My previous post was all about my favorite healing herbs I grow at home. With summer running at its end and fall closing in I’m going to share my favorite ways of preserving fresh homegrown herbs to enjoy them a few months longer.
Although many gardeners or herb growers dry their herbs, I prefer to freeze them as they taste more like the real fresh stuff and can be stored for months without getting moldy.
Here are some tips and suggestions on how to preserve fresh herbs for you to try.
1. Freeze Entire Sprigs
I use this method for herbs such as parsley, rosemary, or thyme where you use stem and leaves. Harvest entire sprigs, wash and pat dry with paper towel. Put entire sprigs in a Ziploc bag (or between wax paper) in one single layer, suck out the air. Seal and freeze. When you want to use them, cut off a piece and chop it up.
2. Freeze Leaves Only
Harvest the fresh leaves, wash and pat dry. Spread the leaves in one single layer on a small tray or wax paper. Cover and freeze. When frozen solid, place in airtight container or Ziploc bag. The leaves will not form one big lump if they are first frozen individually and then put together in a container or bag.
3. Make Ice Cubes
Harvest fresh leaves. Wash and pat dry. Chop herbs and tightly pack them in an ice cube tray. Slowly fill with water and place them in the freezer. When frozen, remove from the tray and store in a container or Ziploc bag. To use: just throw the whole ice cube into your stew, soup, sauce, smoothie or any other dish.
4. Make Oily Cubes
Harvest the fresh leaves, wash and pat dry. Mix about 1/3 cup of oil (olive oil works great) with 2 cups of chopped herbs. Or puree in a food processor. Pour into an ice cube tray and freeze until solid. Pop them out and store in a container or Ziploc bag. To use: just throw the whole cube into your stew, soups, or sauces. They are also great as a spread on toast or crackers.
Made this with rosemary and coconut oil (see below)
5. Make A Herb Log (works great with parsley or chives)
Harvest the fresh leaves, wash and pat dry. Tightly pack a lot of leaflets in a freezer bag. Compress herb mass in a firm log-like shape at the bottom of the bag. Squeeze out the air and secure with an elastic band and freeze. To use: cut off a disc from one end and return the rest back to the freezer.
These frozen herbs can be used in most dishes, but keep in mind frozen herbs can be limp and don’t look great as a garnish. So for winter salads, mix the frozen herbs in your dressing instead of using them as a garnish.
Thanks for reading. I hope this information was helpful. Until next time!
Crazy cat lady, life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach.