Can You Freeze Cilantro?
Cilantro is a herb native to South America. It’s used in Mexican cuisine and has gained popularity in recent years. However, freezing cilantro isn’t recommended because it causes the leaves to turn brown and dry out.
In this blog post, I will show you how to freeze cilantro without causing damage.
I’ve included two methods for freezing cilantro: one that uses ice cube trays and another using Ziploc freezer bags.
The first method works well if you’re planning on making a large batch of salsa or guacamole. If you want to freeze small amounts of cilantro, use the second method.
Both methods work by placing fresh cilantro into an airtight container and then into the freezer. The frozen cilantro will keep for up to six months in your freezer.
Freezing Cilantro with Ice Cube Trays
Ice cube trays are perfect for freezing cilantro. They make it easy to measure out exactly how much cilantro you need.
- To start, wash the cilantro and remove the stems.
- Then chop the cilantro into smaller pieces. You can either do this before or after you place the cilantro into the standard ice cube tray.
- Next, fill each ice tray about halfway full with chopped cilantro.
- Then cover the top of the ice cube tray with plastic wrap so that it touches all sides of the cubes.
- Finally, put the ice cube tray into the freezer.
- After about 30 minutes, take the ice cube tray out of the freezer and carefully lift off the plastic wrap.
You’ll notice that the cilantro looks like little frozen cubes of green ice.
If you want to store the cilantro cubes longer than 6 months, repeat this process every month.
How Long Does Frozen Cilantro Last?
Frozen cilantro keeps for at least six months in your freezer, but it may last even longer depending on how long you wait between freezing cycles.
For example, if you only freeze the cilantro once a year, it should be fine for up to three years.
However, if you freeze the cilantro twice a year, it should last for up to five years.
It might not last as long if you freeze the cilantro more often.
It’s best to check the expiration date on the package when you buy it.
Does cilantro lose its flavor when frozen?
Yes! When you freeze cilantro leaves, the water content inside the leaves decreases. This makes them less flavorful.
But don’t worry — there are ways to preserve the flavor of your frozen cilantro.
Here are some tips:
– Freeze the cilantro in a resealable freezer bag instead of an ice cube tray to avoid freezer burn.
– Add lemon juice or lime juice to the cilantro before freezing.
– Use a food processor to blend the cilantro.
– Don’t add salt until just before serving.
– Try adding other herbs such as parsley, basil, mint, dill, or chives.
Can you freeze cilantro in olive oil?
Olive oil contains natural antioxidants called polyphenols. These antioxidants help prevent oxidation from occurring during the freezing process.
This means that olive oil won’t become rancid when frozen. Olive oil freezes better than any other type of oil.
To freeze cilantro in olive oils, follow these steps:
1. Wash the cilantro and remove stems.
2. Chop the cilantro into small pieces.
3. Place the cilantro into a bowl.
4. Pour olive oil over the cilantro.
5. Stir the mixture together.
6. Transfer the mixture into an airtight container.
7. Put the container into the freezer.
8. After 30 minutes, take the container out of the freezer and stir the contents again.
9. Repeat Steps 8 and 9 until you have enough cilantro to serve.
10. Serve immediately.
How to Choose Cilantro
Cilantro is available in many different varieties. Here are some of the most popular types:
- Basil – The most common combination of cilantro. It has a strong taste and aroma.
- Chiffonade – A curly leafy herb that tastes similar to basil.
- Chinese cilantro – Has a milder flavor than regular cilantro.
- Curly cilantro – Has a stronger flavor than regular cilantro because it grows in a tighter curl.
- Parsley – Tastes very much like basil with a hint of citrus.
- Romano – Similar to Italian flat-leaf parsley.
- Spinach – Has a slightly bitter taste.
- Thai cilantro – Has a sweet and spicy flavor.
- Wild cilantro – Has a strong flavor that can overpower dishes.
What does cilantro look like? Cilantro comes in many different colors and shapes. Some of the most common include:
- Green – Most commonly found in grocery stores.
- Red – Also known as Mexican cilantro.
- White – Also known as Chinese cilantro.
- Yellow – Also known as Thai cilantro.
- Purple – Also known as Peruvian cilantro.
- Orange – Also known as Cuban cilantro.
- Brown – Also known as Spanish cilantro.
Do I need to wash cilantro?
It would be best if you always washed fresh cilantro before using it. Washing removes dirt and debris that may be clinging to the leaves.
When washing cilantro, use cold water and swish it around gently. Do not rub the leaves against each other or spin them in a salad spinner.
After washing, pat dry with paper towels.
What is the best way to preserve fresh cilantro?
Fresh cilantro leaves will last for about 2 weeks if stored properly. To extend its shelf life, keep it in the refrigerator crisper drawer.
If you want to keep cilantro longer than two weeks, try one of these methods:
Freezing helps preserve the color and texture of fresh herbs. You can also freeze cilantro harvest in olive or vegetable oil. Place the cilantro in a resealable plastic bag. Add 1/4 cup of oil per pound of cilantro. Seal the bag and put it back into the freezer.
Store cilantro in olive oil
Place the bunch of cilantro in a sealed jar. Cover the top of the jar with olive oil. Make sure there’s no air between the cilantro and the oil. Store the jar in an excellent, dark location.
Keep cilantro in the fridge.
The colder your kitchen is, the less likely it will spoil food. Those without a refrigerator can still keep cilantro by storing it in a covered bowl on top of the stove.