|Fresh pureed blackberries, from the Vitamix to the trays|
Freezing my harvests into cubes has additionally proven to be the best way to preserve certain items for off-season use. Cilantro is wonderful fresh, but loses its flavor when dried. It grows best here in the winter months, so I don't have it growing to add fresh when tomatoes are ripening and I make fresh salsa. Freezing makes cilantro available when I want to use it in summertime, with its flavor as close to fresh as I've found (read below how I prepare it to freeze in cubes). Also, putting fresh harvested and cured garlic in a dark, cool place works for short term storing, but, for me, the heads eventually start to sprout or shrivel up. Freezing into cubes preserves it for me to use year-round.
Basically, any juicy produce can be chopped fine or pureed in a food processor and then frozen as cubes. If the food is not liquid enough, I add a small amount of oil or some other liquid which matches what I'm likely to put in a recipe with the pureed item. For example, I chop fresh cilantro and mix it with freshly squeezed lime juice to freeze into cubes, since I'm likely to use the cilantro in salsa or some other Mexi-inspired recipe which includes lime juice.
|Jalapenos and olive oil cubes (note the gloves!)|
Some of my favorite veggies, herbs and fruits to freeze into cubes include:
- Basil with olive oil (no need to add parmesan cheese and pinenuts/sunflower seeds yet - just add them when you are ready to make and use the basil in a pesto sauce)
- Peeled garlic pureed with olive oil
- Chopped jalapeno with olive oil
- Chopped cilantro with lime juice
- Pureed #berries
- Pureed fresh ginger root
- Chopped lemon balm with lemon juice
- Applesauce (one or two cubes are a nice portion for adding to a cup of plain yogurt)
- Fresh juice and pulp from citrus fruits (when my Florida friends bring some from their trees :-)
Let me know your ideas for freezing in #icecube trays!
|Pureed garlic in oil on the left, chopped cilantro in lime juice on the right|