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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How to Freeze Herbs

I know I talk about my CSA nonstop during the summer, but hey, I love fresh produce!  I often get a lot of herbs every week, and sometimes I just can't use them up before they go bad.  Is it the same for you?  If so, freezing will be your best friend!  I freeze my herbs almost every week, and then use them throughout the following months.  It's best to preserve less woody herbs like cilantro, parsley, dill, basil, mint, etc. through freezing rather than drying.  The more woody herbs, although can be frozen, are sometimes best dried.

Some people like to freeze their herbs in little ice cube trays, but I think it's a pain.  First of all, I don't have any ice cube trays because thankfully I have an automatic ice cube maker.  Secondly, I find that freezing your herbs in water in a tray limits your uses for the herb.  Yes, you can throw an herby ice cube into a soup, but that's about it.  If you freeze using my method, you can just cut off frozen bits to use in cooking, but also in salads and other uncooked foods.  (This works great with dill in potato salads.)

So, let's get to it!  First you need to wash your herbs gently in cold water and leave them to dry on a paper towel.  Once they're dry, chop them roughly and put them into a freezer bag.  (I prefer Ziploc's Vacuum bags.)

Make sure to label your herbs!  After a few weeks in the freezer, the cilantro and parsley will look suspiciously alike.  Remove as much air as possible and freeze.  Whenever you need some, break off a chunk and add it to your recipe.  Some herbs' flavors will last longer than others, so storage time will vary.  I've found that cilantro only lasts a few months, but dill can last up to a year.

That's all there is to it!  How do you like to preserve your herbs?

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mzzbev June 5, 2012 at 4:17 PM  

SO needed this tip. Seems like I'm always throwing away my herbs. I never knew you could freeze them! Thanks for sharing, you're the best! :)

CJ - Food Stories June 6, 2012 at 2:34 PM  

Thx for connecting with me on foodbuzz. I just subscribed to your blog feed and can't wait to see what your next post will be!

Mindy June 6, 2012 at 9:41 PM  

@iSavortheWeekend, glad to be of service. :-)

@CJ, welcome! I hope you enjoy!

watergirl June 7, 2012 at 11:22 PM  

Is the cilantro good for fresh salsa after it is frozen?

Mindy June 8, 2012 at 8:37 AM  

@watergirl, I'm not sure. With cilantro, I've usually thrown it into cooked dishes, but it's worked well as a garnish, so maybe? I use frozen dill in salads all the time with good results. The one thing about cilantro is that it slowly loses its flavor and eventually after a few months just tastes like parsley. If you try it in salsa, let me know how it turns out! :-)

the wicked noodle June 13, 2012 at 11:56 AM  

Thanks for the great tips! I hate that my herbs are thrown away so often.

nybsbfan18 April 3, 2014 at 8:31 PM  

it doesn't taste as good if u add water to it and freeze it. i did and it had no taste. has anybody put them on a baking tray?

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Yes yes, I need these tips. I can't count how many times I wasted my herb.
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