- USE WHOLE STRANDS, STEMS OR BIG LEAVES
- USE SHREDDED OR CHOPPED HERBS
- FREEZING HERBS IN ICE CUBES
- FREEZING HERBS IN BUTTER
- FREEZING HERBS IN OIL
Do you now enjoy a small herb garden right in your kitchen and haven't had time to consume all your herbs, which are starting to wilt? Are you going on vacation while pretty plants fill your kitchen?
Discover our advice and tips on freezing aromatic herbs so that you can enjoy them when you return, offer them to your guests or taste them when it is no longer the season!
You should know that most aromatic herbs do not retain their appearance after freezing. Herbs soften but will retain their flavor if used in a stew or soup type preparation rather than in a salad or as a garnish.
There are two different opinions on freezing herbs, some people consider not freezing them because freezing will ruin the herbs, while others think it's a completely satisfactory solution. From our side at URBAN CUISINE, we think this is a good option for some herbs. Make up your own mind by following our tips below!
The herbs that best accept freezing are chervil, chives , tarragon, parsley and dill. Some herbs dry less well and are therefore better frozen , such as chives , dill, chervil, basil or coriander . It is also true in the opposite direction, some herbs are better dried than frozen, in this category we find in particular rosemary which is an herb that dries very easily and keeps its flavor for a long time.
If you are growing outdoors, prefer to harvest the herbs after the dew has dried. It's best to collect grasses before they're dried out by the sun and after the dew has dried to limit humidity . This is to avoid harvesting your herbs too dry or too wet as they may turn yellow or mold more easily. If you live in an area where the sun does not burn you will be able to harvest your herbs at any time of the day. To freeze the herbs, they will need to be stripped of as much water as possible.
Of course, before freezing it is important to ensure that there are no unwanted residues on your herbs such as earth, plant debris or even insects. If your herbs come from the garden, therefore prefer to wash your herbs carefully and delicately. Then let them dry before freezing them. If you grow your herbs indoors, for example, there is no need to wash them and running a cloth over your aromatic herbs should be sufficient. If you've decided to rinse your herbs, use a paper towel to absorb the moisture well and pat them gently to dry them completely.
For freezing your herbs or herbs you will have the choice between several methods, presented below. Although once frozen, the herbs can be kept for a while , prefer to consume them within two months to prevent the herbs from losing their flavor. Storing them for too long could cause them to lose their flavor or become unpalatable, depending on the herb.
Here is a list of the different methods for freezing aromatic herbs:
Method 1: Use Whole Sprigs, Stems, or Large Leaves
For this solution, select herbs in the form of strands , among these herbs you will find thyme , parsley or rosemary. You can, however, also use bay leaves to freeze this way.
Use a baking tray or tray covered with aluminum foil.
Then arrange the sprigs of herbs on your tray or baking sheet which you then place in the freezer to let them freeze.
Then remove the herbs from the freezer and place them in airtight freezer bags. Remember to note the date and the name of the variety of grass on the bag before placing it in the freezer. The herbs will be used within two months.
Method 2: Use grated or chopped herbs
Start by grating or finely chopping your herbs before freezing them . You can choose to do this separately for each aromatic plant or to mix herbs that go well together.
Place your herbs in airtight freezer bags and remember to date and note the name of the variety on the bag.
Then put everything in the freezer and consume preferably within two months.
Method 3: Freeze herbs in ice cubes
By freezing your herbs in ice cubes you prevent your herbs from spoiling because they will be trapped in the ice cube. These ice cubes can then be used as is and added to hot preparations such as a stew or soup or while cooking another dish, this will save you time and preserve the flavor of the herbs.
Start by washing and wiping the ice cube tray(s) you are going to use, depending on how much herb you want to freeze.
Finely chop your herbs and then pour them into your ice cube tray where you will try to fill each hole to about ¼ of their maximum capacity. It's up to you whether you want to mix your herbs or not.
Then add water to your portions of herbs without necessarily filling to the brim to prevent your herbs from escaping! You can also do it differently by first pouring a little water, adding your herbs on top and then adding a little water afterwards.
Place your ice cubes in the freezer to freeze them . Once this step has been reached, you can transfer your ice cubes from the ice cube tray to an airtight freezer bag so that you can note the date and the contents on it!
Then put your ice cubes back in the freezer until you need them. Remember to always consume herbs within two months of being frozen . An ice cube of herbs corresponds to approximately 1 tablespoon of chopped herbs, this can be useful for measuring the ice cubes in your preparation.
Method 4: Freeze herbs in butter
Start by making a herb butter , this can be made with basil, thyme , rosemary , coriander or even with a mix of different herbs. You can find advice on the internet for the preparation of this butter.
Once you have your butter, start by wrapping it in aluminum foil and then placing it in an airtight freezer container with a lid on which you will note the date and the contents of the container. You can freeze small portions of herb butter just like a full wafer of butter, it's up to you. Note, however, that a larger portion necessarily takes longer to defrost. So choose the option that best suits your needs and the space you have in your freezer.
All you have to do is defrost and use your butter! You can store your herb butter for up to 12 months frozen . You can cut your slab of butter to thaw only part of it each time if you wish or thaw it all at once, it's up to you once again. For thawing, place your butter in the refrigerator, then use your butter in the days that follow.
Method 5: Freeze herbs in oil
We're going to use the ice cube method above, only this time you'll need to use a food processor to blend the herbs with a little olive oil or another less flavorful vegetable oil . Prefer to use herbs with thin leaves such as basil, coriander or parsley. Remember to dry your herbs well before blending them if they are not already. Count about a cup of fresh herbs for a ¼ cup of oil.
Start by mixing until you get a smooth paste.
Then pour the mixture of herbs and olive oil into an ice cube tray. Aim for ¾ full rather than full to avoid overflow and do not add water. Your ice cube tray can then be returned to the freezer until the preparation solidifies. You can remove your ice cubes from the mold once this stage has been reached and transfer them to an airtight freezer bag on which you can write the date and the name of the variety.
You can then use the ice cubes according to your needs to add them directly to your dishes. Consume them preferably within 3 months. Herbs blanched before freezing can be kept for up to 6 months, but keep in mind that the best thing is not to keep the herbs frozen for too long to prevent their flavor from fading!