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Herb hack

Tracy shows how to store fresh herbs


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Fresh herbs are great to cook with because they add brightness to a variety of recipes. But sometimes you don't need the entire bunch, so then what? An easy way to store your favorite herbs for use throughout the year is to freeze them.

Always start by rinsing and drying the herbs. Next, chop them into smaller pieces, place in ice cube trays and fill each cube with broth or olive oil. Using broth or oil will help keep your herbs from turning brown during storage. To determine which liquid to choose, consider how you'll use the herbs later. For example, if you think you'll toss them into a soup or stew, use broth. if you plan to roast chicken or vegetables, go with olive oil. (Tip: I prefer using a lighter olive oil. Its subtle flavors won't overpower the herbs and will provide more flexibility for cooking with them later.)

Keep in mind that freezing as a storage method works best for heartier herbs you plan to cook with, such as sage, oregano or thyme. Herbs like basil or mint that you typically don't use in cooked dishes are best used fresh.

Frozen herbs will last up to 10 months in the freezer. One last tip: After freezing the cubes, I pop them out of the tray and put them in individual plastic bags, label and date them, and pop them back in the freezer. That way I always know what herbs I have and how quickly to use them.


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