The Benefits of Freezing Fresh Herbs with Olive Oil

· January 30, 2017
You can freeze some aromatic fresh herbs with olive oil in order to make them last longer. But be careful - we can't do this with all herbs. Read more here.

Fresh herbs are a wonderful resource in the kitchen. Aside from their medicinal properties, they are essential for adding flavor to our stews and daily dishes.

But the main problem we have with fresh herbs is preserving them.

They may go bad soon after we buy them unless we have a garden plot full of thyme, mint, basil or rosemary.

Don’t throw them away just yet. In today’s article, we want to propose a sensational idea. If you freeze your favorite herbs with a little olive oil, you’ll get a great culinary resource.

Below, we’ll explain how to do it and tell you about the benefits that this can bring you. It’s a very useful idea that you can use daily!

If I freeze my fresh herbs, will they lose their benefits?

We’re all clear that most plants and vegetables maintain more of their nutritional value if we consume them when they’re fresh.

Also read Tea Tree Oil: the Amazing Oil that Has Provides Benefits

However,  there are many ways of consuming aromatic herbs that prevent them from losing their nutritional value.

  • We can consume aromatic herbs (e.g oregano, basil) in their dry form.
  • Essential oils are another wonderful way to make use of them.
  • Also, something such as combining them with olive oil can increase their nutritional value.

Freezing them does not alter their composition or their original nutritional value at all.

Frozen blocks of olive oil with fresh herbs.
Can olive oil be frozen?

This is another question that many of us have asked ourselves. Well, the answer is that olive oil can indeed be frozen without altering its nutritional value.

  • However, you must remember that olive oil must be consumed on the same day if it has been thawed.
  • If you refrigerate, refreeze or leave out the olive oil that has already been defrosted in order to consume it on another day then it will no longer be edible or healthy.

Olive oil consists almost entirely of oleic acid and begins to thicken at 4º C.

  • At 0º C, small lumps start to form in it.
  • This is a totally natural process which doesn’t carry any risks.
  • Freezing does not affect its composition and it keeps its omega-3 essential fatty acids and its wonderful antioxidants in perfect condition 

Benefits of freezing fresh herbs with olive oil

Freezing is a simple, healthy and effective process to preserve the nutritional value of both olive oil and aromatic herbs.

If you’re still not convinced,  then pay attention to everything that this “trick” can do for your health:

  • It’s a natural weight loss remedy. Its healthy fats and essential oils make you feel full and help you digest food.
  • Olive oil combined with rosemary has an anti-inflammatory effect, which is great for pain caused by arthritis.
  • Moreover, combining olive oil with sage helps to treat menstrual cramps.
  • Olive oil mixed with aromatic herbs such as basil, thyme or rosemary helps you strengthen the immune system.
  • If you suffer from indigestion, flatulence or heartburn, try to combine olive oil with mint leaves. This produces a delicious and great result.

Also Read: Diseases that Can Hide Behind Indigestion

Mint leaves on a bamboo tray.

How to freeze fresh herbs with olive oil

The first thing we have to do is to choose the most suitable fresh herbs. Chamomile or dandelion don’t work well with freezing.

Stronger herbs with greater antioxidant power will work better. For example, below we propose the following herbs as well as everything you need to freeze your herbs with olive oil.

What you need

  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Sage
  • Fennel
  • An ice tray
  • Extra virgin olive oil (to fill the ice tray)
  • Plastic wrap

 

These are fresh herbs in an ice tray.

 

How to prepare it

  • Once you have chosen your fresh herbs, wash them well and cut them into small pieces. The idea is to fit in each space of the ice tray.
  • Next, place them in each slot of the ice tray.
  • Once each fresh herb is placed in each space, pour the extra virgin olive oil into the spaces. It’s very easy.
  • After this, cover the ice tray with the plastic wrap as this will help to preserve it better. Finally, put it in the freezer.

The next day, your herb and olive oil ice should be ready. Use your culinary imagination and take advantage of this wonderful resource full of nutritional value.

You use these ice cubes in stews, purees, soups or you can spread them on a slice of bread for your breakfast.

Are you ready to give it a try?

St-Onge, M. P., & Bosarge, A. (2008). Weight-loss diet that includes consumption of medium-chain triacylglycerol oil leads to a greater rate of weight and fat mass loss than does olive oil. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/87.3.621

Cicerale, S., Lucas, L. J., & Keast, R. S. J. (2012). Antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phenolic activities in extra virgin olive oil. Current Opinion in Biotechnology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copbio.2011.09.006

Han, S.-H., Hur, M.-H., Buckle, J., Choi, J., & Lee, M. S. (2006). Effect of Aromatherapy on Symptoms of Dysmenorrhea in College Students: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2006.12.535

Stark, A. H., & Madar, Z. (2002). Olive oil as a functional food: Epidemiology and nutritional approaches. Nutrition Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1301/002966402320243250