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How to Freeze Fresh Herbs


Some herbs, like oregano, rosemary and thyme, are best dried to preserve them for later use. However, some herbs, like basil, dill, parsley, coriander and chives, for example, are best used fresh, or frozen to use later in the year. 

Learning how to freeze fresh herbs will potentially give you the opportunity to enjoy your summer favourites throughout the whole of the year.  It can also allow you to make sure that no fresh herbs you purchase or grow yourself go to waste.


Freezing Fresh Herbs in Water

You can freeze fresh herbs in water to make sure that they come out of the freezer with their properties intact and tasting good, to be used in a range of recipes. 

The best way to do this is to cram the cubes in an ice cube tray with whichever fresh herb you wish to preserve by freezing rather than by drying, then gently pour a little water over the top to fill the space. 

Each cube can then be used individually in the recipes for which the herbs are required, using the same quantity of the herb as when using it fresh. Think about how much of a certain herb you might use in recipes, and freeze it in the right quantities within the ice cube tray. 

If you want to make a lot of herb cubes, you might wish to transfer the cubes out of an ice cube tray and place them into a sealed container to store in the freezer. This will also ensure that water does not evaporate from the cubes over time. 

In most recipes, the little extra bit of water surrounding the herbs won't make too much of a difference. However, in some cases, you may prefer to freeze fresh herbs in oil instead.


Freezing Fresh Herbs in Oil

Basil and other similar herbs can also work well when chopped finely and added to ice cube trays in olive oil. Make sure that the olive oil covers the surface of the herbs.

This method can also be used to freeze small amounts of pesto that can easily be added to recipes when required. The herbs may change colour somewhat as they are frozen (though when blanched briefly, basil will remain green). But the flavour will still be as good as using fresh. 

When freezing pesto, it is best to add a little more oil over the surface of the pesto within each ice cube space. 

Again, you can if you wish transfer the cubes of herbs in oil, or pesto, to a sealed container so that you can refill your ice cube tray with different herbs, or use it for typical water ice cubes once you have dealt with your herb harvest. 

Whichever method you choose to freeze your fresh herbs, remember that you should only use herbs that are at the peak of freshness and as healthy as possible. Pick your very best herbs at the peak time in summer so that you can enjoy them through the rest of the year.



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