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How To Freeze Fresh Herbs & Prevent Food Waste

by gwcmag


Prevent food waste, with this easy guide on how to freeze fresh herbs, so that your herbs never shrivel up in the fridge again.

We’ve all been there. That recipe that you’ve been wanting to try for ages calls for a smidgen of parsley, yet your local shop only sells a huge bunch of the stuff. Despite telling yourself, yes, I will add that parsley to every meal, ultimately, the bunch of parsley shrivels up in the fridge, much like your initial good intentions.

You can tell yourself that yes, I will use up all my herbs the next time round. Or you can cut food waste and your cooking costs by learning how to preserve herbs.

Drying fresh herbs, such as mint or lemon balm, is one way to extend the life of our herbs. However, when you want the taste of fresh herbs in your cooking but don’t need a huge bunch of herbs, then one incredibly easy way to do this whilst cutting food waste is to use frozen herbs.

There are tons of advice of conflicting advice on the best way to freeze fresh herbs. From the incredibly involved, such as blanching them in boiling water and then freezing them. To the less involved chopping them and sealing them in freezer bags.

Over the years I’ve tried a bunch of different methods, and hands down, in terms of ease of preparation, ease of use and maximum flavour, freezing herbs in oil olive wins hands down every time.

How To Freeze Fresh Herbs In Olive Oil

Your initial instinct may be to freeze fresh herbs in water. I personally wouldn’t recommend freezing your herbs in water. This is because using oil, such as olive oil, helps to preserve the flavour of the herbs as they freeze. The oil becomes infused with the taste of the herbs, making the cubes incredibly flavourful in a way that water doesn’t.

Thankfully it’s not difficult to freeze fresh herbs. Here’s the full technique and everything you need to know:

You Will Need

  • The herbs you wish to freeze. You can freeze most herbs, including thyme, basil, rosemary, parsley and more.
  • An empty ice-cube tray (use your existing plastic one, or if you need a new one this metal ice-cube tray* offers a great plastic-free option)
  • Olive oil (or your preferred cooking oil)
  • A knife

Method For Freezing Fresh Herbs

  • First, wash and thoroughly dry the herbs you wish to freeze.
  • Next, chop or mince your herbs into the size you prefer to use in your cooking – removing any thick woody stalks or stems that herbs such as rosemary tend to have.
  • Take your ice-cube tray, and add a teaspoon of herbs per compartment. You can add more herbs per compartment, but I find adding a teaspoon of herbs helps with portion control when it comes to adding the herbs to your cooking.
  • Now pour a little oil over the herbs. Just enough oil to cover them is enough – you don’t need to fill the whole compartment with oil.
  • Lastly, pop the herb-filled trays into the freezer. Once frozen solid, remove the cubes and store your herb cubes in a freezer-safe container for up to 6 months. I’d recommend labelling the container so that in a few months’ time you know exactly what is inside the container!

How To Use Frozen Herbs In Your Cooking

Close up of herbs in ice-cube tray

When it comes to cooking, it couldn’t be easier to use the herbs which have been in the deep freeze. To use your herbs in your cooking, simply take a cube or two, or the required amount of herbs, and pop it straight into your pot, pan, or oven dish. There’s no need to defrost the cubes before use.

I wouldn’t plan on using frozen herbs in salads or as garnishes. When defrosted, the herbs do go mushy. Save your cubes of herbs for your favourite soups, stews and sauces.

Need a printer-friendly version? Here you go:

freezing herbs in oil

How To Freeze Fresh Herbs In Olive Oil

Prevent food waste and save money, with this easy guide on how to freeze fresh herbs.

  • 1
    bunch
    fresh herbs
  • 1
    bottle
    olive oil or cooking oil of your choice
  1. Wash and thoroughly dry the herbs you wish to freeze.

  2. Chop or mince your herbs into the size you prefer to use in your cooking – removing any thick woody stalks or stems that herbs such as rosemary tend to have.

  3. Take your ice-cube tray, and add a teaspoon of herbs per compartment. You can add more herbs per compartment, but I find adding a teaspoon of herbs helps with portion control when it comes to adding the herbs to your cooking.

  4. Pour a little oil over the herbs. Just enough oil to cover them is enough – you don’t need to fill the whole compartment with oil.

  5. Pop the herb-filled trays into the freezer.

  6. Once frozen solid, remove the cubes and store your herb cubes in a freezer-safe container for up to 6 months. I’d recommend labelling the container so that in a few months’ time you know exactly what is inside the container!



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