Can You Freeze Arugula?

Can you freeze arugula? Yes, of course! You can freeze arugula, but the texture, once thawed will be very different in color and taste. When it’s thawed how you store it, arugula leaves will become soft. The way I store and thaw arugula helps keep the color and flavor.

Many people enjoy cultivating their own herbs and vegetables, I have a greenhouse full of thyme, rosemary, pea shoots, and tomatoes! I grow a few that are difficult to find in shops! When it’s time to harvest, and you’ll find yourself with an abundant supply of arugula, you’re not even sure what to do with it.

If you’re not sure if you can identify with that scenario, here’s a different one. The only thing you can buy is an enormous bag that is destined to be in the refrigerator’s back and slowly rotting away.

Today, we’ll take a look through the best methods to store arugula for the long term so that you don’t let it go to waste, some different storage options and how freezing impacts each one, and then the most efficient method to defrost frozen arugula.

Fresh arugula salad on a plate. Credit: Unsplash
Fresh arugula salad on a plate. Credit: Unsplash

What Is Arugula?

Arugula is a green leaf herb that is commonly referred to as ‘rocket’. I normally call arugula as rocket.

There are many different names that refer to it that vary in the region you’re from. It could be referred to as colewort, rucolaand Eruca.

Arugula is a highly regarded salad vegetable, which is appreciated for its distinctive flavor characteristic.

Overall, it’s amazingly refreshing. However, what it delivers is an sweet, spicy bitter, and a bit tart-like flavor. It’s an ingredient that packs some punch!

Apart from being used being used in salads It is also flexible. It is a popular herb that is often used to make a delicious topping for pizzas and pasta. It is also utilized in stews and soups to produce an intriguing and balanced taste.

Of course, as with other herbs, you can make use of the arugula plant to make pesto dip sauce Hummus that is flavored or salsa.

Why Would You Freeze An Herb?

You might be thinking about why you’d need to freeze the herb.

In most places where it is grown (and like many other herbs), arugula is a seasonal ingredient. It’s not readily available throughout the year!

And, if you are able to find some that aren’t in season, it’s probably to have been imported from different regions or of lower quality. It will then taste that is bland and less crisp and refreshing.

A lot of people would rather freeze their arugula, rather than buying bland (and costlier) choices in the off-season.

There’s a chance that you’ve picked the arugula in your garden and have way more than you’ll need within one or two weeks. Therefore it’s a good alternative!

As you already know, herbs don’t freeze very well. The question isn’t whether or not you can freeze rockets instead of if you should.

Can You Freeze Arugula?

There is one of two methods to freeze the arugula. The first method is simple and straightforward, while the second involves a little more work, but is simple.

Each method can give different outcomes. Always think about the ways you’ll likely use the arugula in the future prior to freezing it.

It’s crucial to note that neither method can preserve the crispness of the leaf that is fresh. Both of them will render it feel limp and soft.

One method is to blanch the arugula. The initial method involves placing the arugula leaves in the freeze-safe container or bag and freezing them immediately. The second option calls for you first boil the arugula before soaking it in hot water.

The main reason people suggest taking this approach is in order to protect the hue and taste of the green leaf. It also helps keep the herb safe from freezing burn that can completely ruin the flavor.

In truth, there is another technique which some people utilize however it’s not intended specifically for the arugula leaves.

A lot of people are aware that they can use the arugula in smoothies or soups. Therefore, they mix the leaves until they form the mix. Then, the mixture is stored in small parts that are easily blended once more.

Do You Have To Blanche Arugula Before Freezing?

The debate over whether or it is necessary that arugula needs to be blanched prior to being frozen is a subject of debate. Some individuals swear by this, while others think that it’s unnecessary.

Our personal experiences with professional chefs and advent cooks, always blanch the herbs and leafy greens prior to freezing them!

This won’t guarantee more of a thawed-looking texture than the other technique. However, it will keep their taste and color. Additionally, the blanched version can be stored in a smaller container than a lot of leaves that are fresh.

How Long Can Arugula Stay Frozen?

A lot of people believe that frozen food items will stay great for years. But this isn’t the case.

Arugula, arugula’s main ingredient, is particularly vulnerable to lose its taste and vibrant green color.

