Freezing Herbs

My husband and I have no shame in admitting that we both have black thumbs. So naturally, I do not grow my own herbs. Maybe 17 years from now when we own a house I’ll attempt it. Or maybe my future children (no mothers this is not a hint) will be blessed with the green thumb of my grandfather, my parents, and mother-in-law. Even if you can successfully grow your own herbs, this tutorial will help you during the winters when your plants are in hibernation yet you still want that freshness.

I try my best to plan my weekly menu to generate as little food waste as possible, but even still, the herbs go bad before I get the chance to use the entire bunch. I can’t even successfully keep them thriving in a glass of water! I’ve tried wrapping them in damp paper towels in the fridge because I read to do that somewhere on the internet (and they can’t put anything on the internet that isn’t true). Yea, I couldn’t do that either.

Here’s what you’ll need: An ice cube tray! (Well, you need a freezer too…)

Here’s what you’ll do: Chop up your herbs. Pack them into an ice cube tray. Boil water. Pour over herbs. Freeze. Remove into freezer bag. Each ice cube yields about 1 tbsp fresh herbs. When you want to use them, simply pull out a cube and toss into your dish!

This quick how-to method works for soft leafed herbs (i.e.: basil, cilantro, mint, parsley).


Note: These herbs are now for cooking. I haven’t tried letting the ice cube melt to see what the delicate leaves will look like. If you try it out before I do, let me know if you can still garnish your dish with previously frozen herbs!

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6 thoughts on “Freezing Herbs

  1. Rebecca Salomon July 17, 2013 at 4:54 pm Reply

    Great ideas!

  2. Eugene Foss July 18, 2013 at 2:01 pm Reply

    Why do you boil the water first?

    • lk529 July 18, 2013 at 2:29 pm Reply

      If you boil water, it will result in a clean, clear ice cube. something about the gas molecules in the warmer water, but you could (and I like to) think of it as sterilizing the water too. Boiling water is just a habit I’ve gotten into when making ice cubes, but for all intents and purposes of preserving herbs, you could skip that step. :)

  3. ru4mj12 (@ru4mj12) July 20, 2013 at 5:08 pm Reply

    I’ve placed basil and parsley in the freezer with no issues, but whenever I’ve tried cilantro it never works. I’ll try again, this time using water!

    • lk529 July 20, 2013 at 5:38 pm Reply

      This example was done with cilantro :) good luck!

  4. jason July 21, 2013 at 4:56 pm Reply

    Another method that works is that instead of water use Olive Oil. No need to boil the water and most of the recipes I have already call for olive oil.

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