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Herbal Ice Cubes


Herbal ice cubes are so refreshing during the hot summer months. They can add flavor to a glass of plain water or iced tea. Flowering herbs, such as lavender, chamomile, roses, or calendula, are great to use. You can add flowers to an ice cube tray, cover with water, and freeze; or you can make an infusion (a tea) with the herbs first in order to get the therapeutic benefits of the herbs. Here's how to do it.


Directions:

  • Add about 3 tbls. of flowers to 2 cups of hot (not boiling) water. Cover pot and let steep for 20 minutes or until it cools.

  • Add 1 or more flowers to each cube (purely for aesthetics).

  • Strain the liquid and pour the liquid into ice cube trays until it's almost full.

  • Place ice cube tray in the freezer.

  • When cubes are frozen, pop them out of the tray and place in a zip lock bag. Label the bag and store it in the freezer.

To Use: Add a few cubes to your water, iced tea, juice, or any other drink.



You can also do this with culinary herbs, such as basil, oregano, sage, thyme, etc. When making soup or other hot dishes in the fall and winter, you may not have access to fresh herbs, unless you buy them at the supermarket, and that can be expensive. Make ice cubes with these herbs in the summer and you’ll have them in the colder months when needed.


Directions:

  • Using a chef's knife, cut the fresh herbs into the size you want to use, or keep them whole.

  • Place the herbs in the ice cube tray, and press them down.

  • Pour water into the tray, covering the herbs, and place in the freezer.

  • When cubes are frozen, pop them out of the tray and place in a zip lock bag. Label the bag and return it to the freezer.

To Use: When making your soup, use a little less stock or broth. Add in the ice cubes when you’re adding the stock or broth to the pot. As the cubes melt, you’ll have fresh herbs in your soup. You can also let the cubes thaw, drain the water from the herbs, and use the herbs in other dishes.

Another method is to use olive oil instead of water for your culinary herbs. Follow the above directions, and pour olive oil over the herbs rather than water.


Making herbal ice cubes is like cryogenics for plants – you freeze the herbs while they’re fresh, and when thawed, you will still have fresh plant material. It’s a great way to preserve your culinary herbs from your summer garden.


If stored properly in and airtight container in the freezer, the ice cubes should be good for about a year.

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