Freeze-Dried Herbs, Fresh Herbs or Plain Old Dried Herbs?

Multiple dark blue and silver tins of freeze-dried herbs on wooden board with flatbread in background

An Introduction to Freeze-Dried Herbs

We all reach to the store shelf for the ease and simplicity of dried herbs for our cooking instead of using the lush green stems of fresh herbs which would naturally be a preference. But let’s face it, those dried herbs are just not the same! Luckily, there’s a solution in freeze-dried herbs.

In the current climate, we’re all aware of food waste and often settle for the dried version instead of buying fresh; we know we’re not going to use the full bunch, or we know it won’t last. But what if you could achieve the same flavour and texture from a dried herb as a fresh one?

The Lucullan Collection have the solution with our freeze-dried herb range.

The Nutrition

The main benefit of Lucullan’s freeze-dried herbs is that the process involved produces prolonged shelf life along with maintained nutritional value. There is no heat involved in the process, so no nutritional value is lost which makes it different from other methods of plant preservation. The freeze-drying process locks in the same nutrients, minerals, and vitamins as the fresh herbs but provides the same convenience of shelf life as a standard dried herb.

The Taste

The freeze-drying process retains the flavour and keeps a vibrant green colour unlike standard dried herbs. As a result, you should not be able to see or taste any difference between herbs that were freeze-dried 7 years ago from those freeze-dried 7 days ago.

Fresh produce has a much shorter shelf life and needs to be used quickly. Even fresh herbs lose their flavour and nutritional content the older they become.

Freeze-dried herbs have a more concentrated, sharper and punchier flavour and work in all cooking methods, but in my experience, they are best in slow cooking. This allows their intense flavours and aromas to be released slowly through rehydration.

Due to the high flavour concentration within a freeze-dried herb, you also require smaller quantities in your cooking.

One tablespoon of fresh herbs is the equivalent to one teaspoon of freeze-dried herbs.

So, How do we Achieve the Perfect Freeze-Dried Herb?

The process of freeze-drying involves the removal of moisture from raw frozen herbs through a vacuum system, via a process called Sublimation.

Fresh herb stems are hand-picked and frozen on the same day to maintain optimum flavour and nutrition.

The Process

  1. Frozen raw herbs are diced and spread evenly onto trays.
  2. Trays are stacked and stored in freezers.
  3. Trays are loaded into a refrigerated freeze-drying chamber that seals tightly shut.
  4. The chambers vacuum system removes ice from the produce and converts it directly to vapour (known as sublimation).

Final Notes

  • Freeze-dried herbs are suitable for all types of dishes, from garnishing soups or salads, through to enhancing flavours in pasta dishes, making delicious stews or sensational herb flavoured oils.
  • Whatever you like to cook, freeze-dried herbs will provide the flavour of fresh with the convenience of dried.
  • We always suggest adding freeze dried herbs early in the cooking process to allow time for full flavour to be released.
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