So you have basil growing, and you know pinching flowers and pruning them promotes growth, so now what? What will you do with all that extra basil? In this post, I’ll share some of my favorite ways to freeze these for some cool preservation methods that you can enjoy this summer (happy summer solstice!) or all year long, because it's a preservation method and you can do what you please. Win!
First one up: Basil in Water
Let’s start with the simplest one! Basil frozen in ice cubes. Remember to cut the stem (not pick leaves) when pruning to promote a healthy bushy plant. From there simply slice up your basil, sprinkle in a few slivers, and add around 4 tbs of water- or until full - in each slot and pop them in the freezer! Add them to your iced tea, lemonade, or favorite summertime drink! It's such a quick and easy way to add some also decorative elements to your cool drinks. Even better, take it up a notch and add these to smoothies. You'll have a nice consistency due to the ice cubes but how about these little flecks of basil. Delicious!
Second up: Basil in Vegetable Broth
I’m such a huge fan of soups, I don’t care what time of the year it is, it’s always a soup day. Even if you don’t use it in a soup you can add it to your rice dishes, quinoa, flavoring your college top ramen, meat dishes, steamed veggies...you name it. They are so quick and easy to use, just pop one or
two in a dish and then you have instant flavor. It’s also a great way to lock in the fresh basil taste. Perfecto! 👌🏾😘 I also find that veggie broth is my personal favorite but you can use any broth!
Lastly: Olive Oil and Butter
The last frozen favorite I want to share is storing in a fat. Olive oil and/or butter are fantastic ways to store basil frozen. If you like to sauté or braise why not add a little bit of extra herbal flavor to your dish! I recommend using a good grade of olive oil and butter. An oil I don't recommend is grapeseed oil. Why grapeseed oil? It doesn't freeze! I was looking for an alternative to olive oil because it can have quite a strong and distinctive taste that can change the way your food tastes. Many people love olive oil and it's great for cooking, so if it's something that you enjoy cooking with then it's perfect!
And then of course butter. Use it in the same way. You can soften your butter to room temperature and gently mix in your chopped basil leaves. As an alternative you can also use a food processor and gently pulse until everything is mixed to a consistency that you enjoy!
So those are my favorite ways to preserve basil in frozen methods: Water, broth, olive oil, and butter.
The measurements are minimal and easy to prepare. To fill each slot it equates to about 4 tbs of liquid. A half to full cup of basil is a fair amount to fill an entire ice cube tray.
If you try any of these let me know! :) Happy Growing, my friends.