Could you freeze basil?Asked by: Dr. Jaeden Gleason DDS
Score: 4.2/5 (74 votes)
ANSWER: Yes, you can freeze fresh basil leaves, but they just need a little help. Basil is a particularly delicate herb because it hates the cold and darkens when cut. Keep in mind any fresh herbs that you freeze will not be entirely the same as fresh. Freezing will change the texture and it won't be as stable.View full answer
Also, Can I freeze fresh basil without blanching?
To freeze basil, blanch the leaves, flash freeze them separately, then combine and freeze them long-term in an airtight, freezer-safe container. If you don't need to preserve individual leaves, you can also freeze basil without blanching and flash freezing it, or you can freeze basil in puréed form.
Also to know, Can you freeze or dry fresh basil?. You can dry it or freeze it, but freezing retains the fresh taste better. Before you start, wash basil in cold water and dry; a salad spinner works well for this step. To freeze your basil, pull leaves from stems. ... Pat leaves dry and store in a large, freezer-safe container, separating each layer with plastic wrap.
Regarding this, What happens to basil when you freeze it?
Freezing Blanched Basil Leaves
Strip the leaves from the stems and transfer to freezer bags and freeze. Tip: spread the leaves thinly in the bags and store flat. This will enable you to break off just what you need when you want to use some—but not all—of a bag of frozen herbs.
Does freezing basil change the flavor?
The flavor does change just a tiny amount with freezing, but it has absolutely more fresh basil taste than other method I've used. You might have tried freezing basil in ice cube trays filled with olive oil.
Freeze leaves whole.
Yes, seconds. You don't want to cook them. Blanching helps retain basil's nice green color. Use a strainer or slotted spoon to remove them and place in the cold water for several seconds to cool down and stop the cooking.
Use a food processor to coarsely chop washed basil leaves. Add a drizzle of olive oil and pulse to lightly coat the leaves with oil; this will keep the basil from turning black in the freezer. Scoop the resulting mixture into ice cube trays and freeze. Transfer the finished cubes to freezer bags and use as needed.
Wash and dry the leaves, using either a paper towel or a salad spinner. Wrap the basil leaves in a dry paper towel and place inside a plastic bag. Seal and store for one to two weeks.
- Blanch: Remove the basil leaves from the stem and blanch them in boiling water for 2 seconds.
- Ice bath: Transfer the leaves to an ice bath.
- Dry & freeze: Dry completely and store in a freezer-safe container, separating the layers with wax or parchment paper.
Other Useful Tips for How to Store Basil
It will last up to 2 days when wrapped in a paper towel and put in a plastic bag. If you cover the leaves with olive oil, they can last up to 2 months.
Basil leaves can develop black or brown spots from exposure to frost, bacterial or fungal infections, the presence of pests, or sometimes from a nutrient deficiency in the soil.
- Water regularly – basil likes to stay moist and requires approximately 1 inch of water every week. ...
- Fertilize lightly –basil is a vigorous grower requiring very little to no fertilization. ...
- Pinch back leaves – pinch leaves from the tips of your basil as soon as the plant has two sets of true leaves.
Storing Dry Basil Leaves
It is best to store them in a cupboard or dark pantry where light cannot penetrate. The container for storage must be dry and air tight. Remove stems and flowers if they were dried with the leaves. Crumble the leaves into containers so they are ready to use in recipes.
- Mix Them into Compound Butter. Chowhound. ...
- Stir Them into a Cheese Spread. Chowhound. ...
- Use Them to Flavor Roast Chicken. Chowhound. ...
- Blend Them into Salad Dressing (and Dip) Chowhound. ...
- Add Them to Eggs. Chowhound. ...
- Make Them into a Marinade. ...
- Jazz Up Chicken or Tuna Salad. ...
- Add Them to Stuffed Peppers.
By quickly blanching the basil, which takes under 10 seconds, we set the basil's green color and help prevent it from oxidizing over time. It's an extra step in making pesto, but it doesn't take long to do. If you prefer to not blanch the basil, you can skip it. Our recipe can be made with fresh or blanched basil.
Drying fresh basil leaves is a fantastic way of preserving them and it's easy to do. There are few methods used for drying fresh basil. You can oven dry them, air dry them, or place them in a dehydrator. You can even dry them using a microwave oven, which is perfect for getting fast results.
Take your pick: You can either freeze your herbs in an ice cube tray, or store them flat in a freezer bag, creating a thin "brick" of herbs that you can break sections from whenever you'd like. ... Seal the bag almost the entire way and press the herbs into an even, flat layer, making sure to remove any excess air.
Start picking the leaves of basil as soon as the plants are 6 to 8 inches tall. Once temperatures hit 80°F (27°C), basil will really start leafing out. Harvest in the early morning, when leaves are at their juiciest. Make sure to pick the leaves regularly to encourage growth throughout the summer.
#1 The Very Best Method
Trim the cut ends, put the bunch in a glass, jar, or vase of water that will fit in the fridge, and cover the whole thing, or at least the basil leaves, with a plastic bag. Put the whole in in a refrigerator. Basil kept that way will stay vibrant and green for up to a week.
You can preserve them in olive oil for up to three months in your fridge, enjoying the same freshly-picked flavor. This works particularly well with basil and parsley, but try it out with chives, thyme, and your other favorite herbs. Thoroughly wash herbs and allow to completely dry.
Be sure to remove any leaves that fall below the water line (or they'll go bad quickly). Basil and mint do best at room temperature, so store these herbs on a sunny windowsill. For all other herbs listed above, the refrigerator is best. Cover your bouquet loosely with a plastic bag, and chill until you need it.
- Clean herbs with a wet cloth and finely chop.
- Place chopped herbs into an ice cube tray, silicone muffin tray or baby food storage tray.
- Cover herbs with olive oil or broth.
- Place in freezer. Once frozen, transfer the cubes to a freezer bag or container and store in freezer.
Olive oil, like any other natural substance, can freeze at temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The phenomenon of freezing does not occur at a precise temperature because olive oil is a complex mixture.
Basil butter will keep stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. If you are storing it in the freezer, pop the rolled log of butter wrapped in baking paper into a freezer bag and get rid of the excess air. Preserve fresh basil by making basil butter.
When you need them, defrost or not — it's up to you. It's easier to get out of the bag if you don't defrost first. Just take the frozen basil/oil mixture out of the bag and drop it in your pasta sauce or whatever you are cooking. It will add amazing flavor to your recipe.