Freezing herbs in ice cubes tray:
In this article we are going to share with you some tips and tricks about freezing herbs in ice cube trays. You may have heard of it before but never knew what exactly was the best way to do it. Nowadays there are many different ways to freeze herbs so you need not worry anymore about your frozen herb stash getting spoiled! This is one of those times when having a little bit of experience is very helpful.
How to Freeze Herbs in Ice Cubes Trays?
There are two methods of freezing herbs in ice cubes trays. One method involves placing the herbs into a freezer bag, sealing it up tightly and then putting them into an ice cube tray. The other method involves using a plastic container which holds water (like a glass jar) and then covering the top with ice cubes. The reason why we use ice cubes instead of just placing the herbs directly into the freezer bag is because ice cubes melt at a lower temperature than water. So if you put the herbs into an ice cube tray they will stay frozen longer. Another advantage of using an ice cube tray is that you don’t have to worry about keeping the lid on all the time. Just place it over your herbs and leave it open while you’re working on them!
Freezing Herbs in a Freezer Bag:
If you want to freeze herbs using a freezer bag then follow these steps:
1. Get a large sealable bag (a Ziploc bag will do)
2. Put your herbs (fresh or dried) in the bag
3. Press all the air out of the bag and seal it
4. Place the bag into an ice cube tray and fill it up with water (so that the water level is equal to that of the water in the tray)
5. Place the tray in the freezer and wait until everything is frozen
Note: You can also put the herbs directly into an ice cube tray without a bag. The advantage of using a bag instead is that you can easily take out just the right amount of herbs without having to thaw the entire bag.
6. Once the herbs are frozen store them in an air-tight container. This will prevent them from getting contaminated or dehydrated.
7. Whenever you need to use some herbs just take out as many herbs as you need and leave the rest in the freezer.
Do not forget to label the container so that you know what’s inside!
8. Replace the herbs every month.
Using this method you can freeze any kind of herbs. You can also use this method to store fresh herbs in the refrigerator. Just place them in the bag and keep them in the ‘Fridge! The same rules apply: replace the herbs every month.
Always be careful while handling frozen herbs because they may be a little wet and cause cuts on your fingers. If you happen to get some ice in with your herbs, don’t worry. This won’t affect the taste at all!
Using an Ice Cube Tray:
This method is very easy and does not require any special equipment. All you will need is a container that holds water (like a glass jar). Any size will do but the larger it is, the more herbs you can store in it. The steps are as follows:
1. Get a container that holds water (like a glass jar)
2. Fill it up with water
3. Place it in the freezer
4. Take it out of the freezer whenever you need to use herbs (leave the water in the container)
5. Place as many herbs as you need in the water
6. Place the lid of the jar on top (to prevent dust and other contaminants from getting in). The lid should be able to seal tightly so that no water can leak from it
7. Place it back in the freezer (always keeping the lid on!
So, now you know how to store your herbs for months! Just remember to keep the lid on so that the water from the melted ice doesn’t leak out. Also remember to label everything so that you always know what’s inside. Happy herb storing!
FREEZE FRESH HERBS
Saving herbs for later use can be a challenge. Many people end up throwing away moldy herbs or dehydrated herbs that have lost most of their flavor. If you grow your own herbs, preserving them so that you can use them all year round is essential to saving money and enjoying delicious meals! Here are some tips on how to freeze fresh herbs so that they are easy to access and won’t go to waste.
Things You’ll Need
Fresh herbs of your choice
A Blender (optional)
Freezer bags or ice cube trays
Freezer aisle plastic wrap (optional)
Step 1: Harvesting Herbs for the Freezer
Harvest herbs in the early morning, during the day, or just before dusk. This is because water within the plant moves to the sun for energy during the day. At night, it travels back to the roots. This causes the nutrients to become unstable and create poor flavor and color.
For maximum post-harvest freshness, pick the leaves from the stems and wash them thoroughly. Blanching (simmered in water) or using steam to cook them is not necessary, but will help to preserve their color. Immediately place them in freezer bags or onto ice cube trays without crushing or mixing the different herbs together.
