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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tuesday Tip - Freeze Your Herbs

I love using fresh herbs when I cook. In fact I'm hoping to start growing my own herbs so that I can conviently walk out my back door, pick a few leaves and give my dinners a fresh burst of flavor. Until then, I'm stuck picking them up at the store. The thing I don't like about this, is that it's so wasteful. I use the rosemary (or thyme or cilantro or parsley) for one meal and then I'm left with the vast majority of the package and nothing to do with it. And then about a month later I find it at the bottom of my produce bin and hate that I have to throw it away. Does this sound familiar to anyone else?

Well, I think I've found a solution. Freeze your leftover herbs. It's so simple! And one would think I would have found out about this earlier since we all know I have a great affection for all things freezable. And this was actually an accidental discovery - just like so many other great accidental discoveries (penicillin, champagne ...). Anyway - on one of those very rare shopping trips in which I was child-free I was lingering over the fun frozen foods when I saw a package of frozen parsley. It came in this tray with little pop out sections that each measured out to be about 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley. Fascinated, I took it out of the swirling mist and checked it out. As I'm looking it over and reading the labels I think to myself, "I could so do this." Especially since I have tiny Martha Stewart ice trays that are just the right size.

Ok - down to the nitty-gritty how to's.

Method One:
  1. Pick the freshiest, healthiest leaves.
  2. Wash (if necessary) and pat dry.
  3. Spread the individual leaves on a small tray or cookie sheet. Freezing the leaves flat and individually will prevent them from freezing together.
  4. Cover and place the tray into the freezer.
  5. When frozen (which shouldn't take but a few hours), place in an airtight container or ziploc bag and return to the freezer.

    Method Two:
  1. Harvest the freshest, healthiest leaves.
  2. Wash (if necessary) and pat dry.
  3. Stuff 2-3 individual leaves or a spoonful of chopped herbs in ice cube trays.
  4. Fill the tray half way with water.  Make sure the leaves are down into the water.  They will tend to float, but that's ok for now.  Place the tray in the freezer.
  5. Once the ice cubes are pretty much frozen, finish filling the tray with water.  The leaves should now be completely submerged in the water.  Put them back in the freezer until frozen solid.
  6. Once the ice cubes are frozen, remove them from the tray and store in ziploc bags.

 Ta-da!  May you never waste herbs again! 


Vone said...

Love the idea. I grew my own herbs last summer but was wishing I had them all year old.

Vone said...
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