Bay leaves are a great way to add additional flavoring to any recipe. If you enjoy cooking with bay leaves, you will want to store them for later usage. Would freezing bay leaves be one of the options?
Can you freeze bay leaves? Yes, you can freeze bay leaves. Properly stored, the herb will last for up to 3 months in the freezer. However, it can last for much longer. I recommend you try to use bay leaves within 3 months to ensure they will still taste fresh.
Do Bay Leaves Freeze Well?
Bay leaves freeze extremely well in the freezer. This is due to the thin texture and low moisture of the leaves.
As with any herbs, it’s best to use them when they are fresh. This will ensure you get the full flavor when it’s added to the food.
Therefore, for the bay leaves to stay fresh in the freeze, make sure to freeze them right away when it’s picked from the garden or bought from the store.
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How To Freeze Bay Leaves
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When it comes to freezing bay leaves, the process is simple and straightforward. The most important thing to remember is to freeze the herb when it’s fresh. Otherwise, you will end up with herbs that are flavorless when you’re ready to use them.
Below are the steps to follow to freeze bay leaves:
Step 1: Wash and Dry
After picking the bay leaves from the garden, place them in the colander. Then run them under tap water for about 20 seconds. This will help remove debris and pests from the leaves.
Also, if there are any blemishes or dark spots on the leaves, discard them. You want to use bay leaves that are fresh for the best quality.
Let it sit in the colander for about 5 minutes to dry. To help them dry quickly, you can use paper towels and press on the herb gently to absorb the moisture.
Step 2: Place Them In Freezer Bag
Once the bay leaves are all dried, drop them into the freezer bag. Use several freezer bags if you have a lot of bay leaves to store.
Step 3: Label and Freeze
With a marker, write down the content and date of freezing on the freezer bag. Then place the bag of bay leaves into the freezer for storage.
Freezing Bay Leaves Using The Ice Cube Method
Another method for storing bay leaves in the freezer is to freeze them as ice cubes. You can even mix it with other herbs as well. When you’re ready to use it, remove the amount of bay leaves cubes you need and place them directly into the recipes while it’s cooking.
Below are the steps to freezing bay leaves as ice cubes:
Step 1: Prepare the Bay Leaves
You can use fresh or dried bay leaves. For fresh leaves, wash them thoroughly with water to remove any dirt and debris. Make sure to throw away any leaves that have brown spots or any other blemishes.
Step 2: Place Into Ice Cube Tray
With a clean ice cube tray, pack the bay leaves into each slot. You can also add other herbs as well. This is a great way to save time by having all the ingredients you need in one place.
Make sure to leave a small room at the top of the slot. Then add olive oil to the slot until all the leaves are submerged.
Step 3: Flash Freezing
Cover the ice cube tray with plastic wrap and place it into the freezer. Let it sit for about 2-3 hours, or until it’s completely frozen.
Step 4: Transfer to Freezer Bag
Once it’s completely frozen, remove the ice cube tray from the freezer. Immediately transfer the ice cubes to a freezer bag. Use more freezer bags if you have a lot of bay leaves to store.
Once it’s all in the bag, gently press on it to remove any excess air. Then seal the freezer bag tightly.
Step 5: Label and Freeze
With a marker, write down the date of freezing and the content on the freezer bag. Then place it into the freezer for storage.
How Long Can You Freeze Bay Leaves?
You can freeze bay leaves for up to 3 months. The herb can last much longer in the freezer, but the quality will start to deteriorate.
After that time, you can still use bay leaves, but you may not enjoy the taste of it that much.
To ensure that the herb taste at its best, try to freeze them as soon as it’s picked or bought from the store.
Also, I recommend you use frozen bay leaves within a couple of months for the best taste.
How Do You Defrost Bay Leaves?
The great thing about bay leaves is that you don’t need to defrost them. Due to the thin texture, you can just add them to the food while it’s cooking.
For best result, cook your food and when it’s almost cooked, remove the number of bay leaves from the freezer. Then drop them into the food to give it a little more flavor.
Can You Refreeze Bay Leaves?
I don’t recommend that you refreeze bay leaves. Due to their thin texture, it will likely deteriorate in quality quickly.
By freezing the bay leaves more than once, the structure of the leaves will break apart. After thawing them for the second time, the leaves will likely lose most of their flavor.
For bay leaves, the flavor is the most important factor and why most people use it in cooking. The leaves help bring out the flavor of the food.
To avoid having to refreeze bay leaves, remove just the amount you need from the freezer. If you took out just a little too many, you can refreeze them if it has not been more than a couple of minutes.
Other Questions about Bay Leaves
How Long Do Dried Bay Leaves Last?
Dried bay leaves can last for up to 2 years if it’s stored properly. This means keeping the leaves stored in a cool, dry, and dark place. A good place is a cupboard or pantry.
Do you wash bay leaves before freezing?
Yes, it’s important to wash bay leaves prior to freezing them. This will help remove any debris and pests that may be on the herbs.
Also, it’s a good idea to remove any leaves that show signs of blackening. By freezing only bay leaves that are fresh, it will ensure the herbs will retain their flavor while it’s frozen.