Did you know that you can freeze garlic? This is a great way to preserve the garlic that you’ve grown in your garden so that you can use it all year round in your cooking.
One of the best ways to freeze garlic is in ice cube trays because the garlic will be in usable portions. This makes it easy to take just the right quantity of garlic out of the freezer whenever you need it. Here’s our step-by-step guide to freezing garlic in ice cube trays.
Step 1 – Select the Garlic you Want to Freeze
When choosing your garlic for freezing, make sure that you select only garlic cloves that are healthy, smooth, and firm with dry skins. This will give you the best chance of success.
Don’t choose garlic cloves or bulbs that have soft spots or slightly moldy areas.
Step 2 – Decide how you Plan to Use the Garlic
There are various ways that you can store garlic in the freezer, and the method you choose will depend on how you plan to use the frozen garlic.
You can freeze whole cloves, pop minced garlic into ice cube trays or even puree the garlic and add a small amount of oil before putting it into the ice cube trays. You can even freeze roasted garlic.
Step 3 – Gather your Ice Cube Trays
If you’re going to be using plastic ice cube trays, it’s important to remember that these will absorb the strong scent of the garlic, and you won’t be able to use them for anything else.
Therefore, select only those trays that you can set aside just for freezing garlic in.
Step 4 – Prepare the Garlic Cloves for Mincing
Take your entire bulb of garlic and separate it into individual cloves. Then, remove all the skins from each clove and trim off the ends that had the roots.
Step 5 – Mince your Garlic Cloves
Place the garlic cloves into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the garlic until it is the consistency that you prefer.
Step 6 – Spoon the Minced Garlic into the Ice Cube Trays
Use a spoon to scoop up the minced garlic and place it into the ice cube trays.
Step 7 – Freeze the Garlic
Place the garlic-filled trays in the freezer for around 2 hours. Once the cubes are completely frozen, you can remove them from the tray and place them into a freezer bag before putting them back into the freezer. These should keep for around six months.
How to Freeze Pureed Garlic with Oil
Another way that you can prepare your garlic for freezing in ice cube trays is to puree it and mix it with a little oil. Here’s what to do:
- Prepare the garlic by separating the cloves and removing the skin.
- Place the garlic cloves into a food processor bowl and use the pulse function to puree the garlic.
- Add around one tablespoon of olive oil per head of garlic into the bowl.
- Pulse again until the garlic and the oil are well blended.
- Spoon the mixture into your prepared ice cube trays.
- Place the trays into the freezer for around 2 hours.
- Once the cubes are frozen, you can take them out of the tray and place them into a freezer bag.
- Pop this back into the freezer.
These cubes of garlic can be stir-fried or sauteed in a hot pan to release their full flavor into the meal that you’re preparing. As a general measure, one cube of frozen garlic is equivalent to around one tablespoon of pureed or minced fresh garlic.
How to Freeze Roasted Garlic Paste
If you have the time, you can roast your garlic first and then puree it and freeze it in ice cube trays. Here’s what to do:
- Choose large, firm garlic bulbs for roasting.
- Prepare your garlic bulbs by peeling off the outer skins and cutting off just the tops of each clove to expose a little of the flesh beneath.
- Place the complete garlic bulbs into an oven-proof dish that has a lid. Make sure that the exposed parts of the cloves are facing upwards.
- Drizzle some olive oil over the garlic bulbs.
- Place the lid on the oven-proof dish and roast the garlic bulbs in the oven until they are soft.
- Take the garlic out of the oven and let cool a little.
- Once the cloves are cool enough to touch, pick up each bulb and gently squeeze each clove out of its skin.
- Mash the roasted garlic cloves with a fork to make a smooth paste.
- Spoon the paste into your prepared ice cube trays.
- Place in the freezer for around 2 hours.
- Once the cubes are frozen, you can take them out of the trays and place them into a freezer bag before returning them to the freezer.
You can now use the frozen roasted garlic cubes to add to stews, soup, or sauces. You can also thaw the cubes in the refrigerator overnight if you want to use them in salad dressings or dips. These are also perfect for making garlic bread.
How to Freeze Whole Garlic Cloves
To freeze whole garlic cloves, you won’t have to use ice cube trays. All you have to do is prepare the garlic by peeling and separating it into cloves.
You can now place these whole cloves into a freezer or zip-lock bag. Seal the bag after making sure that you’ve expelled all the air first. These can be kept in the freezer for around six months.
To use these frozen cloves, all you have to do is take out however many cloves you’re going to need and chop them up like you would with fresh garlic. This is possible because the garlic will not freeze solid. You can even crush the frozen cloves in the same way as fresh garlic.