The first step in freezing herbs is to dry them thoroughly. Then, wash and dry them again before freezing. Once the spices are dehydrated, they can be frozen whole or chopped. For best results, store frozen herbs in a refrigerator.
To freeze whole herbs, you should use paper towels or a filter. Follow these steps to freeze herbs successfully. Then, you can use them in your favourite dishes without wasting them. A filter is beneficial if you want to use it soon after freezing.
What are Herbs?
Herbs, which can be used fresh or dried, are the leafy parts of plants used in cooking. Any additional plant material, typically dried, is referred to as a spice. These include, for instance, roots (turmeric), barks (cinnamon), berries (peppercorns), seeds (cumin), flowers (chamomile), buds (cloves), and flower stigmas (saffron).
Whether a meal or beverage is sweet or savoury, herbs are a terrific way to enhance flavour and colour without adding fat, salt, or sweeteners. They often contain unique health-improving qualities, taste, and colour.
Fresh herbs typically have a delicate flavour, so if you’re cooking with them, add them before serving. You can determine if you’ve added enough flavour by tasting your food as you go. If not enough herbs are used, the dish’s flavour won’t change much, but if too many are, their flavour will overshadow other ingredients.
How to Freeze Herbs?
Cut the Thick Stems from the Herbs
Most herb varieties have thorny stems, which you should never slice up and freeze. Therefore, remove the leaves from the stems before chopping them (parsley is an exception; you may use the sensitive, thin parsley stems closest to the leaves).
Slice Your Herbs Very Thinly
When your herbs are chopped, they become a rough, almost-paste that is easier to utilize when frozen. Just a knife will do for modest amounts of spices. If you have a lot of herbs, you can pulse-chop them in a food processor to make a fine powder. The oil will help keep the flavour of the herbs as they freeze and will also melt more quickly than plain water if you use a food processor. If you are using olive oil, add two teaspoons.
Place Your Herbs in a Freezer Bag or an Ice Cube Tray
Choose from freezing your herbs in ice cube trays or keeping them flat in freezer bags so they form a thin “brick” that you can cut off pieces of whenever you please. For the ice cube tray approach, measure out spoonfuls of your chopped herbs and press them into the trays. If you haven’t already added oil to the spices in the food processor, top off each “cube” with a thin layer of fat. Transfer the cubes to a freezer bag once wholly frozen to facilitate long-term preservation.
If you’re using the freezer bag approach, put your large quantity of finely chopped herbs in a zip-top freezer bag and, if you haven’t already, two tablespoons of oil. When pressing the spices into an even, flat layer, ensure to eliminate any extra air before sealing the bag nearly all the way.
Use Your Frozen Herbs
If you use this technique and freeze any additional herbs, you’ll have an extensive collection of herbs in your freezer within a few weeks that are ready to be added to soups, sauces, stews, and even pasta dishes. But making a creamy Green Goddess dressing to serve over a grain bowl stuffed with vegetables is my all-time favourite way to use all those herbs.
What are the Herbs that Can Freeze Well?
- The ideal technique to enhance the flavour and scent of your cuisine is with herbs, which can be used precisely like fresh ones when frozen!
- Herbs, including cilantro, chives, dill, lemon balm, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage, and tarragon, can all be frozen.
- Change the amounts used while experimenting with different herbs and combinations until you find the one that works best for you. If that doesn’t work, try a different kind of herb.
- Parsley, rosemary, and sage are my three favourite herb mixtures to freeze.
What are the Health Advantages of Herbs?
- Herb consumption may aid in managing and preventing diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Additionally, it may lessen blood clots and have anti-inflammatory and anti-tumour effects. Although research is ongoing, studies have revealed that:
- Lemongrass, fenugreek, linseed, and garlic may all decrease cholesterol.
- For those with modestly increased blood pressure, garlic is helpful.
- Fenugreek can help regulate insulin production and blood sugar levels (linseed, flaxseed and cinnamon).
- Numerous herbs, including mint, basil, oregano, sage, chives, leeks, onions, garlic, and onions, can help prevent cancer.
- Herbs, particularly cloves, cinnamon, sage, oregano, and thyme, are abundant in antioxidants and can lower low-density lipoproteins (often known as “bad” cholesterol”).
- Comparing fresh herbs to processed or dried ones, fresh herbs frequently have higher antioxidant levels. Adding fresh herbs at the end of cooking or just before serving will help retain their health-promoting characteristics if you use them primarily for that purpose.
What are the Tips for Using Herbs in Cooking?
Here are some ideas for using herbs in cooking:
- Compared to fresh herbs, dried herbs have more robust flavours. Generally speaking, four teaspoons of fresh herbs equal one teaspoon of dried herbs.
