How often do you buy more fresh vegetable greens than you can manage for your meal plans? I’d often look in the crisper in my fridge and find fresh greens that we’d purchased such as Cilantro, Parsley, Dill, Basil, and even Spinach wilted or turned to mush, especially when my girls were very young and I had serious time management issues. Many of these greens can have bits pinched off of the bunch for an entire week, but then there is the risk of inadvertent damage of the remainders along with cross-contamination.
A few years ago, I sat down with an elder for a meal and she pulled some vibrant basil leaves out of a bag in her freezer and tossed them into the meal. They turned dark and wilted into the sauce as soon as they hit the heat, but the flavour was all there.
And so from that day on I had a new brain tool to manage my fresh greens and it is time-sensible and simple. Hopefully this primer will help you save some time and money too.
You will need your selected greens, parchment paper (I find wax paper gets too sticky), and a baking tray or two depending on the bulk of your vegetable material.
Wash you greens of choice and shake dry. Place parchment paper on baking tray. Arrange greens in a single layer on the paper surface only.
You can layer you greens and paper as high as your freezer will allow.
Place in freezer and flash freeze for a few hours. Overnight is fine too, I’ve forgotten for a day or two and they still turned out fine.
Once the greens are frozen, you will need to take them out of the freezer, one paper layer at a time, fold your paper with the herbs on it, and funnel them into a large freezer bag, touching them with your warm hands as little as possible. DO THIS AS QUICKLY AS YOU CAN, seal the bag with lots of air in it, shake the herbs in the bag so they have individual space and air circulation, and set the bag back in the freezer.
Once your greens sit in the freezer with the air for about half an hour, if freezer space is limited, you can squeeze out as much air as you can without crushing the greens.
Here’s to success and saving money!
May the forest be with you.