Freeze herbs in oil, butter or broth

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I have been freezing herbs for years (ever since I started growing them in pots…you can save TONS of money when you grow them yourself!) but I’ve always frozen them on cookie sheets or in ice-cube trays in water. The other day I read on the Huffington Post, a great article on freezing them in oils, which helps them from browning or getting freezer-burn so I tried it and got excellent results.

This is a great way to use up herbs you grow or buy in the grocery store, especially the ones you buy because they can be expensive and you typically don’t use all of them in a single recipe. Freezing them saves you money because if you don’t use them up, you’ll end up throwing them away. And it saves you time because you can simply pop out a cube and add it to your dish. You can use these frozen herb cubes all year-long in dishes like stews, soups, gravies, sauces, roasts, potato dishes and roasted chickens. Use the tougher, hard herbs like rosemary, sage, oregano or thyme…herbs that you would typically cook in a dish instead of adding after cooking, like basil or dill. I also experimented with freezing some of the herbs in unsalted, melted butter and beef broth (you could do chicken broth too) and again, got excellent results. Here’s how to do it…very easy!

Use fresh herbs from your garden or grocery store. You want to freeze them before they go bad (just like anything you freeze!)

Chop the herbs or use whole leaves or sprigs. I prefer cutting my herbs up with scissors because it seems like I bruise them less.

Pack the wells of your ice-cube tray about 2/3 full. I really like the ice-cube trays you can pick up at the Dollar Tree (2 for $1.00). I have been using the trays I bought there for over a year and they are tough and haven’t cracked.

You can freeze individual herbs or mix them up…think about what kind of recipes you’ll use them in.

Pour extra virgin olive oil (or really any oil you cook with), unsalted, melted butter or chicken or beef broth in over the herbs.

Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.

Remove the cubes and put in freezer bags or containers…make sure you label and date the bags. (It’s hard to tell what’s what after freezing!)

Here’s a few other things I tried...

I love parsley, sage and rosemary and have tons of all three so I decided to freeze them together with unsalted, melted butter.

I will add these cubes in chicken I cook in the crock pot, in fresh sautéed green beans, and in roasts (just to name a few dishes.)

I have two pots of tarragon (I forgot I had already bought one and then bought another) so I have an abundance of this herb. Tarragon (just fyi) has hints of licorice, mint, pine and pepper and has a slightly bittersweet taste. It’s a perennial and loves hot, sunny spots and doesn’t require a lot of water. Most garden pests dislike the scent and taste of tarragon so it’s great to mix up with other plants to keep the pests away. I like to use it in chicken, fish, egg dishes and I really like it with white beans. It’s also the main component of béarnaise sauce.

I decided to freeze my tarragon in beef broth for when I cook white beans…it makes a healthy, low fat way to cook them and adds great flavor.

I’ll also add these cubes to white bean chili. Had I frozen the tarragon in chicken broth, it would be great in any chicken recipe.

*Remember to label your bags with which herb you froze because it can be difficult to tell them apart after freezing…especially if you freeze them in tray with just water….trust me, I learned this by experience!

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