How To Dry Herbs, Freeze, & Preserve Garden Herbs To Use All Year
A few years back was our first year to ever plant a vegetable and herb garden and I have to say I have LOVED it ever since! We had a huge herb harvest that first year so we ended up with many leafy herbs leftover and I needed to find a way to preserve and freeze our garden herbs to use all year!
All I could think of was that I need to learn how to dry the growing fresh herbs and fast, because we had quite the bounty! Because as we found out quickly, when all else fails herbs will not. lol
Common herbs and vegetables we planted:
More recently we planted these types of herbs:
There was quite a learning curve to say the least! I Googled almost every day!
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Tools You May Need To Dry And Preserve Your Herbs
- Ice cube trays
- Freezer bag
- Food processor
- A cookie sheet
- An airtight container
- A rubber band
- Plastic wrap
- Salad spinner
- A plastic bag
- Ziploc bag
- A paper towel roll
- A baking sheet
- Glass jars
The tomatoes didn’t want to produce and then all of the sudden they did, the squash died due to what I later learned was the dreaded Squash Vine Borer, the bell peppers did very little, and the herbs went nuts – especially the basil which actually grew into more of a tree/bush than I thought it would!
Once we hit the end of the summer, I wanted to preserve as much of the extra herbs as possible. I found a drying process for drying herbs all you have to do is remove the individual leaves from the stem and allow then to dry out and then store them in airtight containers.
The kids bought us a dehydrator, so we dried quite a bit that way and “canned” them. Of course we used as much fresh as we could all season.
I decided I needed to hurry up and do something with the rest of the basil leaves, in particular, before the first frost hit because we had SOOOO much! The last thing anyone wants is food waste.
I had learned how to dry herbs, but, what if I wanted to freeze herbs?
I chose to make Herb Butter Cubes for cooking, We cook with real butter and/or coconut oil, so to freeze it in butter or coconut oil to use when we cook is perfect for us! You could also us vegetable oil or extra virgin olive oil
So, I headed to the garden and picked a lot of the basil, I got some oregano, thyme, and chives, too. You can use any kind of herb you want, We chopped them up and then put the herbs or herb mixture in ice trays.
This is the first time I attempted this, so, I just filled the trays with as much of the chopped herbs are I could. I didn’t use dry herbs for this, I used them fresh.
Some of the trays had just one herb, and some had mixes of herbs for variety. After I filled the trays with the dry herbs I made sure, as best I could, that the cubes would be defined so that the herbs from one cube didn’t hang over into another and get frozen together.
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Then I just popped the herb cubes in the freezer overnight to harden. Now, when it came time to remove the frozen herbs – I had some trouble. I had bought new ice trays from Dollar Tree for this purpose and they were pretty flimsy, so when I twisted them to get the cubes to “pop out”… that didn’t happen! lol
So, Hubby went at them with a knife, a spoon, and the back of a fork. I then wrestled them away to try a different approach! lol It finally dawned on me if I was quick and careful I could run hot water over the back of the trays to help loosen them.
I knew that was an option I was just afraid the butter would melt quicker than I could remove them, but, it didn’t! It worked great and they fell out beautifully!
I then put them in Foodsaver bags, suctioned the air out, and put them in the deep freeze (a normal freezer is just fine, too) and we have been using them quicker than I thought!
I also did ones with coconut oil, I will say the coconut oil ones popped right out much easier than the butter ones, just fyi. Of course, you can freeze them in water, too, if you like. You can also add seasonings, such as garlic to your liking!
Who knew how to dry herbs was so easy, and to freeze and preserve herbs was super easy, as well? There was nothing to it!
Let me know if you try and what combinations you used! I’d love to hear how you Preserve and Freeze Garden Herbs To Use All Year!
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