How to dry aromatic herbs to stock up and have them available for free all year round

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Discover the best methods of drying aromatic herbs to flavor your dishes all year round at no cost

Don't store avocado like this: it's dangerous


Discover the best methods of drying aromatic herbs to flavor your dishes all year round at no cost

There are various ways to dry herbs. Obviously, it is always better to opt for the fresh variant, but always having dried herbs available in the pantry with which to flavor your dishes can be really advantageous.

Let's find out all the drying methods.

@ naltik / 123rf

Hang the herbs to dry 

Hang the aromatic herbs to dry at room temperature it is the simplest and least expensive way to dry them. 

How to do? It is very simple, because it is necessary to remove the lower leaves and tie the herbs together, from four to six branches, fixing them with a string or an elastic. At this point, place them upside down in a brown paper bag, with the stems protruding and close.

Make small holes along the top to promote air circulation. 

We recommend hanging your herbs in a warm, dark area of ​​the house for about two to four weeks, periodically checking until dry. (Read also: How to choose the best spice or aromatic herb to enhance the flavor of each vegetable)

This process works best with low-moisture herbs such as:

  • Aneto 
  • Marjoram 
  • Rosemary 
  • Summer savory 
  • Timo 

Le herbs with a high moisture content they get moldy if they don't dry quickly. Therefore, if you plan to air dry these types of herbs, make sure the bundles are small and place them in a well-ventilated area. Among the most difficult aromatic herbs to dry we find: 

  • Basil 
  • Oregano 
  • Tarragon 
  • Melissa 
  • Mint

@Heike Rau / 123rf

Aromatic herbs to be dried in the oven 

THEdrying in the oven it is one of the methods to best dry herbs; you can use the microwave for faster drying. When drying the herbs in the oven, it is good to place the leaves or stems on a baking sheet and heat them for about one or two hours with the oven door open and the temperature at about 82 °. 

If you use the microwave, we recommend placing the herbs on a paper towel and placing them on the top shelf for about one to three minutes, turning them every 30 seconds.

When proceeding with drying, microwave ovens should be used as a last resort, because although it is the fastest method, it can affect both the oil content and the flavor especially if you dry too quickly. Read also: (Herbs: the 10 best in the kitchen. How to combine them)

Dried herbs using an electric dehydrator

Another fast, easy and effective way to dry the herbs is to use a electric dehydrator

The temperature and air circulation can be controlled more easily. Preheat the dryer between 35 and 46 degrees, place the herbs in a single layer on the trays of the dehydrator and allow to dry for one to four hours, checking periodically. 

Herbs are dry when they crumble and the stems break when they bend. 

@Andrei Kuzmik / 123rf

How to dry herbs using other methods 

Dry the herbs leaving them on a tray is another very simple and inexpensive method. This can be done by stacking the trays on top of each other and placing them in a warm, dark place until they are dry.

Similarly, you can remove the leaves from the stems and lay them on a paper towel. We recommend that you cover with another paper towel and continue layering as needed. 

Another method is dry them in the cold oven, for one night, using only the internal light of the appliance. (Read also: Diseases of aromatic plants: how to recognize and eradicate pests, fungi and molds affecting your herbs)

Herbs dried in the silica sand

Le dried aromatic herbs in silica sand they should not be used in the kitchen, as this drying method is more suitable for craft purposes. 

How to do? Place a layer of silica sand on the bottom of an old shoe box, arrange the herbs on top and cover them with more silica sand. Place the shoe box in a warm room for about two to four weeks until the herbs are completely dry. Once dry, store them in airtight containers that are labeled and dated, as it is best to consume them within a year. 

Store in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight. 

THEdrying of aromatic herbs, regardless of the method used, it is an excellent solution if you want to give a summer touch and flavor to your dishes even in winter. 

On herbs could it be interesting for you:

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  • Are dried spices and herbs safe? The Irish study
  • Coriander, the forgotten herb that helps cleanse heavy metals
  • From lavender to rosemary, 12 itineraries to discover the secrets of aromatic herbs and medicinal plants in Europe
  • 5 aromatic herbs that help you lose weight
  • Laurel: all properties, uses and benefits
  • 7 herbs to grow to help other vegetables grow better
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