How to Make and Freeze Basil Oil. (or Other Herbal Oil).
In reality, this is a mixture of two food preservation techniques: freezing and preserving in fat. This technique works well with other herbs than only basil: It may be used with any soft leafy herb that doesn’t dry out well, including cilantro (coriander leaves).
Bring water in a big saucepan to a boil. If your tap water isn’t too cold, prepare a large dish of ice water.
Stir a bunch of basil in the boiling water for a very limited period of time—I mean no more than 20 seconds. Run cold water over the blanched basil to remove any remaining heat (you want the herb to be blanched, not cooked);
or immediately transfer it to the ice water. When your basil oil thaws, this blanching and chilling process guarantees that it will retain its gorgeous brilliant green hue (skip it and you’ll have dark sludge).
Basil should be squeezed firmly to extract as much water as possible. It may also be rolled up in a dishcloth and squeezed that way. Put the stems’ leaves in a food processor or blender after removing the leaves off the stems.
Add an almost equal quantity by volume of good-quality extra-virgin olive oil. Blend the oil and basil.
After making the basil oil, there are two convenient methods to store it in the freezer. One method is to pour it into sealed freezer bags. The basil oil should be no thicker than 1/8 inch when spread out horizontally in the bag. You’ll have something like a basil oil pancake after it’s frozen. When using some, just cut off what you need.
The other approach involves spooning the basil oil into an ice cube tray’s cavities. Place the basil oil cubes in freezer bags or other storage containers when they have frozen.
Use basil oil straight up;
it tastes great over spaghetti, as a dipping sauce for bread, and on top of bean soups. Alternatively, you may use it as a basis for pesto by simply including garlic, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts or walnuts.
Do the blanching and freezing stage if you’re making a large pot of pesto with the intention of saving the remainder and using it later.
This will ensure that your pesto retains its light green color even after being frozen and thawed. Garlic may taste harsh when frozen, so it’s better to leave it out and add some just before serving.
Leafy greens: How to Blanch and Freeze
This method of preserving leafy green veggies, such as kale, is by far my favorite.
This method of preserving leafy green veggies, such as kale, chard, spinach, and collards, is by far my favorite.
Compared to canned greens, the texture is a thousand times better, and the nutritional content is retained much more (sorry, Popeye).
Leafy greens must be blanched before being frozen, although this just takes a few minutes.
Bring water in a big saucepan to a boil. Prepare a dish of ice water if your cold tap water is not extremely cold.
Clean the greens, then cut off any thorny midribs. They should blanch for one to two minutes after being stirred into the boiling water.
The blanched greens should be drained in a colander, then either placed in a dish of ice water or immediately submerged in cold water.
Drain the greens once again when they have totally cooled. Squeeze as much liquid out as you can (squeeze hard).
The blanched greens should be chopped before being placed in freezer bags or containers.
labeling and freezing
Take note that I chopped the greens after blanching them rather than before. If you cut them beforehand, the little bits adhere to the colander and pot edges and are difficult to handle. The technique is significantly simpler (including cleaning) if you chop after blanching.
How to Freeze Fresh Ginger in Two Ways
Have you ever wasted fresh ginger that you couldn’t use before it began to shrivel up or mold? Never once more! Here are two simple methods for keeping fresh ginger.
The ginger rhizome may be chopped into 1-inch slices for ease of use. To stop the pieces from adhering together, use the double-freeze technique:
Transfer the frozen pieces to freezer bags or containers after they have first been frozen in a single layer on a baking sheet or plate. The ginger doesn’t need to be peeled beforehand. In fact, once it has been frozen, it will be simpler to peel, chop, or grate.
The second method involves chopping, grating, or mincing raw ginger before freezing. Although it requires a bit more labor up front, the finished product can be used right away in recipes without even having to defrost first.
If you want to use this technique, place a thin layer of the grated or chopped ginger in a freezer bag before closing it and freezing it. Here, the double-freeze technique is less effective.
How to Freeze Cooked Leftovers the Best
Many prepared items, including soup, casseroles, chili, and more, freeze admirably and provide you with quick meals later on (need I add that the enormous frozen food business is primarily founded on this?)
When cooking, it is always a good idea to make a bit extra and freeze what you won’t eat right away. However, there are a few pointers that will help make freezing leftovers even more useful.
Your leftovers will also expand when they freeze since water does. Always leave an inch of head space between the food and the lid when filling freezer containers with soup or other more liquid meals.
This space will allow the food to expand as it freezes.
When choosing what size freezer containers to use for your leftovers, consider the amounts. For instance, if you live alone, freeze individual servings.
Or just enough to feed a family of four, or whatever suits your needs right now. Refreezing food because you thawed more than you could consume is what you want to avoid. Refreezing always has a significant negative impact on quality.
The Only Way to Keep Avocados Fresh
The only method of preserving avocados that I am aware of is freezing (if I’m incorrect and there is another method, please let me know!). Avocado purée may be used in salad dressings, smoothies for breakfast, and guacamole after it has been frozen.
This is what to do with the avocados you won’t get around to eating fresh if you happen to find them on sale, are leaving for a vacation before you’ve had a chance to consume the one on your counter, or are fortunate enough to have a fruitful avocado tree.
Only completely ripe avocados should be frozen:
When you freeze them, they won’t become any better than they already are. When putting unripe avocados in the freezer, leave them out at room temperature. Unripe avocados should be left out at room temperature to ripen until the flesh readily yields when pressed with your thumb.
Cut the avocado in half lengthwise, then separate the halves after it is completely ripe and soft. Watch your fingers as you whack a huge knife into the avocado pit’s middle and twist it. The pit will immediately emerge.
A food processor or blender should be used; however, the food processor will perform better. Scoop out the avocado flesh. For every 8 ounces (or around 1 medium avocado’s worth) of avocado, add 1 tablespoon of lemon or lime juice.
The discoloration is prevented by the citrus juice. Avocado and citrus juice should be blended until smooth. Even if you want your guacamole thick, don’t leave any chunks since they won’t freeze as well (you can always augment with some fresh avocado pieces before serving).
Place the frozen avocado purée in bags or containers. If you’re using containers, leave 1 inch of headspace since the avocado will expand as it freezes.