Freezing herbs is one way to make sure you always have spices on hand to flavor your favorite vegetable recipes. Drying your herbs is great, but not everyone has the space, or the ability to control humidity and air circulation. There are many different ways to freeze herbs (such as the ice cube method and the pesto method commonly used for preserving basil). Some people lay out herbs in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze them that way before putting them in baggies. This keeps them from clumping together in a solid mass. If that happened, you would have to thaw out the entire lump every time you wanted to use a few sprigs.
There is Another Way
I find that freezing herbs with my FoodSaver vacuum sealer is much easier than these other techniques. My parsley was past its prime and so tall it was shading out the other herbs in my garden. So, I figured I would sacrifice those plants to make this tutorial for you. I hope you find it helpful so these tender, leafy plants will not have been harvested in vain!
The Steps are Simple (See Bottom of Post for Photo Tutorial)
1. Pick the herbs and cut off the leafy sections you will be preserving. Compost the stems and any leaves that don’t look fresh. Rinse the remaining leaves to wash away any debris and pat them dry on a lint-free dish towel or paper towel. Don’t try freezing herbs while they are still wet.
2. Cut a piece of wax paper about 6” long. Fold it in half to set a crease and then open it back up. Spread out a small handful of herbs on one half of the wax paper rectangle. Fold the other half over on top to create a sandwich.
3. With the fold on the left, roll the wax paper square up from bottom to top in a loose “cigar”. Press down on the rolled paper gently to crease it again and help it stay rolled up. Do this with additional pieces of wax paper and handfuls of herbs until you have used up all the herbs.
4. Now, get out your FoodSaver and create a really long baggie. You will be resealing the bag every time you take out an herb “cigar” to use, so leave plenty of room to cut off the top and seal it again over and over.
5. Place all the herb-filled wax paper rolls in the bottom of the baggie. Set the FoodSaver on “dry” and press the “vacuum and seal” button. Voila! Your herb packet is now finished. The individual wax paper rolls keep the herbs from sticking together so you can easily remove one portion at a time as needed.
Note: Freezing herbs this way works best if you plan to use the herbs in soups, sauces, and other cooked dishes. When you defrost the leaves, they will be limp and discolored but should still have a reasonably strong flavor.