How to Freeze Fresh Basil

Written by megan smith
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Fresh basil is a delicious treat to add to all kinds of dishes, but in many climates it doesn't grow well in the winter months. In the summer, collect any leftover basil from a basil plant in order to have fresh basil this winter. Impress your guests by incorporating fresh basil into sauces and recipes all winter long. If you have more basil in your garden than you can eat, it's also a great idea to freeze basil during the summer months. Instead of giving it all away or letting your basil plants become overgrown, trim the basil plants regularly and freeze the goods. Follow these steps to learn how to freeze fresh basil.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Colander
  • Paper towels
  • Food processor or sharp knife
  • Olive oil
  • Tupperware or leftover containers
  • Scissors

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  1. 1

    Trim basil off the basil plant. You can use regular kitchen scissors or your hands to gently pull the leaves off.

  2. 2

    Wash the basil thoroughly. Place the basil into a colander and shake to dry. Let sit for several minutes or press with paper towels to remove excess water.

  3. 3

    Place the fresh basil in a food processor. Pulse the food processor until the basil is very roughly chopped. You can also use a sharp knife to cut the basil by hand.

  4. 4

    Coat the basil lightly with olive oil. You can pour the olive oil in while you're pulsing the basil in the food processor, or you can coat the chopped basil in the colander by pouring the olive oil over the basil and tossing it lightly.

  5. 5

    Put basil in a plastic container with a fitted lid. Pack the container tightly to avoid freezer burn. The basil will keep in the freezer for approximately a year.

Tips and warnings

  • Pre-measure your basil so you know how much is in each container.
  • Defrost the basil by putting it in a hot saucepan or in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  • Do not freeze basil that is already brown or discoloured.

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