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August 13, 2013

on August 13, 2012
Bowl of Basil

Bowl of Basil

Yesterday I harvested basil. It was well past time, my little container garden has been growing, even with all the neglect they’ve received these past few weeks.  I wasn’t sure how to preserve so much basil – I had a huge colander harvested and cut – other than in pesto.  I really didn’t want to make that much pesto, even if it was the easiest way.

Hello Google.  I found this site that showed two different ways to freeze basil.  I had so many leaves that I figured I’d try both methods.  Couldn’t hurt.

The first is by chopping up the basil and putting it into ice cube trays and then freezing with water.  It was suggested to put enough water to cover most of the basil. Though the basil would float, the water would “trap” the bits, and then once that was frozen, you add more on top, to seal all the freshness in.

Thanks to all the baby food making, I had a few spare ice cube trays I could do this with.

Chopped basil in tray

Chopped basil in tray

Frozen basil cubes

Frozen basil cubes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had enough leaves to do two ice cube trays of chopped basil.

Then I tried the second method, which is freezing whole leaves in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  My edged cookie sheets are a bit worse the wear, so I lined it with wax paper before putting the basil leaves down.  They froze quickly, in maybe 20 minutes, and were easy enough to pluck from the sheet and put in a bag.

Cookie tray with basil leaves

Cookie tray with basil leaves

Frozen basil leaves

Frozen basil leaves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I now have two bags of basil in the freezer.  I’m not sure which method is the best, I’ll be trying both versions in a few weeks, once my plants stop producing.  It looks like each will have it’s pluses, the whole leaves can be rolled, when defrosted, into chiffonade, the chopped, added to soups and sauces, even in the cube form, there’s so little water to dilute the food, and that will have some basil essence thanks to the cut edges.

I love fresh basil, and hope that these two methods will keep me in fresh herbs all winter!

I wonder if either method would work for mint?

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7 responses to “August 13, 2013

  1. Kat says:

    Wow…thanks. Just talked with Nina yesterday about freezing herbs. She suggested the ice tray method. I’m saving site for when we DO start an herb garden….probably next year. :-) I don’t think about freezing such items. (shows you what I know)

    • lisasff says:

      Huh, we must be on the same wavelength! When I moved the cubes over to a bag, they smelled so good! Container gardens are so fun, you can do them in even the smallest of spaces. My basil is in pots. I never seem to do well with them in the actual garden.

    • lisasff says:

      Huh, we must be on the same wavelength! When I moved the cubes over to a bag, they smelled so good! Container gardens are so fun, you can do them in even the smallest of spaces. My basil is in pots. I never seem to do well with them in the actual garden.

      I’m so used to freezing stuff. Baby food is a great thing to freeze, and then defrost as you need. I live out of my freezer :D

      • Kat says:

        The containers will probably be what we do. I DO NOT have a green thumb. My dad could grow sticks, but me, I kill everything. LOL Looking forward to trying it though. Won’t know until I do.

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