Fresh 2 Frozen

I love to grow herbs. I love to cook with them, make herbal vinegar and add them to teas.

The best way to keep their flavor is to freeze them while they are fresh.

I will show you how I take some basil from fresh to frozen, so that it tastes fresh whenever you choose to use it.

Cut the ends of the stems off of the plant. These pieces should be about the top third of the whole branch.

Variegated basil bush.
Variegated basil bush.

If it is blooming, I keep a few blooms when I process the leaves.

Cutting the leaves is not a random act. If you follow the pattern of the leaves on the stem, you will get the best leaves and the most leaves.

Lay out a twig and figure out the growth of leaves and leaflets.

Fresh twig of basil.
Fresh twig of basil.

I call the big leaf attached to the stem the “mama leaf” and the set of leaflets above it the “baby leaflets.”

I usually pull down the mama and cut off the babies for preserving.

Leaf arrangement.
Leaf arrangement.

Then I take my collection of young leaflets to the chopper. I add a little distilled water and give them a whirl.

Chopper and distilled water
Chopper and distilled water
Chopped basil.
Chopped basil.

Then I pack 2 tablespoons of the crushed concoction into small containers to freeze.

Two tablespoon portions.
Two tablespoon portions.

I would have used an ice cube tray, but I couldn’t find one.  Don’t get me started….

Frozen Basil
Frozen Basil

Now, I have frozen blocks of basil in 2 tablespoon amounts to add to spagettis, pastas and soups.

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