By Orissa Mora-Kent
Health Impact News
It’s springtime again, and everything is growing like it should. Our gardens are bursting with rosemary, basil, dill, oregano and all manner of fresh, bold, aromatic and savory herbs.
It’s undeniably great to have an abundant herb garden at your fingertips, but what if you have more herbs ready for harvest than you are ready to use?
Nothing need be lost, and with a little bit of coconut oil, an ice cube tray and a freezer, you can save your lovely bouquet of herbs for later, but still enjoy the same fresh flavor you would expect the morning you picked them.
DIY: Freezing Fresh Herbs
Small sauce pan
Ice cube tray
Zip lock bags
Any selected fresh herbs growing in your garden
Selecting Fresh Herbs
Early in the morning is the time to go into your herb garden – snip here and there to make a full bouquet of fresh and fragrant greenery. You’ll probably sample a little of the fare while you’re out there, I know it’s “dill-icious,” but just make sure to keep most of it on hand since this DIY is all about how to enjoy, later.
If you don’t have an herb garden growing at home, fresh herbs from the store are fine as well. Although nothing compares to eating what you’ve grown yourself, all folks can enjoy the benefits that frozen herbs provide in the kitchen.
Let’s get preserving!
Cleaning and Stripping Your Herbs
Clean your selected herbs. Remove any damaged leaves and then strip the leaves from the stems.
Preparing Your Herbs for the Ice Cube Trays
One herb group at a time, place the leaves in a small cup and use the scissors to mince the herbs until they are finely chopped. After you’ve cut the herbs, hand craft your blends. Also, consider reserving some of the herbs for solo preservation.
I decided to mix oregano, rosemary and basil together to create a nice savory Italian trio, which will taste wonderful in recipes like homemade pasta sauce.
I reserved dill by itself, in anticipation of baking with fresh-caught fish.
Think of all the recipes you love that call for both fresh herbs and oil, and think of how you’ll be enjoying fresh herbs in your meals even after the season is over. That’s the beauty of preserving!
Filling Your Tray with Herbs and Coconut Oil
You will need one tablespoon of coconut oil per ice cube compartment (1 ice cube tray requires 16 tablespoons of coconut oil.)
Melt coconut oil in a small sauce pan on your stove top.
Fill each ice cube compartment with 1 tablespoon of herbs and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Put the prepared trays into your freezer and allow to freeze for 2 hours or until solid.
Storing Your Frozen Herb Cubes
Once the cubes are frozen, pop them out of the tray and store the cubes in zip lock bags in your freezer.
Perfectly preserved, they’re ready to infuse your next meal with vibrant flavors, and you couldn’t have picked a better oil than coconut oil for the reason, the season and the thyme. Your hand-selected spring bounty is ready for use anytime inspiration hits, voila, fresh herbs are at your fingertips!
Some Ideas for How to Use Herb Cubes
- Add to soups and stews
- Thawed out for use in salad dressings, or pesto
- Place a cube on a piece of fish before broiling
- Stick a few in with your bird before roasting
- Toss a couple in your skillet to sauté vegetables