But dried herbs are one thing, and fresh herbs another. Here’s one method of preserving more of that fresh taste: freezing.

This method works with most any herb. The Damsel is using oregano in these pictures.

First harvest your herbs. The Damsel uses kitchen shears, and since most herbs are perennials, you can use this as an opportunity to shape the plant and encourage it to branch the way you want it to.

If only it were so easy to guide and shape the sprog.

Some people say you should do this first thing in the morning for best flavor, but if you don’t get to it until later, don’t fret. There’s not a huge difference that the Damsel can discern.

Wash the bugs off, and then strip the leaves, if that’s appropriate for the type of herb you are using. Oregano has little leaves, but if you are using something with larger leaves, chop them a bit.

Pack the herbs into an ice cube tray. Put in as many leaves in each section as you think you’d use for a single usage, like a pot of soup or spaghetti sauce. To use these, you’ll be simply dropping an ice cube into the pot. It would be hard/silly to split an ice cube. So restrain from putting more leaves in each section than you’d use at one time.

Pour water into the ice cube trays, filling them just as you would for ice cubes. If herbs are sticking out, just poke them down into the water as best you can, but don’t fuss.

Fussing just gives you wrinkles.

Slide these into the freezer and let ‘em freeze just like you would for ice cubes.There’s something cool about how they look.

Pop them out into a ziplock freezer bag to store them. When you next make a pot of something, it’s so easy to just take one out and plop it in.

And, if you don’t have an herb garden, you could use this same idea for leftover herbs you buy from the store. How many times have you needed only a little of that bunch of parsley or cilantro, and the rest gets slimey in the drawer of the fridge? Cube ‘em.

Thanks to Green and Chewy for the post idea.

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  • Chloe Rowles

    I love this post. Just think, if you are freezing spearmint, you can drop the cubes in your lemonade or punch. Yay for herb cubes.

  • damselindisdress

    holy cow! So obvious, why didn’t I think of mentioning that?

  • Miette

    Sweet! now my cilantro won’t go to waste anymore! Huzzah!

  • damselindisdress

    be aware once it’s frozen in water, you can’t really use it like a fresh garnish. But it’s better than throwing it away!

  • http://helenpetersen.blogspot.com Hel

    I LOVE it! Once again you have given me information that I can use. Yours is about the only blog I look forward to reading at the moment! (too tired to read the rest on my blog list)

  • http://smariek.blogspot.com Marie

    Super idea! I’ve never thought of doing that with fresh herbs from the store. (yet I have managed to freeze extra pesto sauce into cubes for future use)

  • http://thechocolatechipwaffle.blogspot.com/ Terresa Wellborn

    I’ve frozen herbs for years with great success. We freeze basil and cilantro mostly.

  • damselindisdress

    eeee! That makes me happy! Well, not the too-tired part, but I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog.

  • damselindisdress

    great idea on the pesto. Oh how I love it.

  • damselindisdress

    how do you do it? Just stick it in the freezer?