Preserving to Preserve

One of the best parts of gardening is enjoying your harvest six months later in the dead of winter. There is nothing like opening a jar of roasted garlic herb tomato sauce and knowing it is a product of your hard work. So as we get closer to our tomatoes being perfectly (and abundantly) ripe and ready to be canned, we realize that our garlic and herbs are already at their prime! The first step to preserving is to… preserve.  There are numerous ways to preserve your fresh herbs and garlic, and these methods aren’t just for use in canning, they can be saved for later use.

A favorite is to chop herbs up and add them to an ice cube tray with olive oil! This is one simple way to incorporate fresh herbs later on, and you only need a few items. You can even get creative with what herbs you use and making your own combinations. Our favorite method uses olive oil, so the steps below include oil, but keep in mind you can use water or unsalted butter. If you are planning to preserve your herbs for canning, we highly recommend using water.

5 Steps for Preserving Herbs

  1. Pick herbs, choosing ones that are fresh with little discoloration. Keep in mind that some herbs freeze better than others. Hard herbs (rosemary, sage, oregano and thyme) are ideal, but soft herbs (mint, basil, dill) can still be frozen.
  2. Chop herbs to desired consistency.
  3. Fill each cube with chopped herbs about 2/3 full (packed).
  4. Add oil to the cubes, filling to the top and completely covering the herbs.
  5. Cover tray and freeze until solid. You can add the herb oil cubes to an airtight container for storage in the freezer.