Fennel is one of those love or hate vegetables. Its liquorice flavour profile is quite divisive.
But if you’re a fan of fennel then perhaps you’re looking for ways to store it for the longer term and have found yourself asking: Can you freeze fennel?
Fennel can be frozen for around 6 months. Cut it up before blanching it in boiling water for 30 seconds. It can then be frozen on a baking tray before being portioned into freezer bags.
Can You Refreeze Fennel? No
Does Fennel Freeze Well? Yes
How To Freeze Fennel
As you’re probably aware – especially if you’re a fan – there are multiple parts of fennel that are edible. You have the swollen bulb, the fronds and the seeds. First, we’re going to focus on the main part of the fennel, the bulb and the best way to go about freezing it.
- Prepare Fennel
We would recommend freezing your fennel in slices or cubes depending on how you plan on using it. Remove the tough outer leaves, cut out the stalk and then dice, slice or cube your fennel.
Blanch these smaller pieces in boiling salted water for up to 30 seconds and then drain them. After this, you must immediately place them in ice-cold water to halt further cooking.
- Flash Freeze
Next, you can optionally flash freeze the fennel pieces on a baking tray for a few hours. This is only needed if you think you’ll only want a spoonful of fennel at a time. If you think you’ll use larger portions then move on.
- Portion Into Bag
Portion your fennel into thick-freezer bags. Seal the bags up, removing as much of the air as possible when doing so.
This will help your fennel to store in the freezer better, for longer and will also prevent the bags from taking up too much room. You don’t want to store air!
Place the bags in the freezer.
How to Freeze Fennel Leaves
Fennel leaves are fragile and must be handled very gently to retain texture and flavour during freezing. If you’re a bit rough with it then you risk bruising the leaves which will release the flavour before you get a chance to use them.
To freeze fennel leaves perfectly, follow the steps listed below.
- Prepare Leaves
Gently separate the leaves from the stalk using a knife or by pulling them with your fingers.
- Discard Damaged Leaves
Out of these, you must only pick vibrant green leaves for freezing that are free from any damage or disease.
- Fill an Ice Cube Tray
Take a spoonful of these leaves and start filling ice cube sections with them.
- Cover with Water and Freeze
Pour water to fill the ice tray to the top and freeze it.
- Bag up and Refreeze
Once frozen, you can pop the cubes out of the tray. Lastly, you must transfer all these cubes to a plastic storage bag and put it in the freezer.
How Long Can You Freeze Fennel?
To preserve fennel in the best way possible, you must store it in air-tight and thick-freezer bags.
You must ensure that the containers are vapour/moisture resistant and do not absorb flavours. This will ensure that your fennel is preserved in the freezer in perfect condition for at least 5-6 months.
You Can Freeze Fennel for Around 6 Months
How Do You Defrost Fennel?
When you defrost fennel, you might find its original texture and shape has changed somewhat which is why we would advise against using it raw in salads for example.
However, the flavour and aroma will remain unchanged. For defrosting the fennel portions the right way, follow the steps below:
When you need to use the fennel bulb, you can simply take it out from the freezer and thaw it in the fridge overnight. Once done you can simply proceed using them as a fresh fennel bulb.
If you’re using frozen cubes of fennel leaves then you can toss these directly into the dish you’re cooking. The ice will melt and the leaves will release their odour and flavour into your dish.
Can You Refreeze Fennel?
As fennel is a delicate plant, with tender leaves, freezing deteriorates its texture to quite an extent.
Refreezing it can therefore damage it further and is not something we’d recommend. Instead, try to only thaw out what you know you’ll use and freeze it initially in portions.
Does Fennel Freeze Well?
Given that fennel is full of flavour and water, it does freeze easily and very well. Freezing can hamper its crisp texture but not the quality of flavour.
All you need to take care of is that the fennel should be stored completely airtight.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing fennel or fennel in general, then these may help:
Can You Freeze Fennel Seeds?
But perhaps you have used fennel seeds in a dish such as a pasta sauce and want to know if they will remain safe to freeze. The good news is that they will be fine to freeze as part of a dish.
Can You Freeze Fennel Soup?
Adding fat or dairy to the soup and then freezing it can cause the texture to become split and grainy so try to avoid doing so.
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