Did you know you can eat fig leaves? These are surprisingly delicious with a sweet, yet nutty and earthy flavour so don’t waste them, add them to your meals for a different yet delicious veg.
If you want to use your fig leaves but can’t right now then you must be wondering, can you freeze fig leaves?
Fig leaves can be frozen for up to 6 months. You need to blanch them before freezing otherwise they won’t survive the process but if you do then you have a fantastic leafy green in the freezer to add to your recipes.
Do Fig Leaves Freeze Well? No
Can You Refreeze Fig Leaves? No
How to Freeze Fig Leaves
Freezing fig leaves is not the easiest of processes and can seem daunting, especially if you haven’t blanched veg for freezing before. Don’t worry, it isn’t quite as tricky as it seems, there are just a few steps to follow to blanch them well.
- Discard Bad Leaves
Sort through your fig leaves. You want to pick out leaves that are free from blemishes and look fresh.
Wash the fig leaves thoroughly. The best way to do this is to pop them into a colander and rinse them well under cold running water.
- Boil Water
Pop a pot of water on the stove to boil. You need to ensure you have enough water to cover the leaves completely.
- Prepare Ice Water
While the water is heating up, prepare some ice water. Either by putting a bowl of water in the fridge until it is cool or popping some ice cubes into a bowl of water. When the water is ready, put it by the stove.
When the water is boiling, plunge the fig leaves into the water and boil for two to three minutes. When the time is up, take the fig leaves out of the boiling water and immediately plunge them into the ice water. This is to halt the cooking process, so your leaves don’t become fully cooked.
You only want them to be par-cooked so that they don’t end up overcooked when you reheat them.
Once the leaves are cooled down, take them out of the water and drain them. Drain the leaves and let them dry as much as you can. They are unlikely to get fully dry, but if you need them, you can lightly squeeze out any excess water.
- Bag Up
Pop the fig leaves into freezer bags.
- Seal and Freeze
Squeeze out as much air as you can from the bags. Seal the bags, then label them with the date and contents before popping them into the freezer.
3 Tips for Freezing Fig Leaves
Now you know how to freeze them, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing fig leaves to have the best results:
Airtight is Key
The secret to keeping your fig leaves as fresh as possible in the freezer is making sure they are airtight. A top tip to achieve this is to use a straw. Seal the bag almost all the way. Just leave a gap to pop a straw in. Suck out the air and then seal for completely air-free fig leaves.
Squeeze Excess Moisture
If you are struggling to dry the dig leaves, you can squeeze out some moisture. Be careful not to overhandle the dig leaves.
Roll Into Balls
If you have limited space in the freezer, then you could try an alternative method which is to roll the fig leaves lightly into small balls. Pop these onto a baking sheet and freeze them for a couple of hours in the freezer before transferring them into a freezer bag.
This means you can grab out a portion of fig leaves at a time without worrying about thawing out more than you need.
How Long Can You Freeze Fig Leaves?
Fig leaves are similar to other veggies in the freezer, and you can keep them safely frozen for up to six months. After this, they may start to degrade in flavour and won’t be quite as delicious as they would have been.
You Can Freeze Fig Leaves for up to 6 Months
How Do You Defrost Fig Leaves?
Whether or not you thaw out your fig leaves when it comes to using them will depend on how you want to use them. For many recipes, you don’t have to thaw them out at all.
Just pop them in frozen and let them thaw out as the whole meal cooks.
If you want to thaw them out, then the best method is to pop them into a bowl and put them in the fridge to defrost overnight.
Can You Refreeze Fig Leaves?
There are not many foods that can be refrozen, and fig leaves are no different. You should not refreeze fig leaves.
They will change in the freezer and be a little different from how they were fresh, and the more times you freeze, the more chances there are for ice crystals to form and degrade the structure of the leaves, which will affect the taste and the quality.
Do Fig Leaves Freeze Well?
Fig leaves don’t freeze particularly well if you expect them to remain the same as they were fresh. They will change in texture and maybe even in taste slightly. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them. They still taste great and are good for you.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing fig leaves or figs in general, then these may help:
Can You Freeze Vine Leaves?
Vine leaves can be frozen in the same way as fig leaves. They are often used in the same way in cooking. All you need to do is replace fig leaves for vine leaves in the above method.
Can You Freeze Stuffed Fig Leaves?
Stuffed fig and vine leaves can be frozen, but you need to consider your fillings and whether the filling will freeze well. Some cheese, for example, will not freeze well, so browse around Freeze It to check the fillings you have used will freeze well.
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