If you are wondering how to freeze basil you are in the right place. Freezing basil is incredibly quick and easy and a great way to keep them fresh all year round.
Basil is one of those things that can be grown in the garden or bought fresh in the supermarket.
However, the ideal season for growing basil is only in the summer months. That’s why it can be nearly impossible to get fresh and quality basil leaves anytime you want. A better solution to enjoy the refreshing taste of basil leaves is to freeze them.
Around 100 grams of basil is more potent than the expensive multivitamin brands! By consuming a little bit of basil, you get Vitamin C, Magnesium, Iron, Calcium, B6, Potassium, and much more!
You can obtain almost 17% of the daily need for Calcium and Iron from these green leaves! All of this further proves that you need to have a supply of basil leaves in your freezer.
Can you freeze basil?
Compared to other vegetables or leaves, the basil leaves can be easily frozen and don’t require a lot of pre-freezing processing.
The basil leaves are famous for their unique taste and flavor when added to any cooking. Besides the flavor, the basil leaves are packed with essential vitamins and minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, and others.
The nutritional benefit is another added benefit besides the fantastic flavor and aroma of these leaves.
How to freeze basil [Step by Step]
There are four different ways to freeze basil, and you can use any of them to freeze these green leaves efficiently!
Method#1 – Clean & Freeze
We only need the basil leaves so, removing the stems using a knife or a vegetable scissor will save space in the freezer.
When you remove the stems, thoroughly wash the basil leaves, remove the excess water and let them dry.
Once the water on the surface is dried, you can use a cookie sheet and place the basil leaves on it.
Transfer the leaves to your freezer and wait for around 10 hours until they are frozen.
Now you can transfer the leaves to freezer bags and store the bags in your freezer.
Method#2 – Blanching & Freezing
In this method, we will also remove the stems and thoroughly wash the basil leaves. But we will also perform the blanching process before freezing the leaves.
Once you have cleaned the leaves, transfer them to a pot of boiling water for 20 seconds.
Now quickly move the leaves to ice-cold water for a few minutes. Be careful with the blanching process as the basil leaves are very delicate and may get cooked if you leave them in the boiling water for too long.
Once the blanching is complete, let the leaves dry and then transfer them to the freezer bags for the freezing process.
This method will enhance the stability and expiry of the frozen basil leaves compared to method # 1.
Method#3 – Puree & Freeze
You can puree the basil leaves and then freeze them.
The first thing you have to do is wash the basil leaves and then pass them through a food processor while adding olive oil, which prevents them from turning black and adds a touch of flavor.
You can use two tablespoons of olive oil for a bunch of basil. Once you have processed the basil, you can place it in ice cube trays and take it to the freezer.
So you can get a cube every time you need it.
Method#4 – The Pesto Way
Suppose you are a pesto fan and that a large percentage of the basil you buy is to prepare your delicious recipes with pesto!
So it might be an excellent idea to freeze the basil made into pesto.
Just prepare your traditional pesto recipe, place the mixture in ice cube trays, and take it to the freezer.
In this way, it can last up to 6 months, and you will have ready pesto cubes for soups and pasta.
Implements and equipment you need to freeze basil
Depending on the method you will follow to freeze the basil, you may need several implements.
Some of them will be:
- Knife or vegetable scissors.
- Food processor.
- Cookie sheet.
- Freezer bags or ice cube trays.
- A pot for boiling water and a container for cold water in case you choose to blanch.
FAQs about how to freeze basil
What are the uses of frozen basil?
You can add these leaves in anything you want since it provides a unique aroma and taste to each dish and recipe.
Keep in mind that when you freeze herbs, they slightly change their texture so that you won’t get the crunchy texture of fresh basil.
But you can easily use frozen basil in soups, stews, and sauces.
How long do the frozen basil leaves last?
If you follow the complete process, the leaves are good for the next 4 to 6 months.
Can you freeze basil without blanching?
Totally! You don’t need to blanch basil to freeze it! You can just clean the leaves and freeze it as is or puree and freeze it as frozen basil cubes.
How to thaw basil
There is no need to thaw the leaves of basil at all. It is better to add the basil leaves to your cooking pot directly.
What can you make with frozen basil?
Great, now you know how to freeze basil and are probably wondering how to use it. You can use frozen basil just like you use fresh basil, but remember that it doesn’t have the crunchiness of fresh basil, so you may not be able to use it to garnish a dish.
But you can use it:
To prepare pesto.
You can make delicious baked tomatoes with mozzarella and frozen basil. Remember that the combination of basil and mozzarella cheese is a guaranteed success.