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FREEZING HERBS


In the height of summer, gardens are brimming with herbs, many of which are in full bloom and ready for harvest. One simple approach to save the wealth of the summer for later is to dry these herbs in bunches or placed flat on screens during the season when many leaves and blooms are at their strongest. Herbs can be frozen so you can preserve their freshness even longer, enhancing the variety and interest of your harvest.



Herbs frozen Sage, thyme, rosemary, and other whole herbs with woody stems can all be frozen in their natural state. To save space, place a few sprigs inside a baggie and freeze them for an entire night. The next day, rub the leaves off the stems and add the stems back to the bag. If you'd like, you can leave them on the stem instead. When you're ready to use them, add frozen herbs to recipes that call for fresh ones. Herbs should be kept frozen until then.



fresh garden herbs including thyme, basil, rosemary, and bay are being frozen.


Sadly, if you attempt to freeze whole milder herbs like basil and mint, they will turn black and sloppy; however, chives are an exception. You can chop and freeze chives for later use. Simply cut the stems into segments, place the segments in a container in the freezer, and the stems will maintain their tubular shape. Using a little olive oil, as explained below, is helpful for herbs other than chives.



Oil-Based Leaf Preserving

It's simple to add flavor to soups and stews or other recipes that call for a little olive oil and fresh, delicious herbs by freezing olive oil in an ice cube tray with savory herbs floating in it. Chop your preferred herbs coarsely, then sprinkle a little amount of them into each well of an ice cube tray. Olive oil should be added to the tray and frozen.



..herb fresh from the garden frozen in oil


After frozen, you can either keep the oil and herb cubes in the tray or move them to a baggie or other freezer storage container until you need them.


Make a herbal paste.



Another way to use olive oil is to make a paste by combining some oil with your herbs. Making herbal pastes is so easy, which is why we at the Academy adore it. One of the Ebooks in The Herbarium mentions this procedure, and we revisit this classy technique in our article, Herb Paste: An Easy Way to Preserve Fresh Herbs.


Using Herb Paste to Preserve Fresh Herbs


Herbs plus a little bit of olive oil can be blended or processed to create tasty herb pastes. Use herbs with softer leaves and stems, such as basil, chives, or dill, rather than ones with woody stems or needles when making this recipe. Transfer the herbs to a cookie sheet or baking pan that has been lined with wax paper after processing them until they resemble paste. Place the pan in the freezer until the paste solidifies, then use a knife to score the paste so it will be simple to break apart later. The paste should be broken up and kept in an airtight freezer-safe container or zip-top bag after it has frozen.


Herb paste can be defrosted and used as a seasoning on meat or bread, in soups, to season grains like quinoa and rice, or even to add flavor to hummus.


See this post for the complete lesson.



make ice cubes with herbs and flowers

And, don't overlook the herbal ice cubes. You can freeze any herbal infusion or decoction into ice cube trays to serve as a garnish for summery drinks. Nasturtiums, an edible flower, offer a lovely touch. Freezing potent infusions of peppermint, lemon balm, or other summertime herbs adds a unique flavor to iced beverages with flavored ice cubes. With this delectable Hibiscus-Clove Cooler, consider using hibiscus ice cubes.


Freezing herbal brews


Herbs like comfrey, rose, and calendula that are useful for treating insect bites and sunburns can also be stored in this manner. Simply delve into the freezer for an immediate remedy whenever you need some natural first aid.



Herbs preserved through freezing: oregano ice cubes


This method can also be applied to juice created from fresh herbs like chickweed, cleavers, or whatever plants you want.

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