Medicinal plants

Freeze herbs - freeze in containers of mint, parsley or rosemary

Freeze herbs - freeze in containers of mint, parsley or rosemary

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Freeze herbs properly

If you want to store herbs for longer, you may be wondering whether it is better to dry or freeze the plants. In fact, both methods are not equally suitable for every herb. You can find out here which plants survive better when frozen and what you need to consider when freezing herbs.

Why Freeze Herbs?

It is clear that many foods in the freezer have a longer shelf life. And some herbs also last much longer if they are frozen. In addition, your own favorite herbs and spices can be stored gently in this way and are quickly available in their old freshness.

The advantage of frozen herbs is that, unlike the drying process, the herbs hardly lose any of their taste and active ingredients. But the consistency of the herbs can suffer from the frosty cold. Because at the latest when thawing, a lot of freezing water is deposited on the plants. Inadequately covered or very sensitive crops quickly become mushy. Therefore, in addition to the correct storage in the freezer compartment, it is also important to choose the herbs to be frozen correctly.

Which herbs are suitable for freezing?

Interestingly enough, many herbs that are ideal for drying are less suitable for freezing. Mostly woody herbs like oregano or thyme are meant. They show a significant loss of aroma after the frost treatment. On the other hand, the situation is different for herbs that experience has shown to react poorly to the drying process. Especially leafy herbs from the field of kitchen spices, which are often not recommended to dry because they lose too much flavor, are perfect for freezing. The plants benefit from their high moisture content. Thanks to it, the ingredients of the herbs are kept in place below minus degrees until they can develop after defrosting in a delicious dish, tea or care product. The following overview provides some examples of herbs that are well suited for freezing:

  • Wild garlic,
  • Basil,
  • Borage,
  • Dill,
  • Coriander,
  • Lovage,
  • Parsley,
  • Peppermint,
  • Pimpinella,
  • sorrel
  • and chives.

How long can frozen herbs last?

You might think that frozen herbs would last forever. But frozen foods also have an expiration date. As a rule, most herbs from the freezer can be used for up to a year. However, the shelf life is reduced considerably if the herbs are not properly stored in the refrigerator compartment.

For example, it is important to store the frozen herbs in an airtight container (e.g. Tupper jar or freezer bag). Otherwise, cold-resistant bacteria from outside could reach the herb plants and spoil them. There is also a risk of freeze burn without adequate coverage, and too much frost water will accumulate on the herbs, which will result in an unwanted mushy consistency after thawing. Containers for ice cubes or bowls that are only slightly covered with aluminum foil are therefore rather unsuitable for freezing herbs.

Freeze herbs properly - so it'll work

1. Clean herbs: In contrast to dried herbs, which should not be washed before the drying process, herbs that are to be frozen can be given a small cleaning shower. This removes dirt residues and some stubborn plant parasites. Above all, wash the undersides of the leaves thoroughly, as they are particularly happy to hide unwanted residues.

2. Chop herbs: Then the herbs are carefully dabbed and chopped with a kitchen towel. Another step in which freezing differs significantly from drying the herbs. The smaller the herbs are chopped or cut before their "hibernation", the easier the aroma and active ingredients can be distributed in advance in the herbal mixture. Chopping the herbs also makes it easier to portion them later.

3. Choose freezer: There are many ways to keep herbs in the freezer. We recommend a small Tupperbox or an easily closable ice cube container. In the latter you can make wonderfully small herb cubes that can be thrown into soups or sauces. Large containers, on the other hand, are less suitable because the herbs freeze together very easily to form a compact lump that can hardly be portioned without complete thawing.

tip: You can also mix herbs with each other before freezing. Chives and parsley in particular are a frequently used combination of herbs in the kitchen, which also works well in the freezer. (ma)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Miriam Adam, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch


  • Elisabeth Dietz: Frozen Food - Freezing from A to Z, Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food; Edition: 12 (July 4, 2012)
  • Torsten Purle: Freezing fresh herbs - tips and tricks, The Herbal Book

Video: How to Freeze Herbs like Rosemary, Thyme and Sage. (December 2022).