How To Avoid Frostbite When Freezing Your Garden's Extra Herbs

Growing aromatic and zesty herbs like oregano, thyme, sage, mint, rosemary, and basil in your home garden gives you access to fresh seasoning whenever you need it. But what do you do when your efforts pay off and you have a bountiful yield during summer? You freeze them, of course. However, using the cookie sheet method, wherein you wash, dry, lay the herbs on the sheet and pop them in the freezer to preserve your garden's extra herbs, isn't without its challenges: the most common being frostbite and discoloration. Luckily, you can preserve them by freezing them in ice cube trays with household items like olive oil and water.

To employ the ice cube tray garden hack, prep the herbs first. Begin by washing them before patting them dry using a paper towel. Now, remove the stems and finely chop the leaves. This will make it easier for you to use them instantly. And you're done with the prep stage. Just ensure that you're preserving freshly harvested herbs to keep their flavors intact since herbs picked in the morning usually lose their freshness by evening.

Ice trays are ideal for freezing herbs

Once you're done prepping the extra herbs, you have some choices to make. First of all, you need to decide the type of ice tray — silicone or plastic — you'll be using. While plastic ice trays are relatively cheaper, they aren't durable or environment-friendly like silicone ice trays. Moreover, silicone trays make it easier to get the frozen cubes out without damaging them. Secondly, you need to choose the medium — water or oil — you'd like to use to freeze the herbs.

If you go with water, fill the tray halfway with water and drop the chopped herbs in them. To ensure uniformity, measure the amount you add to each compartment, such as one tablespoon. After you add the herbs, use a fork to gently shove them in water and place the tray in the freezer. Once the cubes freeze over, fill the half-empty compartments with water and place the tray back in the freezer.

Alternatively, you can choose virgin olive oil, avocado oil, or unsalted butter as the freezing medium based on your usage and the required smoke point. Fill ⅔ of a compartment with herbs and the remaining with the oil. Cover the tray with a plastic wrap and place it in the freezer. When frozen, take the cubes out and place them in freezer bags or airtight containers with labels. If done right, the ice cube garden hack will help you freeze the extra herbs without frostbite, lasting up to 12 months.