It seems that in the past few years, freeze dried items have become quite popular, and there is a very good reason for this. Unlike other food-preservation-methods, freeze-drying retains 97% of the nutritional value, while dehydrating retains 60% and canning 40% (according to the Harvest Right website). In addition, freeze dried food can last up to 25 years and maintains fresh flavor and color. So today we are talking about Freeze Drying Basil at home.
Freeze Drying Machines:
Ok, so what’s the catch, you might ask? Unfortunately, Freeze Dryers are still not readily available for the home market. I believe that Harvest Right was the first company to come out with a Freeze Dryer meant for individual home use, and this is the one that we have. It is still a bit expensive, but they recently came out with a smaller version, and the prices are getting better. Click Here to Check out Harvest Right’s Website!
This company does not sponsor me, but some of you asked me how we freeze-dry in my home, so here it is.
What I like to Freeze Dry:
Of all the things we freeze-dry, basil is probably the most common. We use a lot of basil in our cooking, and there is just nothing like freeze-dried herbs to replace fresh during the winter months when fresh is either unavailable or of poor quality. We freeze-dry all summer so that we have plenty of basil, parsley, cilantro, tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, berries, etc. all winter.
Most things freeze-dry in about 24 hours, with a few exceptions. As you can see from the video, we can freeze dry four trays at a time, which is not a lot, so we often need to repeat the process.
Can you Freeze Dry without a Freeze Dryer Machine?
So, can you still freeze-dry even when you do not have a freeze dryer? Yes, you can, but it takes a long time. Follow the same steps of herb preparation, then place trays uncovered in your freezer. Deep freezers work best, but it can be done in a regular freezer and let it sit for several weeks until the leaves are completely dry.
Would love to hear suggestions as to what things you think we should try freeze-drying; who knows, maybe we can do a “Will It Freeze Dry?” video:)