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vacuum sealing fresh herbs

l
leahvh01 Sep 7, 2009 09:08 AM

can you vacuum seal fresh herbs and if so how long will they last? Also can you then freeze it and how will that last? If the freezing method is successful upon opening does the herb (like rosemary for example look and taste like fresh?

thanks foodies ;>

  1. m
    morwen Sep 8, 2009 07:41 AM

    I vacuum sealed herbs last summer and froze them. I laid them in a single layer before vacuuming. They did last through to this year, they did retain flavor but they were no more visually appealing than if I had chopped them up and frozen them as cubes. They froze together in clumps despite the care I took to make sure they were nice and dry, and they discolored. It was a great idea in theory but left a lot to be desired in practice. This year I'm back to doing cubes again.

    2 Replies
    1. re: morwen
      l
      leahvh01 Sep 8, 2009 04:46 PM

      so you mean the cubed ones discolored?

      1. re: leahvh01
        m
        morwen Sep 8, 2009 06:15 PM

        They both darkened, vacuum pack and cubes. And they will discolor when you freeze, it's just what they do. But I think the cubes are much easier to use and definitely more economical. Vac bags and batteries can add up. The vacuum pack eventually turned into a block. Every time it was opened to pull out some herbs it gained some moisture from temp change and condensation, even though I revacced the bag after each opening. Thus when it went back into the freezer the herbs refroze together again. I also think the continual refreezing lessened the quality somewhat. They were still flavorful but not as intense by the time they were used up. The cubes are equivalent to about 3 tablespoons and are frozen once. I can grab any number needed without removing the bag from the freezer. They can go directly into things like soups or sauces or I put them on paper towels, allow to thaw with any moisture absorbed by the towel, then into the recipe. But if you're hoping to preserve the nice bright color of herbs to finish a dish or garnish, that's just not going to happen no matter if you freeze or dry. So frustrating. I have big beautiful Bergarten sage leaves this year and no way to preserve them whole and gorgeous. I'm just hoping I can nurture the fresh pot past Christmas.

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