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How to Freeze Basil

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Freeze Basil

Freeze Basil

Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Have more basil in your garden then you know what to do with? Here's how to freeze it for year-round use:

Option 1: Wash and dry the basil leaves (the stems should be discarded). Then, spread them out on a cookie sheet, and flash freeze. Transfer the frozen basil to freezer bags, and use as needed.

Option 2: Blanch the basil leaves for 15 seconds. Then, plunge them in ice water to stop the cooking process. Dry thoroughly. Then, flash freeze using the method described in option 1.

Option 3: Use a food processor to coarsely chop clean basil leaves. Then, add a drizzle of olive oil, and pulse to lightly coat the leaves with oil (this will keep the basil from turning black in the freezer). Scoop the resulting mixture into ice cube trays, and freeze. Transfer the finished cubes to freezer bags, and use as needed. Once cube is the equivalent of about two Tablespoons of fresh basil.

Tips:

1. Basil tends to turn black when frozen. If maintaining that bright green color is important to you, use option.

2. Oil should only be added to basil if it will be frozen. Storing basil in oil, either in the refrigerator or at room temperature, is a botulisum risk.

3. Planning to use your basil in heated dishes? Just add your frozen basil directly to the pot. There's no need to thaw it first.

4. Use this printable freezer inventory list to keep up with what's in your freezer.

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