Thursday, August 25, 2011

Got Herbs? Freeze them!

Not the kind of herb you're thinking about, peeps, garden herbs!  I love nothing more than having fresh herbs that I can run outside to and pick when I'm whipping up dinner.  I feel a bit wasteful though when I have huge bushes of basil that look like this:
I felt saddened that I can't have this year round for those dreadful winter months that lack fresh herbs and seasonings.  Thanks to google, I discovered a way to preserve some of these babies.

Here's how I'll be enjoying my fresh basil, mint, and parsley all year long.

Step 1: Pick and Wash

Really, there's no explanation needed here.  Pick your herbs, rinse them off well and pat them dry with paper towels.

Step 2: Chop and Drop

For basil- toss into a food processor, and add a little bit of Olive Oil until the basil has all been chopped and has a slightly liquid consistency.

Other herbs (like parsley and mint) don't need the Olive Oil.  This just helps the basil to retain it's beautiful color better and to avoid browning.

With mint and parsley you have the option of chopping the herbs down (either by hand with a knife) or in the food processor, or you can keep them whole.

Spoon or place your herbs into ice cube trays until about 3/4 of the way full.  The basil/ olive oil is ready at this point and can be scooped right into the trays. 
sneaky little hand in there

I opted to put my mint leaves in whole.

For the other herbs (aside from basil), finish filling up each tray with water. 

Step 3: Freeze 'em

Place the trays in a freezer until the ice cubes have solidified.

mmmm... butterfinger...

Step 4:  Bag 'em

Twist the cubes out of the trays (you know, the old fashioned way we all did it before ice makers in the freezer???) and place them into freezer zip loc bags.

Step 5: Use 'em

This is the most important step!  Don't forget to use these bad boys!  Whenever you're using a recipe that calls for fresh herbs, pull out an ice cube at a time and toss it in your pasta or casserole.  The mint cubes can be dropped right into a tall glass or lemonade or iced tea.  I did this last year with my basil and can't tell you how fabulous it was to have year round.  I'm stoked to try it out with mint and parsley this year also.

Enjoy those herbs, people (the legal kinds of course... )




P.S.  I am officially insane.  My first dining room table wasn't enough fun for me, so I decided to do another one.  She's finished now, but I am only going to tease you with the before pic...

Stay tuned...


  1. Thank you for this great idea! I'm going to pick some herbs this weekend and give this a try! Can't wait to see that table :)

  2. Thanks for the info! Also, just a little tip that you are supposed to pinch of the top of the basil where the flowers grow. Apparently it can make basil bitter and it helps prolong the life of the plant. I learned that my second year of gardening and wanted to pass that along!

  3. Great idea! I always end up throwing herbs away because they go bad.
    Can't wait to see your table. I actually have 3 tables in my house right now, the one we use, an oak table I am almost done with, a table that I bought really just for the chairs, and next week a 4th table that ended up being a Henredon. The 4th one, I am really excited about, it needs to be refinished but it is really nice as are the chairs. The table I bought just for the chairs has the same oval shape but the legs are square and much more ornate. I am trying to figure out what to do with it. One thought is to paint the whole thing, the other is to refinish the top and then paint.. Can't wait to see yours!
    P.S. I need a sander like yours, mine is just too whimpy!

  4. Well, when you have a fantastic success like your first table why not do another?? I would if I were you!! :)

    Super idea for the herbs!! I was just in the garden today looking at our huge basil plant. I'm going to do this next week!! Thank you!!

  5. My mom was having really bad digestion problems and started putting ginger and basil in her food. She's doing a lot better now. The power of herbs.

    -Zane of ontario honey


I can't wait to hear from you! If you have any detailed questions, please feel free to email me- Thanks!