Can You Freeze Parsley?

by Charlie

Parsley is a biennial herb that is very versatile. Just like other herbs, parsley can be used in soups, cooked dishes, and spaghetti. Parsley can be mixed with other herbs and made into some kind of paste called Pesto. Pesto can be used as a spread in sandwiches, can be mixed into baking recipes, or salads. 

Parsley has a distinctive taste and flavor that it brings into dishes. So, as it is not present all year round, you might be pressed to preserve it. Well, can you freeze it?

Can you freeze parsley? Yes, you can. Freeze Parsley would prolong the shelf life for 6 months if done properly. This might not be long enough to keep till the next batch of fresh Parsley can be harvested, but it is better than the alternatives which are; spoiled parsley or no parsley. The freezing action will affect the texture of the herb, which might limit the recipes frozen parsley can work with.

The harvest from Parsley is usually abundant, hence the need to preserve it is ever-present. Freezing is a widely used form of preservation and parsley leaves freeze beautifully well.

How to Freeze Parsley

Parsley can be frozen in two ways. Each one unique in its way, and is dependent on your choice of taste, storage space, or cooking style.

  1. Freezing Parsley
  2. Freezing Parsley into Cubes

Freezing Parsley

The process of freezing parsley isn’t stressful, does not require too much time investment or any special skills or equipment. So in short easy steps, here’s how to freeze parsley.

Step 1: Preparation

Before going into any of the details, you have to start with fresh and washed parsley leaves. Sort through the bunch and remove any yellowing leaf. Then, wash the leaves under running water, drain with a colander, and leave to air dry.

If you cannot spare the time waiting to air dry, you can pat the leaves down or blot them with a paper towel to dry. But be careful while you do that, so you do not bruise or break the leaves.

Step 2: Chop the Leaves or Separate from their Stems

This is done according to preference. You can separate the leaves from their stems and freeze them whole, or decide to chop the leaves into your desired sizes.

If you are going to chop the Parsley, use a very sharp knife and leave out the thick end of the stems to be discarded. If you like the leaves whole and unchopped, pick the leaves off the stem gently. Take care to not bruise them.

Step 3: Storage

Parsley can be stored in an airtight freezer bag. But make sure the bags are small enough so you can stuff them full with the parsley. Expel excess air, seal the bags and double it with another bag. 

Labeling your stored food items is very important so don’t forget to do the same for your stored Parsley. State the date of the freeze and indicate the item stored before placing it in the freezer to freeze long term.

Freezing Parsley into Cubes

This method is favored for cooked recipes or dishes. You just throw-in a cube or more as desired to add flavor.

Step 1: Preparation

It is the same process as the other methods. Pick out the unhealthy leaves, wash gently, rinse and leave to air dry or pat down with a paper towel. Whichever method of freezing you pick, always start with a clean bunch of Parsley.

Step 2: Cutting the Leaves from the Stems

For your Parsley to be frozen properly and fit into the next step, you need to separate the leaves from the stems. At this point, the stems are of no use to you so you can discard them.

Step 3: Making the Parsley into Cubes

Now, the fun part. If you have an ice cube maker in the freezer compartment of your fridge, you can make use of that. But if you don’t, you can get ice cube making trays. 

Stuff the leaves into the pockets of the tray, press them down, and pour water into the trays. Leave about an inch of headspace in the pockets because water expands as it freezes. This would ensure that the water doesn’t overflow as it freezes. Place the tray into the freezer and wait till it freezes solid.

Step 4: Storage

You can leave the cubes in the tray to freeze long term or remove the cubes from the tray. Then transfer them into airtight freezer bags or Ziploc bags, expel as much air as you can before sealing them. 

Label the bags before putting them into the freezer to freeze. Frozen parsley should be consumed within six months for the best quality.

How to Thaw Frozen Parsley

Parsley doesn’t need to be thawed before use. When cooking, you can throw in the cubes, or take as much as you need from the bagged frozen parsley. 

If you want to use your parsley to garnish dishes, you can leave the frozen parsley in a bowl to defrost on the counter. 

How to Recognize Spoiled Parsley

Parsley that has gone bad will become soft and discolored. It can also be characterized by an off smell or appearance. 

Yellow parsley is not spoiled but is greatly reduced in nutrients and health benefits. Eating them would not do you any harm. Parsley packs so many health benefits that even the yellowing leaves can do you some little good.

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