Freeze herbs at any time in your kitchen. You can find ingredients in your cabinets and they often get haphazardly added to recipes and culinary creations. Interestingly, there are many health benefits of herbs and spices, not to mention they improve the taste of so many foods. The problem is, most herbs and spices lose their nutritional value as they get stored for a long time.
We recommend growing them yourself whenever possible, but whenever you have a surplus of herbs you can easily preserve them by freezing them in oil. Frozen herbs retain their taste, smell, and most importantly their nutritional benefits, so you can freeze a surplus of herbs throughout the harvesting season to enjoy later. The oil, on the other hand, helps in the extraction of oil soluble components from the herbs, which makes these compounds easier to absorb by our digestive system.
Given this use, the oil-and-freezer method of preservation works best with the tougher hard herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme, and oregano. These are all herbs that would probably be cooked when added to a dish.
Steps for Freezing Herbs in Oil
- Start by picking firm, fresh herbs from your garden or from the market if you don’t have a garden.
- You can choose how you want them. You can chop them fine or leave them in larger sprigs and leaves. Then mix them up by leaving some as a whole and some chopped fine.
- Next is packing the wells of the ice cube trays up to 2/3 with the herbs.
- You can also mix up few different types of herbs in the trays. You can put some whole and some chopped and you can mix them by type of herbs or by their use in the future. For example, you can combine a bouquet garni of rosemary, sage and thyme to add to winter roast chickens and potatoes.
- After that, pour extra-virgin olive oil or melted unsalted butter on top of them.
- Cover the tray with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.
- In the morning, remove the frozen cubes and store them in freezer containers or small bags.
- The last step is to label the container or bags by the type of herb or oil inside.
By freezing the herbs you are preserving a medicine for your body and mind.
Here are the health benefits and uses of 4 herbs for which this preservation method works the best.