The Secret To Enjoying Herbs All Year

The Secret To Enjoying Herbs All Year, gourmet cooking, seasoning with fresh herbs, preserving herbs, herb oil, herb butter, locking in flavor, basil, parsley, dill, chervil, cilantro, chives, garlic, aromatic oils, drying, freezing in ice cube trays, olive oil, DIY, homemaking, recipes, cooking, storing food, DSCN0766

The Secret To Enjoying Herbs All Year

What’s the very best way to preserve fresh herbs? It’s taken me a long while to find out! Growing herbs such as parsley, basil, chives, tarragon, cilantro, garlic, and dill in my garden since before we were married, but I’ve had to fail many times in order to learn how to preserve those marvelous flavors before the chills and bluster of winter could damage their tender leaves.

Freezing makes them un-recognizable with no texture; drying takes away much of their flavor, and putting them into ice cubes with water? What an unappetizing mess!

What Is the Secret?

The secret is preserving the essential oils of the herbs.

The biggest reason for these herb’s distinctive aroma and taste is the essential oil content in their leaves. Simply drying or freezing them destroys the oils, but freezing them *in oil or butter* (fat, which is like the essential oils of each herb) preserves them beautifully with texture, flavor, and color intact! And storage of your herb butters and oils is made easy when packaged in thin, flat layers in a quart Ziplock freezer bag.

A particular herb’s powerful yet fabulous flavor can make an ordinary dish spectacular. Simply break off the approximate amount of herb the recipe calls for, no thawing necessary.

Here are a few ideas of how to use them:

Add cilantro in olive oil to Southwestern Corn and black bean salad~

The Secret To Enjoying Herbs All Year, gourmet cooking, seasoning with fresh herbs, preserving herbs, herb oil, herb butter, locking in flavor, basil, parsley, dill, chervil, cilantro, chives, aromatic oils, drying, freezing in ice cube trays, olive oil, DIY, homemaking, recipes, cooking, storing food, southwestern corn black bean salsa

Salmon with lemon and dill~

The Secret To Enjoying Herbs All Year, gourmet cooking, seasoning with fresh herbs, preserving herbs, herb oil, herb butter, locking in flavor, basil, parsley, dill, chervil, cilantro, chives, aromatic oils, drying, freezing in ice cube trays, olive oil, DIY, homemaking, recipes, cooking, storing food,

Baked potatoes with Parmesan chive butter~

The Secret To Enjoying Herbs All Year, gourmet cooking, seasoning with fresh herbs, preserving herbs, herb oil, herb butter, locking in flavor, basil, parsley, dill, chervil, cilantro, chives, aromatic oils, drying, freezing in ice cube trays, olive oil, DIY, homemaking, recipes, cooking, storing food,

Throw a wedge of tarragon butter into green beans.

The Secret To Enjoying Herbs All Year, gourmet cooking, seasoning with fresh herbs, preserving herbs, herb oil, herb butter, locking in flavor, basil, parsley, dill, chervil, cilantro, chives, aromatic oils, drying, freezing in ice cube trays, olive oil, DIY, homemaking, recipes, cooking, storing food,

Herb butters are also versatile because you can spread them on sandwiches, melt on pasta, or drizzle on popcorn – anything that tastes good with butter and herbs! You can even replace plain butter with herb butter when making savory quick breads or muffins.

Plan to whirr up a few batches of herb butters and oils; you’ll be extravagantly rewarded all winter long with flavorful meals, salad dressings, or even cheesy herb breads or crackers. Oh, how our families will appreciate our good planning. Hm…I think I have a few more ideas for next years herb garden.

How to Preserve Fresh Herbs in Oil or Butter

  • Rinse or wash herbs and remove heavy or thick stems. Pat dry with paper towels.
  • Place herbs in food processor with 1/3 cup olive oil or coconut oil for every 2 cups leaves, OR 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) per 2 -4 cups of leaves.
  • For either oils or butters, add garlic or a second compatible herb for extra flavor (ex. parsley and dill).
  • In your food processor pulse everything together, scraping down sides of bowl from time to time, until all leaves are chopped and you have a nice consistency.
  • Package up 1 cup herb oil or herb butter in a 1-quart freezer bags, burp to remove trapped air, and then flatten. Freeze flat.
  • For best flavor, use within 6 months.

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The Secret To Enjoying Herbs All Year, gourmet cooking, seasoning with fresh herbs, preserving herbs, herb oil, herb butter, locking in flavor, basil, parsley, dill, chervil, cilantro, chives, aromatic oils, drying, freezing in ice cube trays, olive oil, DIY, homemaking, recipes, cooking, storing food,

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~ Jacqueline

This entry was posted in DIY, Food & Recipes, Garden, Herbs, Raw food, Storing Food. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to The Secret To Enjoying Herbs All Year

  1. Toni says:

    This is an excellent idea, Jacqueline. I had to laugh at your description of freezing herbs in water – I agree, it IS a mess, lol. I’ve frozen herbs in butter before to use as a spread, but I really think I’ll take your cue and freeze more than I normally do. The last time I made homemade crackers I added rosemary and garlic and very nearly ate my weight in them. This method will enable me to repeat that event all winter long. ;) Love your great ideas.
    I hope you and your sweet family have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Annie Kate says:

    I’ve done this with basil before, and it works great. I’m going to see how it works with lovage, our favorite soup flavoring. Thanks, and have a blessed weekend!

  3. Ooo, this is so handy! Now I need some herbs. ;)

  4. Linda says:

    Wonderful idea! I’ve dried my herbs and garden veggies (peppers and onions and the like) but have not tried this. It makes so much sense, and delicious. I’ll definitely be giving this a try. Thank you!

  5. SallyAnn says:

    Hello Friend,

    I haven’t spoken to you in a while. Hope everything is going well for you and your family. I wanted to thank you for sharing this post because I had never thought about preserving herbs this way and I see it isn’t hard at all to do so I will be trying it soon.

    Have a great day, and God bless you.

  6. Sandra says:

    Yes, great idea, and perfect timing, too. Thanks for a great tip.

  7. Joann Marchand says:

    Makes a lot of sense. What measurement do you use in the preparation of a dish, I.e the dish calls for 1 teaspoon of….,,how much frozen herb do you use? Thank you.

    • Jacqueline says:

      Hi, Joan :) If you just add a 1″ x 1″ piece it will often be enough, but if not add a little more or double it. Just do what you think looks good. The herbs will not overpower the dishes so don’t be afraid to experiment and do it to your taste (taste as you go). Have fun :)

      I hope that helps, friend. Blessings!

  8. Monica says:

    Thank you for this tip..I will take your advice,and try the oils,butter,etc..thanks for sharing. Working on the herbs.. Thanks for sharing, Jacqueline! Bless your soul,love reading your website …

    • Jacqueline says:

      It’s not all my idea, JES. A few years ago a friend told me what she was on to and it worked. Now I’m seeing it on pinterest! lol

  9. Aritha says:

    I have basilicum in the garden. And I am drinking basilicum tea :-)Thanks for your good ideas.

    • Jacqueline says:

      Oh, Aritha, I am not familiar with the name basilicum, but I just looked it up and saw that it is the genus name for basil :) I must try it! We love basil with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. I love your good ideas, too :) Blessings today!

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