Can You Freeze Bay Leaves: Bay leaves have originated from a variety of plants like Indian bay, Californian bay, etc., and are known to be not eaten but added to your special dishes in order to give your savory dishes an earthy and herbal flavor and aroma. However, the shelf life of bay leaves is directly proportional to the method of storage you are using to preserve them.
This brings you to the point where you think whether freezing your bay leaves is better or just keeping them in your kitchen spice drawer would do. Come, let’s discuss more on this in detail in today’s article.
- Can You Freeze Homegrown Bay leaves?
- How To Freeze Bay Leaves Efficiently?
- How To Freeze Bay Leaves In Ice Cube Trays?
- Best Tips To Freeze Bay Leaves
- How Long Do Bay Leaves Last In The Freezer?
- How To Thaw And Defrost Bay Leaves?
- What happens when you freeze leaves?
- Can you freeze bay leaves to keep them fresh?
- Are bay leaves good for your health?
- How long can you keep bay leaves?
Yes, Bay leaves, be they homegrown or store-bought, freeze beautifully. Well, after a lot of research it has been found out that your kitchen spice drawer is not quite the best place to store your bay leaves. Turns out, freezing is the best option to store your bay leaves. This is because when bay leaves are frozen, they can retain almost as much aroma and flavor as a freshly harvested or opened jar of bay leaves.
However, if kept in your kitchen drawer for days, bay leaves will certainly lose so much potency that you will need to increase the number of leaves to get the flavor you want in comparison to frozen ones. So, let’s learn how to freeze bay leaves in order to preserve them for the longest time, in further sections of the article.
Be it freshly harvested from your garden or store-bought, bay leaves are extremely easy to freeze and preserve as compared to other herbs. Here are the steps that you need to follow in order to freeze bay leaves effectively:
- Wash and Dry Properly: To wash bay leaves properly, place them on a colander and wash them with running cold water for 10 to 15 seconds thoroughly. Make sure you have removed all dirt, bugs, etc. After this pat dry the leaves on a paper towel followed by a dish towel to soak up any excess moisture. Make sure to remove any blemishes on the leaves because these can show early signs of blackening.
- Place washed bay leaves in a Freezer-Safe Bag: Now, put all the washed bay leaves in a freezer-safe plastic bag and make sure to squeeze out any excess air before sealing it tightly.
- Label and Freeze: Lastly, write the current date as well as the desired use-by date of the bay leaves on your freezer-safe bag and put it inside the freezer for up to three months.
Another alternative way to freeze bay leaves is to make cubes of frozen herb and olive oil mix. This method is considered to be comparatively a more convenient approach and here are the steps to do so properly:
- Prep and Chop: Prepare your bay leaves for freezing first by washing and drying them thoroughly making sure you leave no trace of moisture on it. Next, you need to chop them finely into tiny pieces.
- Fill the ice tray slots: Next, fill in the slots of a moderately sized ice cube tray with these leaves up to 2/ 3rds of the space available and fill the rest with olive oil making sure the leaves are completely submerged in the oil.
- Flash Freeze: Next, leave your ice tray in the freezer for several hours or preferably overnight in order to flash freeze them into a solid. Also, ensure to cover the tray with a plastic film or cling wrap so that the bay leaves don’t pick up any strong odor from any other dish kept in the freezer.
- Pack and Seal: Once your bay leaves have frozen completely solid, transfer the cubes from the tray to a freezer-safe zipper bag and return place it back into the freezer with proper current and use by the dates mentioned. Make sure to squeeze out any excess air and secure the seal of the bag tightly.
Now that you have learned how to freeze bay leaves properly, let us share some amazing tips with you that we strongly recommend in order to get the best results while freezing bay leaves:
- Freeze in Small Quantities: Make sure to cut your bay leaves into finer pieces because smaller quantities of bay leaves tend to freeze better than larger quantities. In case you have a huge quantity of bay leaves that is more than a handful, it is best to split them into two separate ice trays or freezer bags before freezing for that matter.
- Freeze Deep: It is best recommended to freeze bay leaves and other herbs like that in the deepest part of the freezer where it can get the lowest temperature possible. This is because it helps in preserving the fresh flavor of the leaves.
- Dry in Sunlight: After washing your bay leaves, you can leave them under direct sunlight in order to dry completely for about an hour if the towels are not serving you well. But make sure to not leave your bay leaves any longer beyond that because otherwise, your bay leaves may start to get too dry and shrivel up giving blemishes.
- Mix with Other Herbs: You can try chopping your bay leaves and mixing them up with other chopped herbs as a unique way of preserving and enhancing the flavor of bay leaves. You can also add some olive oil and have them stored in ice cube trays so that you have ready-made cubes of herbs and spices to drop into your dishes from frozen.
Bay leaves can be frozen and made to last for a good three months. You can also simply store bay leaves perfectly in your kitchen cupboard or pantry at normal room temperature, but freezing is a better way to freeze them for an indefinitely long time.
Make sure to add and start the preparation for freezing your bay leaves as soon as you have picked them up from your garden, or local harvest, or bought them from a store nearby. This will prevent your bay leaves to get dirty and will also make sure your bay leaves are exposed to the least amount of air, the moisture from which is the main culprit in turning them soggy or causing fungi to attack.
Refer to our further articles on herbs like mint by visiting our blogs on Can You Freeze Mint and clear your concerns.
Fortunately, you do not have to worry about defrosting or thawing your bay leaves before consuming them. No matter how you are using it, whether directly on your curry, in your pan, or in soup, just pick out a leaf and drop it directly into your dish to add that extra zing of flavor.
If you have stored bay leaves in the form of cubes just drop one or two cubes depending upon your recipe directly from the frozen and it is going to melt on its own due to the cooking heat and coat everything.
Well, if you ask whether refreezing bay leaves are good or not, then there is no such wrong with refreezing bay leaves as they do not cause much damage to the leaves. However, we recommend not doing so because the whole point of using bay leaves is their authentic taste and scent which can degrade slightly if you repeatedly refreeze them.
FAQs on Can You Freeze Bay Leaves
Freezing leaves is a good way to preserve them for a really long time but freezing for too long or at too harsh temperatures can end up killing the plant by damaging its vascular system and rupturing its cell walls.
Yes, bay leaves and other aromatic dried herbs can be frozen to them fresh. Just make sure to place a few sprigs or leaves on a tray or cookie sheet, freeze them to solid, and once that’s done, pack them up in freezer bags or air-tight containers. Place a few sprigs or leaves in freezer wrap or in an airtight freezer container.
Yes, bay leaves are quite beneficial for your health and are a high source of vitamin A, vitamin B6, and vitamin C which not only give you a healthy immune system but also help treat digestive issues and ease an upset stomach.
If you store your bay leaves in a normal kitchen drawer at room temperature for optimal use, it lasts for about 2 to 3 months and if you freeze them they can last for 6 to 8 months without getting soggy.
Wrapping everything up, bay leaves freeze quite well but please make sure you do not leave bay leaves in the freezer for too long as they can get soggy and mushy at the time of future use. Similarly to other herbs, bay leaves serve you the best if you happen to use them up within the span when they are freshly harvested or bought so that they can retain their full flavors and aroma while being added to your food.
With this we have encountered the end of today’s topic, we hope you found this article informative, and make sure to stay tuned with us for more such food-related interesting articles like Can You Freeze Dill and others.