Monday, July 13, 2009

Freezing Aerogarden Herbs for Future Use

No, this isn't a repost from a few days ago. Within days of pruning the basil, the basil plant has gone and grown tall again, to the point of hitting the lights.

Now, the leaves of basil are full and absolutely beautiful. It's still not enough basil for me to cook a recipe, but I can't bear to prune them and throw them away. Still, letting them grow would cause them to burn when they hit against the lights, and also, they're very clearly stealing light and nutrients from the other herbs (strangely, the purple basil doesn't look like it's going to make it)

One popular trick that herb gardeners use is to freeze the herbs for later use. I took out the Herb n Ice Freezer Trays I ordered a few weeks ago at the Aerogarden Store (to find it, click on "Accessories" and scroll down). Yes, you could use regular ice cube trays too, but I like the fact that the Aerogarden trays were made of silicone, and the compartments are perfectly measured for tablespoons and teaspoons, so when you need them for recipes, you just need to pop them out and use them.

tray for freezing herbs

The first step was to harvest the basil. I deliberately chopped off a ton.

basil on cutting board
I picked off the leaves and put them into a bowl.

basil leaves in cutting bowl
I pulled out my brand new KitchenAid Food Chopper and chopped the leaves effortlessly.

kitchenaid chopper and basil
This was the result.

chopped basilFinally, I put the leaves into the tray, filled the compartments with water, and put it all into the freezer. In all, I yielded 4 tablespoons. A good pesto recipe requires 2 cups of pesto, so I'm 1/8 of the way there!

chopped basil in freezer

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