How to freeze fresh basil perfectly

How to freeze fresh basil perfectly

Careful preparation is half the battle

Preparation plays an important role so that basil retains its unique aroma after freezing. Harvest whole shoots just before flowering during the morning hours. Once royal herb flowers, the leaves quickly take on a bitter taste. How to properly prepare basil afterwards:

  • cut each branch so that two leaves remain on the plant
  • Rinse thoroughly under clean water and pat dry
  • optionally dry in the salad spinner
  • pluck the basil leaves one by one

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Now sort out all brown leaves as well as otherwise damaged specimens. Chopping royal cabbage during preparation has an immensely reducing effect on the aroma. Therefore, leave the leaves in one piece so that they are only cut up after thawing just before preparation.

Blanch and freeze fresh basil - this is how it works

In order to freeze Königskraut while preserving its aroma, it is blanched in advance. First, fill a bowl with cold water, add some ice cubes, and set aside. Then fill a kettle with water and bring it to a boil. Place the prepared basil leaves in a slotted spoon. This is immersed in the boiling water for 5 to a maximum of 10 seconds and immediately afterwards in the ice water.

As a result, a little patience is required, because the blanched herb leaves should dry on spread out paper towels. After 10 to 15 minutes it continues like this:

  • place the leaves one at a time on a plate without touching each other
  • Place in the quick freezer for 60 to 90 minutes
  • take the plate out of the freezer
  • Without delay, fill the frozen herbs into freezer bags or cans and seal them

In this way, you can freeze the royal cabbage in the freezer to save space. If basil is preserved in this way, the herb plant can be used over a period of 6 to 12 months.

Freezing royal cabbage in no time - this is how it works

It may be a little at the expense of the aroma, but at high speed. You can also freeze basil quickly without blanching. These variants are available for selection:

  • let the washed leaves dry for 30 minutes
  • Spread out individually on a baking sheet
  • Pre-freeze in the freezer until hard
  • simply collect, place in a freezer and refreeze
  • alternatively, place a basil leaf in the compartment of an ice cube tray
  • Top up with water and freeze

Frozen in ice cube form, this variant has the advantage of uncomplicated dosing for later preparation. The dosage of one basil ice cube is equivalent to one tablespoon. So if a recipe requires two tablespoons of Königskraut, simply get two ice cubes out of the freezer.

The gourmet method - puree and freeze the basil

Basil enters into a wonderful partnership with olive oil that will make gourmets cheer. This applies to all types of basil, such as the exotic Thai basil or the bitter wild basil. To enjoy this delicious pleasure all year round, we recommend the following method of freezing:

  • cut or snap off the stalks of the prepared leaves
  • Pour into the food processor and chop
  • add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil during the process

When the chopped cabbage has reached the desired consistency, turn off the food processor and pour the mixture into small freezer jars. Instead of the olive oil, you can also use water, which will create a spicy sorbet in the freezer.

Tips & Tricks

If the freezer is already full, basil can be stored in another way. Pickled in white wine vinegar, you can preserve leaves and flowers for many years. Dried in a place surrounded by air, royal cabbage also serves as an aromatic spice for a long time.


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