Recipes for many dishes suggest the addition of fresh herbs. However, in the garden greens can only be found in the warm season, and in winter it has to be bought, because it is then grown only in greenhouses. Not all housewives know that for the winter at home you can save useful vitamins almost intact.
How to freeze greens for the winter in a regular refrigerator, as well as what kind of greens can be frozen and which ones are not suitable for this, can be found in this article.
Freezing greens for the winter in stages
First of all, it is necessary to decide on which greens can be frozen, and which greens are better to buy fresh in the supermarket. In principle, absolutely any greens from the garden can be placed in the freezer — there will definitely be no harm, because after this treatment all the useful vitamins and trace elements are preserved.
The nuance is how the product will look after thawing: not all types of green herbs and roots look as appetizing after defrosting as fresh.
For example, it is better not to experiment with freezing lettuce leaves. This green is too watery and tender, so the structure of the leaves is severely damaged in the process of freezing, and after thawing the salad looks like a shapeless slush.
In any case, you need to thoroughly approach the freezing of products. To freeze greens in the freezer of a domestic refrigerator, it must be carefully prepared.
Recipes for freezing herbs can not do without such steps:
- Collect greens at a time when the leaves are still young and juicy, but already sufficiently developed and strong.
- Rinse in several waters, securing the result under a stream of running water.
- Throw the twigs in a colander and let the water drain.
- Dry the leaves on paper or kitchen towels.
- Chop greens or collect it in bunches.
- Arrange the workpiece in the freezer drawer.
Tip! To the strong aromas of essential oils that are contained in virtually any green, do not spread to other products from the refrigerator, it is better to select a separate box for freezing.
How to freeze any greens
Different recipes for freezing greens can differ significantly from each other.
Practice shows that at home it is better to follow these simple rules:
- It is recommended to blanch some types of greens before freezing, but you should not get involved in this process. After heat treatment, the products still lose most of the vitamins, no matter how careful it is. Therefore, it is often enough to just thoroughly wash the bunches and twigs under running water.
- More recipes often suggest pre-drying greens before laying in the freezer. It is better to dry the twigs on thick paper towels, from time to time they should be turned and shifted, to change the soaked napkins. Do not forget about time: any greens will simply fade if it lays in the open air for more than two hours.
- If the dense laying of green leaves in containers or jars is supposed, short-term influence with boiling water is recommended - the greens soften, it can be tamped more tightly into the container.
- It is very convenient to chop the green twigs with a sharp knife before freezing, then the hostess will always have ready seasoning on hand.
- Each family has its own favorite dishes, their recipes and must be considered when choosing the type and amount of frozen greens. Ready-made mixtures of several varieties of spicy herbs work well: you just have to open the freezer and get the right amount of seasoning for a particular dish.
Then the greens from the freezer will be as fresh: with a maximum of useful vitamins and microelements, retaining a great appearance and its inherent aroma.
How to freeze greens for the winter, so that it remains fresh and tasty
A few decades ago, the hostess did not have the ability to preserve the vitamins and aromas of spicy herbs in their refrigerators. This became available only thanks to modern freezers with quick and deep freeze functions. A significant role was played by the fact that the present refrigerators do not have to be defrosted regularly - food can remain frozen until next season.
Today, you can save greens in the freezer or in the freezer of a conventional refrigerator in several ways. In order for the product to remain beautiful, retain the same nutrients as fresh, did not lose its inherent aroma, you must choose one of these methods of freezing:
- Freezing greens beams. This method of freezing is suitable for those hostesses who always do not have enough time, but there is too much space in the freezer. Any greens in the garden are washed, sorted and dried thoroughly. Then herbs are collected in bundles (several plant species can be arranged in each bundle) and fixed with a thread. Bunches of greens are laid out in a single-layer freezer and left for a couple of hours for the greens to freeze. Now you can collect bundles and put them in plastic bags or plastic containers - so, the blanks will take up less space in the refrigerator. The disadvantage of this method is that the plants do not cut the stems and legs, the hostess will have to spend extra time on this when preparing the dish, and besides, unnecessary parts of herbs will take place in the freezer.
- Very quickly there is a freezing of greens, wrapped in foil. This allows you to preserve the original appearance of greenery, vitamins and essential oils contained in it. The foil package is sealed, but it is better to put the bundles in a plastic bag after a few hours so that the seasoning does not spread its flavor throughout the refrigerator.
- If the greens are finely chopped and frozen in this form, you can significantly save cooking time. Only this method requires a very high-quality drying of the washed plants, otherwise as a result of freezing you will get a large green frozen ball. A well-dried herb is cut and placed in a container, from where the seasoning can be simply typed with a spoon.
- Recently, freezing seasonings in ice cubes has been especially popular. Indeed, it is very convenient, because the cube can be thrown into the soup or added to the stew, vegetables - greens quickly thawed and spread throughout the dish. The only drawback of such freezing is that the cubes with finely chopped seasoning will not work in salads or other fresh dishes.
Not all containers can be used to freeze food; plastic or silicone dishes, as well as plastic bags of good density, are best suited. It must be remembered that the container from frozen spices should not be used to store other products, because it is imbued with the scent of herbs.
If bags are used, all the excess air must be released. This will not only save space in the freezer, but also prevent the accumulation of ice.
Great, if the freezer has a quick freeze function - so the products will remain as fresh as possible. If there is no such mode, you should try to ensure the fastest freezing of greenery on your own: if possible, empty the camera, arrange the bunches in one layer, sort the greens in small batches. After the spices are frozen, you can put them in a bag or a container with a lid.
Attention! Do not use metal utensils for freezing, as it can be oxidized by the active substances contained in fresh foods.
What greens can be stored in the freezer
Virtually any spicy herbs and even their roots can be frozen, only for each plant you need to choose the best way to freeze:
- Parsley, dill, celery and cilantro are allowed to be stored both in bunches and sliced. It is very convenient to make mixtures of these herbs and sort them in one-time portions. These plants are well stored fresh, just wash and dry the grass.
- Green onions are recommended to be cut and then blanched for no longer than 30 seconds in boiling water. After that, fold in a colander and put in molds for freezing.
- Leeks ice at very low temperatures - about -18 degrees. After freezing it can be placed in a regular freezer with a temperature of up to -5 degrees. Leek is cut into large pieces 2-3 cm thick.
- It is better to make harvesting in ice cubes from spinach and sorrel - these herbs are too juicy and fragile. But it is enough to wash the leaves and chop them, but to dry them before freezing is not necessary, since the molds are still filled with water. To preserve the color of the leaves, it is recommended to pre-blanch for one minute.
Properly frozen product is no less useful than the one that was recently plucked from the garden. Simple recommendations will help to obtain the necessary vitamins all year round and make the dishes diverse and beautiful.