Monday, September 8, 2014

Drying Herbs at Home {Tutorial}

I love fresh herbs. I love to watch them grow, and cook with them, and even cut some off just to smell in my kitchen. They're great to have around. But what if you have TOO much? Or what if the winter is getting closer and your beloved herbs aren't going to make it? Then it's time to do some drying and storing. 

I am  no expert in drying herbs. I'm sure there are a million ways to do it, and something different for each kind of herb, but this is what works for me. I use a simple dehydrator (like for making jerky) but an oven at a low temp could work too.

I don't have time or space to hang bunches of herbs in my closets and wait for them to dry, so this is my quick, afternoon method of drying herbs at home.

My basil plant is out of control. I's HUGE. The smell is amazing, and I hate to throw any of it away. So I'm slowly cutting and drying it for later use. The dry herbs are just as delicious and have a long shelf life. 

Trim a few branches off of your plant. The smaller leaves of basil are the sweetest, so I tried to get the smaller branches.

Give them a quick rinse to clean them off.

Pull the leaves off of the stem and pat them dry on a towel. Then lay them out in a single layer on your dehydrator. If your dehydrator has multiple layers, use as many as you need and fill them up!

I ran my dehydrator for just 1 hour, and the herbs were finished drying. They should be completely crunchy when they're done. They loose their brilliant color, but they still smell and taste great.

Place the herbs in a sealed bag, jar, or container. Anything with a good airtight seal will work. 

These would make an adorable and thoughtful gift too! Tie some twine around your jar and add a label for a sweet gift that will last.

*I have only tried basil and parsley so far, as those are what I had on hand that needed drying. Drying times will vary for other herbs.

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