- If you use herbs frequently, you may want to make a “bouquet garni” by tying chopped and blended herbs in tiny muslin bags. You can add these to your meal for flavour but take them out before eating.
- Some herbs, like rosemary and parsley, are more resilient than others and will keep their flavour while cooking; you can add these at the beginning of your meal.
- Some herbs, like bay leaves, are solely used to flavour food and are not consumed.
- After a year, dry herbs should be thrown away since their flavour starts to deteriorate.
- Dried whole herbs that retain stalk-attached leaves have a more incredible flavour than loose leaves offered in packets or jars.
Name Some Commonly Used Herbs?
Although lavender is a herb that may be eaten, much research is focused on its smell. According to numerous studies, the aroma of lavender, a member of the mint family, can reduce anxiety, enhance sleep, and ease tension and irritation. Are you trying to get some sleep? By lowering blood pressure and pulse rate, a tiny bag of lavender blossoms placed under your pillow at night will calm the nervous system and help you fall asleep.
Think again if you believed that basil was just used to season pesto or sprinkle on pizza. There are more than 100 distinct species whose family name is basil, and sweet basil and holy basil are two of their most popular varieties. Researchers looking into sweet basil discovered that it could help regulate blood pressure and that its scent reduced stress and anxiety. Participants in clinical research looking into holy basil reported less stress, anxiety, sex issues, and sadness. However, as both studies were conducted in laboratories, the advantages might not apply at home.
This perennial herb’s wrinkly heart-shaped leaves have been used for reducing tension, easing anxiety, and promoting restful sleep since the Middle Ages. It seems to function just as well as it did back then. According to a study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, lemon balm can promote relaxation and reduce feelings of negativity. It can aid in relaxing when combined with other calming herbs like valerian and chamomile.
Oregano is a favourite for seasoning everything from tomatoes to potatoes because of its minty flavour and scent. Oregano enhances the taste of food and has some good health advantages. The leaves contain a lot of carvacrol, a substance that has been proven helpful against the highly contagious stomach illness norovirus. Oregano tea can also help strengthen the immune system and aid in the body’s ability to fight illnesses.
What is the Importance of Herbs in Our Daily Life?
Herbs are an aromatic component that adds flavour and pleasant odours to various dishes. Herbs are utilized for more than just flavouring food; they also have health advantages.
Diabetes, cancer, and heart disease are just a few illnesses that are treated and prevented with herbs. The globe will support the cultivation of herbs, and many people grow herbs in their gardens and incorporate them into their daily lives.
According to medical studies, there are many nations, climates, and cultures around the world where herbs can be used as an alternative to medication, treatments, nutrition, and pain relief.
Seven herbs are recommended for daily use to maintain a healthy lifestyle: –
Ashwagandha is regarded as one of the most significant herbs in Ayurveda. Both blood sugar levels and strength are improved with its assistance. It fights cancer. According to a study, Ashwagandha can slow tumour growth by 70% and 80%. Stress and anxiety can both be reduced with the use of ashwagandha.
Tulsi leaves, also known as basil seeds, treat fevers and colds. Additionally, basil seeds lower body temperature. Boost immunity, help treat bacterial and viral infections, combat and treat several hair and skin issues, and increase overall health. A few Tulsi leaves can help with several health and lifestyle issues when used frequently.
Marigold and Calendula
Marigold and calendula are two of the most potent remedies for sunburn and skin care. You may not be aware, but marigold can help with itching, sunburn, and other skin ailments. Allergies, itching, and rashes can all be treated using the herb calendula flower. For stomach problems, calendula and marigold are also beneficial.
Elderberries are packed with vitamins and antioxidants that could assist in boosting your immune system. Some experts say elderberry helps prevent and treat viral colds and the flu.
One of garlic’s health advantages is that it lowers blood pressure. Medical research has linked garlic to several advantages, including decreasing blood pressure and speeding up the recovery from colds and flu.
Ginger is a beneficial plant that helps to improve throat issues and speed up metabolism. Ginger tea is one of the weight-loss secrets. You can live a better lifestyle and lose weight by regularly consuming ginger.
If you have an herb garden, you probably have extra herbs in season and want to preserve them for later use. While you can dry them, the flavour isn’t as strong as fresh. To get fresh-tasting herb ice cubes, freeze them in ice cube trays.
Herbs freeze well. If you are freezing herbs for cooking, wrap them in plastic or wax paper. Then place them in freezer bags and seal them at the top. Label them to avoid confusion later. Once settled, the herbs don’t need to be thawed or stored for long. Use them right away. You can even use them to prepare recipes. However, if you don’t know how to keep frozen herbs properly, you should know how to prepare them.