Can you freeze bay leaves?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you freeze bay leaves?” and discuss how to freeze bay leaves?

Can you freeze bay leaves?

Yes, you can freeze bay leaves. Generally speaking, bay leaves may be stored in the freezer for up to sixthree months (2). You may keep herbs in the freezer for as long as you want when freezing them. Three months is the best length of time to keep the flavor of the product intact. 

Successful freezing can now preserve food almost in its original form. This makes it possible to preserve and transport food worldwide. As freezing prevents growth of microbes, frozen food can be stored for long periods; there is no need to use preservatives or additives to extend shelf life. However, because spices contain a high percentage of water, the ice crystal expansion in plant tissues damages them severely (1). 

Bay leaves (or bay laurel) are an essential ingredient in a number of meals, including curries, stews, and casseroles, which benefit greatly from their addition.

The EU produced just 137 thousand tonnes of herbs and spices in 2013; however, it imported over three times this amount. Just 2% of the world’s herbs and spices are produced in Europe, 81% in Asia, 12% in Africa, and 3.7% in Latin America and the Caribbean. North America and Oceania produce <0.1% of global production (5).

Putting Bay Leaves in the Freezer

It’s good to know that freezing bay leaves, whether they’re from your yard or a store, isn’t difficult. To keep your bay leaves fresh for as long as possible, just follow these simple instructions.

Wash and Air-Dry

The bay leaves should be properly rinsed in a colander under cold water for about ten seconds. After that, use a paper towel to pat them dry. To prevent the leaf from becoming black, remove any imperfections or spots from the leaf’s surface before washing.

To Keep Them Safe, Put Them in a Freezer Bag

Take a freezer-safe airtight bag and put the bay leaves inside. Before you close the bag, you’ll need to squeeze out as much air as possible.

Freeze the label and the frozen food.

Make a note of today’s date and the intended use-by date of your bay leaves on the front of the freezer bag. For a minimum of three months, bay leaves should be stored in the freezer.

How to Freeze Bay Leaves: 4 Simple Steps

When you’ve learned how to freeze bay leaves, we’ve compiled a list of our top 4 suggestions to ensure the greatest results:

  • Smaller amounts of bay leave freeze better than bigger ones. Splitting the bay leaves into separate freezer bags before freezing is a good idea when storing more than a handful at a time.
  • In the lowest area of your freezer, bay leaves and other herbs should be frozen. This is because it will aid to keep the freshness of the leaf flavor.
  • You may allow your bay leaves to dry in the sun for about an hour after washing them if paper towels don’t work. Leave them for no longer than this, otherwise, they will dry out and shrivel in the sunshine and need to be replaced.
  • When storing your bay leaves in the freezer, try blending them with other herbs and spices for a distinct flavor. Place them in your ice tray with a drizzle of olive oil. A ready-made cube of herbs and spices will thereafter be available for use in your recipes from the freezer.

How Long Do Bay Leaves Keep Well in the Freezer?

Bay leaves may be stored in the freezer for up to sixthree months (2). While storing bay leaves in a cabinet at ambient temperature is entirely acceptable, freezing them is by far the best method for preserving them. So, as soon as you gather your bay leaves from the garden or buy them at the shop, put them in the freezer.

What Is the Best Way to Defrost Bay Leaves from Freezing?

Bay leaves don’t need to be defrosted before use. Pick a leaf from the freezer and put it in, whether you’re cutting and adding them to a skillet or adding them to your favorite curry for an extra dose of flavor. Hence, it is not required to thaw the bay leaves.

Bay leaves can be re-frozen, but how?

Bay leaves can be refrozen in principle, so there’s nothing wrong with it. However, we don’t endorse it at this time. Your meals should have a kick and a distinct flavor thanks to the use of bay leaves, which are popular in a variety of cuisines throughout the world. 

Melt–refreeze behavior can lead to complete disappearance of smaller crystals during warming and growth of larger crystals during cooling, or to a decrease in size of crystals during partial melting and regrowth of existing crystals during cooling. This leads to a negative impact on the texture of the food (1).

Bay leaves lose flavor when frozen, defrosted, and then refrozen again. When using bay leaves in cooking, you may simply remove the leaves from the freezer bag and use them as needed.

Is it possible to freeze bay leaves?

Bay leaves may be frozen, as long as you don’t put them in the freezer for an excessively extended period of time. When it comes to herbs, the fresher they are, the more flavorful and aromatic they will be for your dish. Get them in the freezer as soon as you can when you collect them from the garden or buy them at the supermarket to retain their freshness.

Many ways of handling vegetables post-harvest have been investigated to extend shelf life and preserve health-promoting compounds, among which frozen storage is one of the most popular and effective processing approaches to maintain postharvest quality and nutritional properties for extended periods, because at low temperature, deteriorative reactions are reduced to minimal rates. According to previous reports, long term frozen storage is an excellent technology to preserve the post-harvest quality of broccoli florets. Studies showed that frozen cauliflower can serve as an excellent supply of important health-related compounds, even after storage for 1 year. However, in some instances the contents of health-promoting phytochemicals and antioxidant capacity in vegetables are altered during frozen storage (4).

To keep bay leaves fresh, what is the best way to do so?

The easiest approach to preserve bay leaves is to freeze them, particularly if they’re still fresh.

What Is the Shelf Life of Dried Bay Leaves?

There is a good chance that dried bay leaves may be kept in a cold, dry, and dark area for up to 3 months or up to one year in the refrigerator or freezer (2) two years before they begin to lose their flavor.

To learn more about freezing bay leaves click here

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question “Can you freeze bay leaves?” and we discussed how to freeze bay leaves?

Reference

  1. Evans, Judith A., ed. Frozen food science and technology. John Wiley & Sons, 2009.  
  2. Lambert,A. Preserving Herbs. 2022. University of South Dakota.
  3. Harvesting, cooking with and preserving herbs. University of Illinois.
  4. Zhang, Fen, et al. Effect of long-term frozen storage on health-promoting compounds and antioxidant capacity in baby mustard. Front nutr, 2021, 8, 665482.
  5. Galvin-King, Pamela, Simon A. Haughey, and Christopher T. Elliott. Herb and spice fraud; the drivers, challenges and detection. Food Control, 2018, 88, 85-97.