How Do I Dry Herbs?

Herbs are used to compliment, enhance, and add flavor to dishes, but they can be expensive. The average price for fresh rosemary is more than $4 per oz. Wasting half a package is like throwing $2 in the trash. Learning to dry herbs, store bought or home grown, is a great way to manage costs and cut down on waste.


How Do I Dry Herbs?

Air- For sturdy herbs like rosemary or sage, “Tie them into small bundles and hang them to air dry from a ceiling.”[1]

Oven- For more delicate herbs like mint or basil, “remove the best leaves from the stems. Lay the leaves on a paper towel, without allowing leaves to touch. Cover with another towel and layer of leaves. Five layers may be dried at one time using this method…The oven light of an electric range or the pilot light of a gas range furnishes enough heat for overnight drying.”[2]

Dehydrator- Almost any herb can be dried in a dehydrator! “Pre-heat dehydrator with the thermostat set to 95°F to 115°F…place the herbs in a single layer on dehydrator trays. Drying times may vary from 1 to 4 hours.”[3]

Microwave- Like oven drying, place leaves on a paper towel, without touching. You can do two layers of leaves at a time. Cover the second layer with a paper towel. Microwave for 10 seconds at a time, flip between each interval.


“When the leaves are crispy, dry, and crumple easily between the fingers, they are ready to be packaged and stored. Dried leaves may be left whole and crumpled as used, or coarsely crumpled before storage.”[4]



Mint Tea:

Another great way to use your fresh herbs is in your tea. Making mint tea is incredibly easy!

Ingredients:

· Fresh Mint

· Boiling Water

Supplies:

· Paper Towels

· Microwave

Directions:

1. Remove mint leaves from the stems

2. Place in a single layer on a paper towel, do not let the leaves touch

a. You can dry two layers of paper towel at a time

3. Cover with a paper towel

4. Place in the microwave for 10 seconds

5. Flip the paper towels over

6. Repeat this cycle until the leaves are dry and brittle

7. Store in a breathable container or paper bag

8. Remove a teaspoon at a time, place in a tea strainer

9. Boil water

10. Let cool slightly

11. Pour over and steep for 5 minutes

12. Drink your home-made mint tea

[1] (Revised by Elizabeth L. Andress. Ph.D. and Judy A. Harrison, 2014) [2] (Revised by Elizabeth L. Andress. Ph.D. and Judy A. Harrison, 2014) [3] (Revised by Elizabeth L. Andress. Ph.D. and Judy A. Harrison, 2014) [4] (Revised by Elizabeth L. Andress. Ph.D. and Judy A. Harrison, 2014)

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