3 Ways to Freeze Fresh Herbs

Whether you have an abundance of fresh herbs in the garden that need plucking or leftover purchased herbs, there's no need to waste them. By taking the time to freeze them, you can enjoy their fresh flavors for months. Here are three ways:

Herb Preparation

Herbs with sturdy leaves freeze the best, such as basil, parsley, mint, tarragon, oregano, sage and thyme. First, gently rinse the leaves and dry well (a salad spinner works great for this). Pluck the leaves from the stems and chop, if desired. You probably want to chop bigger leaves like basil, mint and tarragon.

Hint: Consider mixing several herbs such as an Italian mix: parsley, oregano and basil.

Herb Ice Cubes

Freeze herbs with water or broth in an ice-cube tray. Fill each cube about two-thirds full with the herb, then fill close to the top with broth or water. After 24 hours, remove the cubes and store in a plastic freezer bag. Consider doing a tray of frozen mint-leaf ice cubes to add color to drinks.

Herb Compound Butters

Make your own compound butters with your fresh herbs. Simply mix the chopped herbs into a cube of softened butter in a bowl. With clean, wet hands, roll the herb-butter mixture into a cylinder and wrap in parchment paper. Take out of the freezer and slice a piece off for recipes.

Herb Oil Cubes

These handy herb-infused oil cubes work great with any recipe calling for oil and herbs. Fill ice-cube tray about two-thirds full with the herbs, then pour oil until cube is almost full. After 24 hours, remove the cubes and store in a plastic freezer bag. Most oils can be used here: olive, vegetable and even coconut.