At the very least we don’t suggest to keep it for more than three months. It’s safe to eat for as long as 1 year, however it will not taste great.

If possible, try using the arugula that you have frozen within one month after the time you freeze it. The longer you keep it the longer it is stored, the more flavor will go away.

How To Properly Freeze Arugula Leaves

Today, we’ll be discussing the detailed steps to blanching and freezing the Arugula. If you’d rather use the other method, you can simply place the leaves into an airtight container, and then put them in the refrigerator!

Our approach aims to keep the flavor, color and (to some degree) feel of arugula leaf.

Step 1: Blanch The Arugula

The first step is to bring the water in a pot to the point of boiling. When the water is at an unbeatable boiling point, add all of the arugula leaves in one go. Place them in the water to make sure that they are completely covered.

Allow them to boil for approximately 30-45 seconds or until they’re slightly soft.

Step 2: Drain And Cool The Leaves

Once they are blanched, remove these from the hot water, and then place they in bowls filled with cold water. Place them in the cold water for a few minutes so that they cool completely.

Drain them out of the water. Place these to dry in the form of a Sieve or colander to ensure that any water left is able to drain away.

Step 3: Place The Leaves In A Container

After draining, put the leaves on tissue paper. This will help rid them of any remaining water.

Once dried, place your dried fruits in an airtight container , or freezer bag. Make sure to get rid of as much air as could.

Step 4: Wrap In Foil And Freeze

Cover the container with the layer made of aluminum foil. This will shield it from excessive freezer burn.

Then, label the container, then place it in the freezer.

How To Thaw Arugula

The most effective method to defrost fresh herbs and greens is to do it in a slow, steady manner.

Remove the container from the foil. Then, put it in the fridge , so that it will slowly melt over the course of a night.

However, most herbs require much shorter time to defrost. They are likely to be ready in just a few hours.

If you’re on the go and need to get them out of the freezer, you can simply thaw the leaves of the rocket at the room temperature. Also, if you’re planning to incorporate the leaves in a soup or smoothie then simply mix the frozen herb along with other ingredients.

How Does Arugula Change After It Has Been Thawed?

Once the arugula has been frozen after it has been thawed, its texture will not be as similar to the fresh version.

The leaves of arugula that are thawed have become extremely limp and soft. They’ll be devoid of all strength and structural integrity.

This is the reason it is best to make use of thawed arugula when making recipes that require mixing or cooking and isn’t recommended to use as an ingredient in fresh form or as a garnish.

There is a taste of arugula thawed may have mellowed. The longer it’s frozen, the more sour and peppery flavor it will possess.

As with any frozen or thawed ingredient and frozen food items, the hue of it can be less vibrant.

We’ve now learned about Arugula, and the best way to freeze and defrost it, let’s consider some other questions you could ask.

Other Questions Asked

Can you keep arugula in the refrigerator?

If you’re allowed to keep fresh arugula on hand, place it in your refrigerator!

Dry and wash the leaves thoroughly. After that, put them on a paper towel in a container that is loosely sealed. This simple technique will ensure that the leaves remain fresh for a longer period of time.

Can you freeze leaves of arugula with oil?

This method is employed by a few, but it’s not one of our favorites.

We didn’t specifically mention it because it’s only useful when you’re using the oil-soaked arugula as a the dressing or pesto. The amount of oil that is too high can ruin every other kind of recipe, which is the reason we don’t suggest making use of it in any way.

It is basically the freezing of arugula leaves which are chopped and then soak into olive oil. The oil’s purpose is to preserve the flavor and the color. It can certainly achieve this, however the texture will be soft once it’s defrosted.

What can cause arugula to become slimy?

Arugula that is slimy (or slimy leaves or greens generally) is the result of the process of deterioration. It’s a clear indication that the leaves are bad and shouldn’t be consumed.

To stop this from taking place, protect the leaves from any humidity or moisture. It’s also beneficial to store the leaves on paper towels that will absorb any water droplets found in the atmosphere or onto the leaf.

Did you find this guide helpful?
Debi Hales

Debi Hales

Debi is a regular contributor at YummyTasteFood and freelance writes on many other publications. She lives with her family and dogs in Idaho, as a freelance writer and catering consultant. She comes from a hospitality background and has spent stints in multiple restaurants, which lead to her pursuing a career in freelance writing!

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