Helpful Tips For Freezing Herbs
If you cook extensively, then you have probably wondered how to go about freezing herbs so you can keep and maintain them for use at a later date. Herbs are great additions to cooking and can make any meal taste wonderful, which is why we love to have an ample supply at all times in our kitchen. Freezing herbs can help accomplish that and make sure that you have a fresh supply for all your culinary needs. This article will discuss freezing these delicious additives and will show you to how to do this efficiently and effectively.
For starters, we should discuss what herbs you can freeze and which ones you should dry. All herbs will eventually lose their flavor over time. This is pretty much a given fact. And while you can use old herbs, they will not have the same amount of taste or freshness to them that they did when you first obtained them. For this reason, people seek to treat them in order to make their flavor last as long as possible.
Drying out herbs is one way to keep that flavor intact. This usually involves laying the herbs out and letting them naturally air-dry, which seals in the flavor. However, drying herbs only works on certain ones. Those with low water content, like oregano, are good candidates for drying. But when you attempt to dry out those with lots of water in them (relatively speaking), the herbs you use can get moldy. Thus freezing herbs is the recommended way to go.
What are some good herbs to freeze? Popular examples include basil, mint, lemongrass, chives, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, and sage. These should be frozen because freezing them locks in the water, which keeps the herb from being moldy and inedible. Plus, freezing herbs such as these means you can use them in the same proportions as you could before (in contrast to dried herbs, which are generally more concentrated than how they are originally).
To freeze your herbs, you should first make sure they are clean by washing and drying them. Then, set them on a pan and stick them in the freezer. For many herbs, this is the only step you will have to take. For other, thin herbs, such as lemongrass, chives, and parsley, you will want to chop them before freezing, since they will freeze rather quickly. It is typically recommended, though, to pre-chop every herb you freeze into whatever size you want it to be before putting it in the freezer.
Once they are frozen, you should put them in plastic bags or plastic containers that have been properly labeled. I recommend plastic bags because you can take the air out of them, which helps keep in that much-desired freshness in your herbs. After they have been frozen, you can use them as needed without having to waste time and thaw them out – quite convenient for cooking! You can also freeze these herbs in ice cubes. All you do is put diced pieces of your herb in ice-cube trays and freeze them. You can then use these herbs in drinks or soup just by dropping them in.
At zero degrees Fahrenheit, frozen herbs can last up to a year. Plus, their flavor will be just as potent when you use them as it was when they were fresh. Not to mention, this method is quicker and easier than drying because you do not have to wait very long for the herbs to be properly stored. And, if you live far away from fresh produce, freezing herbs can give you great-tasting food all year round. In conclusion, if storing herbs is something you are interested in, give freezing them a shot.