How to Preserve your Herb for Freshness All Year!

Extra herbs? Not sure what to do with them all and wish you could enjoy the flavor of the season all year round? Here’s how to make that basil or oregano last all year round!

I have really been enjoying all the fresh herbs I am growing this year!  It is so nice to just walk out my back door each day and snip off some fresh basil, thyme, oregano, dill, or rosemary!  Not to mention how much cheaper it is!  Last year I was lazy and let most of my basil die because I had so much and I didn’t know what to do with it.  This year, I am being proactive and preserving my herbs throughout the season while they will still grow back…now I can enjoy them all winter long!

Herbs have tremendous healing and nutritional benefits…and no I’m not just talking about the dried herbs tucked away in the back of your cabinet for the last 5 years…I’m talking about fresh herbs used right after they are picked at their peak nutritional value.  Dried herbs do have benefits as well, but often they get stale and lose potency, which is why I prefer fresh if I can.  Herbs have been used for 100’s of years in ancient medicine.  They are loaded with phytochemicals, anti-inflammatory factors, antioxidants (such as vitamins C and A), flavonoids, and essential minerals for optimal cellular function!

Herbs have many powerful disease-preventing factors and health-promoting abilities…and you thought they were just for flavor!!  Not only is it important to grow and eat them during the summer months, but to learn how to preserve their power for maximum nutrition all year long!

Here’s how I simply lock in the herb-alicious goodness for the months to come!

 

Step 1: Abundance of Herb (in this case, basil)
Step 2: Pick herb leaves or cut the stem but do not rip out the root

 

Step 3: Separate any stems from the leaves and discard the stems.  Wash the leaves and drain excess water
Step 4: Place herb leaves into a food processor and pulse until chopped (do not pulse too long to liquefy).  You can also roughly chop by hand, there’s no size requirement
Step 5: Using an ice cube tray, equally fill each compartment with the chopped herb.  Place a small amount of water (or olive oil) into each cube to just cover the top of the herbs 
Step 6: Place in freezer for 24 hours until solid. 
Once frozen, pop out the cute little herb cubes
Step 7: Place cubes in an airtight container or bag.  I prefer to vacuum-seal the cubes to prevent any freezer-burn.  If you don’t have a vacuum-sealer no worries, just get as much air out as possible before returning to freezer!

Step 8: When you are ready to use the herbs simply remove from freezer and let thaw or add directly to a dish while it is cooking for a quick thaw (I do not recommend microwaving to thaw…personal opinion)

Other ideas: Make an “Herb Blend” by combining a variety of herbs for quick flavor to any dish! 
Example: Italian Herb Blend with Basil, Oregano, and Thyme, or a Roasted Vegetable Blend with Rosemary and Thyme

I hope this helps you enjoy your herbs all year long!  If you are not growing your own I encourage you to!  It is so much cheaper, healthier, and it is beyond easy to do even if you have limited space!  Enjoy!

 

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