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Freezing Basil: 2 Ways that Preserve Flavor

how to freeze basil
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – CrepesSuzette

Freezing basil is easy, but must be done carefully to preserve as much flavor as possible. We’ll show you how to freeze basil properly with a few tricks. 

Basil has many delightful culinary applications and is also a healing herb. This nutrient-rich and aromatic plant gives countless dishes their characteristic flavor, and is indispensable to many recipes. Fresh basil is abundant in summer, but during the long winter months it is much harder to find. By learning how to freeze basil, you can make sure that you’ll have it on hand all year long. 

How to Freeze Fresh Basil: Basic Method

freezing basil
Freezing basil will keep it fresh for up to several months. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Kkolosov)

If you prefer freezing basil as whole leaves, you’ll need: 

  • ice cubes
  • a large bowl
  • a cooking pot 

Here’s how to freeze basil without losing. flavor – by blanching it:

  1. Carefully pick the leaves off of your basil plant.
  2. Gently wash the leaves. Be careful not to bruise them. 
  3. Fill your large bowl with ice cubes and water and set aside. 
  4. Bring water to a boil in your pot on the stove. Make sure that your pot is big enough to fit all your basil leaves at once. 
  5. Blanch the leaves for five to ten seconds in hot water. A slotted spoon is useful for this. 
  6. Remove the basil from the boiling water and immediately place in the ice bath. 
  7. Lay the basil leaves out on a paper towel to dry for about ten minutes. 
  8. Lay out the leaves individually on a plate. Make sure that there is enough space between each leaf, so that they don’t stick together in the freezer. 
  9. Place the plate in the freezer, until the leaves are completely frozen. 
  10. Now you can collect the leaves and place them in a freezer-safe container. Return them to the freezer. 

You need fresh basil for cooking? Then just grow your own – here’s how it’s done: Growing Basil: Keeping Basil and Other Kitchen Herbs Fresh

Preserving Basil Puréed

preserving basil
Preserving basil in the freezer means you can make homemade pesto anytime, even in the winter. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay –LyubovKardakova)

By freezing basil as purée instead of whole leaves, you can easily use it for cooking later. Here’s how to freeze basil correctly:

  1. Remove the stems from the basil leaves. 
  2. Wash the leaves carefully under cold water.
  3. Allow them to drip off and pat dry. (Freezing basil while it is still wet will result in freezer burn.)
  4. When the leaves have dried off, use a food processor to blend with olive oil until the desired consistency is reached.
  5. Fill into a freezer-safe container and place in the freezer. 

If you use one of the two methods, your basil will keep for several months. 

Tip: Try preserving basil in larger quantities, so that you can make homemade pesto all winter long. 

This article has been translated from German to English by Christie Sacco. You can read the original here: Basilikum einfrieren: So machst du das Kraut haltbar

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