- When possible, preserve fresh, locally-grown mint for the best quality and nutritional value.
- Know when fresh mint is available in your state with this seasonal food guide.
1. Selection & Ingredients
- Select young, tender herbs. Do not use herbs that show signs of decay or mold.
- Cutting board
- Use clean packing containers and materials that are moisture and vapor-proof/resistant:
- Rigid containers (glass jars and hard plastic containers) are especially good for freezing foods with liquid. Covers for rigid containers should fit tightly.
- Square or rectangular, straight-sided rigid plastic containers make the best use of freezer space.
- Wide-mouth, dual-purpose glass jars made for canning and freezing are tempered to withstand extremes in temperature and allow for easier removal of partially-thawed foods.
- Narrow-mouth dual-purpose glass jars can also be used but require greater headspace (to avoid expansion breakage at the shoulder) and foods must be completely thawed before removal.
- Flexible bags or wrappings (plastic freezer bags, freezer paper or wrap, and heavyweight aluminum foil) are best for freezing food products with little or no liquid.
- Vacuum packaging removes more oxygen than other freezing methods (Refer to manufacturer's instructions.)
3. Prepare Equipment
- Before use, wash containers in hot soapy water and rinse well. Dry.
4. Prepare Herbs
- Thoroughly wash herbs.
- Trim or chop.
- Place well-drained herbs in a single layer on shallow trays or pans.
- Place in freezer until firm, then quickly transfer to labeled bags or containers.
- If using rigid containers, no headspace is necessary.
- If using flexible bags or wrap, remove as much air as possible.
- NOTE: Use frozen herbs for cooked dishes, as product becomes limp when thawed.
- Label with the name of food, date, and type of pack.
- Freeze as quickly as possible to 0°F or below.
- For quickest freezing, place containers in single layers in freezer.
- Most frozen vegetables will maintain high quality for 12-18 months at 0°F or below.