How To Dry Herbs, Freeze, & Preserve Garden Herbs To Use All Year!
This year was our first year to ever plant a vegetable garden and I have to say I LOVED it! We had so many herbs leftover 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 herbs and fast, because we had quite the bounty!
Just recently for the fall we planted:
There was quite a learning curve to say the least! I Googled almost every day!
The tomatoes didn’t want to produce and then all of the sudden they did, the squash died due to a bug of some sort, the bell peppers did very little, 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 herbs as possible. I found that to dry herbs you can just remove them 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, in particular, before the first frost hit because we had SOOOO much!
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!
So, I headed to the garden and picked a lot of the basil, I got some oregano, thyme, and chives, too. We chopped them up and then put them 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.
Then I just popped them in the freezer overnight to harden. Now, when it came time to remove them – 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 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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