A healthy and quick alternative to store bought cubes
When cold weather hits and you are expecting the first freezing temperatures of the year, it’s time to bring in the last of the tender crops. For me it was the basil. I have several plants that are ready to be preserved for my winter enjoyment.
This year I’m trying something new in my kitchen and making herb saute cubes. These little squares of frozen freshness will allow me to bring my summer garden into the kitchen anytime I want.
They are simple to make and versatile. Even if you don’t have a garden of your own, purchasing herbs and oils from the grocer and DIY-ing it yourself will still be less expensive than purchasing saute cubes at the store. All you need to start is a fat as the base, and the herbs you love to cook with.
For the fats you could consider:
- olive oil,
- vegetable shortening,
- coconut oil or
- any other fat, that you use for cooking, that will become solid once it’s frozen.
Herbs are the tasty part of your cubes. I used fresh herbs for this batch but you could substitute dehydrated, or powdered herbs if fresh are unavailable. Some of the basic herbs to you might want to start with are:
- lemon, and
Garlic and Herb Saute Cubes
Gather your ingredients, plus a sharp knife, cutting board and an ice cube tray. I like to use my silicone ice cube trays because I think the finished cubes come out easier.
- Olive Oil
- Lemon Juice
Make sure all your herbs are clean and dry. Chop the basil, garlic, and chives into small pieces and distribute them evenly throughout your ice cube trays. Don’t be afraid to pack it in tightly.
Add fresh squeezed lemon juice to each compartment. If your oil is currently in a solid state, gently melt it on the stovetop or in a microwave. You only need it to be pourable. Fill each cube with liquid oil until all the herbs are covered. Place the trays in the freezer for a few hours.
Once the cubes are frozen solid, remove them to a plastic zip bag. Then you will be able to reach in for one or two cubes when you need them. Another option would be layering them in a rigid plastic container. If that is your choice, be sure and place wax paper between the layers so they won’t stick.
You can find other recipe ideas at Budget101 and once you get started you will certainly get creative and make tasty herb saute cubes that your family will love.