Introduction: Freezing Fresh Herbs

Freeze your garden fresh herbs in several easy steps to freeze that summer flavor and enjoy it all year long!

Basil, Mint, Chives, and Tarragon are moisture rich herbs and consequently do not dry well. They instead can be preserved easier and faster by simply freezing the herbs. And as a fun fact, chives should really only be frozen and not dried.

You can freeze your herbs in one of two ways. Just follow this simple Instructable and you'll be freezing your herbs in no time!

Step 1: Materials

For the first method of freezing herbs, vacuum sealing, you'll need the following:
  • Fresh Herbs that Freeze Well
  • Vacuum Sealer
  • Vacuum Sealing Bags

For the second method, Herbed Ice Cubes, you'll need the following:
  • Fresh Herbs that Freeze well
  • Empty Ice Cube Tray

Step 2: Wash

For both methods you should carefully wash your herbs to remove any lingering dirt or insects. Run them under cold water or submerge them in a bowl of cool water until all of the dirt has been removed.

Dry your herbs throughly by patting with a dish towel. You may also use your salad spinner to dry your herbs.

Step 3: Method #1: Vacuum Seal

This is method #1!

For this method, you can leave the leaves on the stalks if you want, which makes for easier and faster preserving.
  1. Place your herbs in your vacuum sealing bag, taking care to spread them out in the bag. Spreading out the herbs will help keep them from becoming one giant frozen bundle.
  2. Vacuum seal it!
  3. Label it!
  4. Freeze it!
Your vacuumed sealed herbs should last for around a year in your freezer. An aesthetic note: freezing will result in a discoloration of your herbs. They should still however have all of their flavor!

Step 4: Method #2: Herbed Ice Cubes

If you don't have a vacuum sealer, you can still freeze your fresh herbs for later use, just follow the next couple of steps!
  1. First, you'll have to remove all of the leaves from your herb stems. Do this by gently plucking the leaves from each stem. If you are handling chives, chop them to the size you'd like to have for later use.
  2. Place a teaspoon of herb leaves into each cube of your ice cube tray. You can vary the amount, depending on how much you want each serving to contain, but it's nice to keep it as a consistent amount in all of the ice cubes. 
  3. Fill the ice cube tray two-thirds full of water. Your leaves will float to the top, that is okay.
  4. Freeze your cubes.
  5. Once your cubes are frozen, pull them out of the freezer. Add more water to each cube until the tray is full.
  6. Place the tray in the freezer again. This will add another layer of ice to protect your herbs that floated to the top from freezer burn.
TIP: If you use boiled water instead of regular tap water your ice cubes will freeze clear which can really let the herbs stick out! You could also freeze herbs in stock or oil, instead of water!

Step 5: Put Some Herb in It!

You now have fresh herbs preserved in ice cubes. Make sure to label them if you are making a variety of cubes.

Simply defrost when you are ready to use the herbs. You can also use herbed ice cubes in drinks and cocktails for a little added extra flair!

Enjoy your preserved summer flavors even on the darkest and coldest of winter nights!

Comments

author
SophiesFoodieFiles made it! (author)2014-10-26

I do this the same way! It really works!

author
jmc75 made it! (author)2014-03-10

Good info. I rarely have leftover herbs in my backyard garden though. As soon as there's enough basil to make pesto it's all gone. A batch of mint cubes for mojitos would be a nice touch on a hot summer day.

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