Step 2: Blanching (Optional)
Blanching cleans and partly cooks herbs. It is not necessary for freezing, but is used to preserve the color and flavor of herbs. To blanch your harvested herbs, fill a large pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil. Drop the herbs into the water and let them sit in for 30 seconds.
Immediately remove them from the water and place them into a colander. Run cold water over them to prevent overheating.
Step 3: Freezing Herbs in Bags or on Trays
If you have a frost-free freezer, you can just place the herbs in the freezer bags or on the ice cube trays without blanching first. They will be ready when they are frozen. It usually takes about 2 days for them to be completely frozen.
Step 4: Using Your Frozen Herbs
To use your frozen herbs, just pull out a few from the freezer and let them thaw for a few seconds. You can then drop them into soups, stews, or sauces. If you want to add the herbs directly to a dish, such as sauteing them in oil or butter, you will need to first thaw and then finely chop them with a knife before adding them to the food.
If you have a lot of herbs to freeze, it might be more cost effective and time-saving to buy a bag of frozen herbs rather than using your own fresh herbs. This is especially true with items like basil or cilantro, which lose a lot of their flavor when frozen.
Remember to label your herbs with the name and date before storing them in your freezer. You don’t want to be digging through the freezer trying to find out if that’s oregano or thyme!
Harvesting at night will prevent wilting.
Harvesting in the morning, or just before dusk, will prevent wilting and the loss of nutrients during the day, when the water is traveling up to the leaves for photosynthesis.
Harvesting in the shade will prevent wilting and will keep a more even color, since sunlight tends to make some herbs, such as basil, a lighter green.
Cilantro and basil do not store well when frozen. It is best to use them fresh or dry them for long-term storage.
Frozen herbs are great to use all year round. They are great for adding winter flavor to your dishes.
You can grow herbs indoors all year, using the same steps listed above.
You can also preserve your fresh herbs in olive oil, which involves submerging your washed herbs into a jar of extra-virgin olive oil for about two weeks before use.
When drying herbs, make sure to keep the leaves separate from the stems. The stems can be brittle and will break when trying to remove them from the leaves.
Make sure to wash your hands before handling your herbs. This will help prevent the spread of fungal diseases, such as patch or mildew.
Make sure you are storing your herbs in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. If you are drying your herbs, make sure they are completely dry before storing them in air-tight containers, such as glass jars with lids.
Make sure you are using safe utensils, such as cutting boards, knives, and bowls when working with fresh herbs.
Do not use metal bowls or utensils when handling or washing your herbs.
Don’t use soft rubber gloves while handling or washing your herbs. The oils and juices will stain the gloves, and you might unknowingly transfer the stains to other foods, such as breads and pastas.
Don’t use galvanized metal containers or metal cans when storing or freezing herbs. The acids in the herbs will cause chemical reactions, which may make the food unsafe to consume.
Don’t store your herbs next to sugars, such as brown sugar, because the herb flavors will transfer into the sugars.
Don’t store mushrooms and herbs together in your refrigerator. Mushrooms give off a fungus that will spread to the rest of your produce, making everything inedible.
Don’t store apples, pears, or potatoes in the same container as your herbs. The ethylene gas they give off will cause your herbs to rot faster.
Don’t use dried herbs that are older than one year. The flavor diminishes over time, and the herbs could be moldy or contain insects.
Don’t use dried herbs at all in soups, as these recipes call for a large quantity of the herb. Fresh herbs are better suited for these kind of recipes.
Don’t use fresh herbs in large quantities in cooked recipes, such as stews or casseroles. The flavor will be lost during the long cooking times. Use dried herbs when using large quantities in cooked recipes.
Don’t use fresh herbs in large quantities in uncooked recipes, such as smoothies or salads. The flavor will be lost during the short preparation times. Use dried herbs when using large quantities in uncooked recipes.
Don’t use fresh herbs when they aren’t in season. They will be much more expensive than their dried counterparts, and the flavor won’t be worth it. The exception to this rule is garlic, which is much cheaper when purchased in powder form.
Don’t substitute fresh herbs with their dried or frozen counterparts. The flavor and aroma is different, and their appearance is different. If a recipe calls for fresh herbs, then use fresh herbs. If the recipe calls for dried herbs, then use dried herbs.
Don’t use dried herbs unless the recipe specifically calls for them. Dried herbs are more concentrated than their fresh counterparts. If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of fresh basil, then use ¼ tablespoon of dried basil.
Don’t skip steps when following a recipe. If the recipe says to chop the herbs before simmering, then do it before, not after.
Don’t add any extra ingredients to a recipe. Let the cook create their own recipes; you are just following the directions of this one. If you think an ingredient would improve the flavor or consistency, then mention it in the comments section at the bottom of the recipe.
Don’t be afraid to create your own recipes using the herbs and spices you have at home. Your own creations might become the next big thing, and you will be known as a celebrated chef.
These are the things that I have learned since my days of working at my parent’s restaurant. I hope this helps you in some small way. Remember, it’s not about how fast you can cook, but how well your food tastes. I still remember all the customers coming back to our restaurant just to request one item on the menu: Mom’s Special Salad Dressing.
Good luck in all your future endeavors,
To Daniel (From Stephen)
Just read your letter. I’m glad you’re doing well out in California. As for me, I’m still here at the farm, taking care of Dad since Mom died three years ago. You’d be proud of me.
I didn’t go to college and learn about herbs and plants; I just took a course on basic culinary arts. We didn’t have a restaurant or anything, but the course allowed me to get a job at our local high-end hotel.
I wish I could say I innovated amazing recipes and became well known throughout the hotel chain. Sadly, all I do it follow recipes that have been used for decades. People still think my dishes are delicious, so I keep getting promoted.
Of course, the higher you get in your career, the more responsibilities you get. I’m a head chef now, which means I have to deal with snot-nosed kids that think they’re going to be the next famous chef. You’d be surprised how arrogant and entitled some of these kids can be. I guess it comes with the territory, though.
I’m rambling now. I’ll make this short: I hope you’re doing well. Tell me more about your inn and your life out there in California.
Stephen “Spike” Lee (Yeah, I go by Spike now. It’s more fitting of a head chef.)
It really is you! I didn’t think you would respond to my letter. Let alone, respond so quickly! I was thinking you might forget about me after a few months.
Anyway, yes, it’s still me. Still working at the inn and still living at home…for now.
I just received another letter from you today. You said you hoped I was doing well, so I suppose that means you’re still wondering if I’m doing okay. Well, I suppose I’m better now that you replied to my last letter.
And yes, it really is me!
Remember how we always said we’d stay friends no matter what? Even when we were bickering with each other during our “fighting over Gwen” days?
Well, that’s why I’m still here. I may not have been there for you during the darkest time in your life, but at least I’m here now.
I’ll just say this now: Thanks for writing back to me.
Your best friend,
Keith (but everyone still calls me Bert)
It really is great to hear from you. I figured you’d be too busy to reply to my letter, let alone think about me.
How long is it going to take for you guys to finish the new wing of the hospital?
I bet that place is open twenty-four hours a day.
Anyway, I’m glad you’re doing well. Let me tell you a little bit about myself in my last letter. I mentioned a new restaurant that opened up here in California, and that’s where I’m working at now. I’m a cook there.
I mentioned the place to my mom and dad, and they both said that it sounds very expensive and that the food has to be good if I’m working there. Which it is! It’s run by a celebrity, you see, and his name is written at the top of the letter you received from me.
I’m doing well in my career. The owner is really nice to all of us who work there. We have a bunch of VIPs that come in all the time, but the owner always says hello to me when he walks by! I bet you’re jealous.
Say, do you still have that rusty old bicycle you had when we were kids?
If you do, maybe you could send it here so I could sell it and get some money to buy something nice. Or better yet, just send me some money via postal money order so I can get something myself.
Well, I have to go now. It’s late, and I still need to work tomorrow.
Say hi to everyone back home for me!
Stephen “Spike” Lee
Why does everyone still call you Bert?
I was very happy to hear back from you! Sorry it took so long for me to reply. As you might have heard, things have been a bit hectic around here lately.
I finally finished working on the new wing of the hospital. It feels good to finally be done with it. The owner was pretty happy with how it turned out, too. Now, I’m working on a private mansion that’s owned by a very eccentric guy.
I sometimes worry about the structural integrity of the building, but then I just look at how much money I’m getting paid and think that if it all falls down around me, at least I went out with a bang.
As for when you’re coming here, I hope it’s soon. I’ve saved up quite a bit of money, so maybe we can both finally take that trip to England to see Gwen. Or at least go to Paris or something. I’m still convinced that the French restaurants here are just facsimiles of the real thing.
Bert (but everyone still calls me Keith)
I threw it away a long time ago.
I got your last letter a few days ago, and I have mixed feelings about it. I’m glad that you’re finally done with that wing at the hospital. I remember how happy you were to get that project. As for the rest of it, I’m not so sure how I feel about it.
I know that we’ve talked about this before, but I’ll say it again: I don’t think you’re in any condition to travel anywhere right now, let alone across the Atlantic to Europe.
It’s been what, four years since we last saw Gwen?
I’m sure that she’ll be just as happy to see you even if it takes a little longer.
Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go to Paris, or anywhere else in Europe for that matter, but at least wait until you feel 100% again. I don’t want you going over there and getting sick all over the place. That’s bound to be a miserable experience for everyone involved.
Take care of yourself. I’ll write to you again soon.
Your “big brother”,
Keith (but you always call me Daniel)
P.S. I want that money order for $200 dollars. It’s way past time for you to pay me back.
I hope this letter finds you. I’ve been writing to you for so many years now that I think I’d get worried if I didn’t receive a letter back from you. I know that you’re probably really busy with your work as a doctor and all, but it would be nice to hear from you on a regular basis. Just to know that you’re still out there and thinking about me, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
Anyway, I have some more good news to tell you.
Remember that hospital job I mentioned in my last letter?
Well it seems that my big break has finally come through! I was called up by the new hospital owner, Mr. Ernest Jasmine. He owned a few hospitals back in his old country (I think it was Jasmine), but he just bought the local one here. He came here with his family to retire, but he soon found out that he couldn’t sit around doing nothing. That’s why he bought the hospital here.
Apparently he had been watching the hospital for a few months before buying it and he noticed how sometimes they would turn away patients who couldn’t pay. He thought that was ridiculous, especially since he knew that the local area had a lot of wealthy people in it. The only reason why the hospital was in financial trouble was due to having to treat poor people without money.
He soon got rid of all the old personnel and hired only the best doctors around. He also got a deal with some of the better medical schools in the country to send him their top graduates. The hospital is getting good attention in all the right places and it looks like it’s finally going to be the premiere hospital that this town needs.
I know I’ve been talking to you about this for a long time, but it really is great! Now we don’t have to worry about turning away patients who can’t pay. That means more money for less work. I can finally get some of that debt you’ve been paying off for me repaid!
And best of all, the hospital is so busy now, they’re accepting any and all applicants! I finally got a job as a real doctor!
Mr. Ernest Jasmine says that the old hospital was just a step above an inn. He tore most of it down and had it rebuilt. It’s really state-of-the-art now.
He even got some of the best architects and medical equipment dealers in the country! I can’t wait for you to see it! Everything is so nice and clean! And I get to work there!
Sources & references used in this article:
Herbs: preserving and using by M Bunning, D Woo, P Kendall – … ). Food and nutrition series; no. 9.335 – mountainscholar.org
Determination of the Antioxidant Capacity of Culinary Herbs Subjected to Various Cooking and Storage Processes Using the ABTS*+ Radical Cation Assay by SM Mäkinen, KK Pääkkönen – Basil, 1999 – CRC Press
Growing & using herbs successfully by M Chohan, G Forster-Wilkins, EI Opara – Plant foods for human nutrition, 2008 – Springer
Gourmet Herbs: Classic and Unusual Herbs for Your Garden and Your Table by BEM Jacobs – 2013 – books.google.com
Antioxidant properties of selected fresh and processed herbs and vegetables by B Hanson – 2001 – books.google.com
Seasoning savvy: how to cook with herbs, spices, and other flavorings by S Belsinger, AO Tucker – 2016 – Timber Press
Growing, preserving, and using herbs by EWC Chan, YP Tan, SJ Chin, LY Gan… – Free radicals and …, 2014 – phcogfirst.com