Herbs emphasize the taste of every dish. They are invaluable in preparing sauces as well as soups or meats. So it is worth knowing how to dry herbs properly and enjoy their intensive and unique taste.
Drying herbs – why is it worth it?
Drying is a natural, traditional and very simple way of preserving herbs. Well dried herbs not only retain their unique flavor but also their natural color and fragrance. Thanks to drying herbs we don’t have to worry that they will spoil quickly, because dried herbs can last for a really long time. Because of this we can keep dried herbs in larger quantities. Regardless of whether it is basil, marjoram, oregano, parsley, dill, sage or mint, it is always worth having herbs in the kitchen cupboard. Basil, thanks to its intensity will emphasize the taste of Italian dishes. It works perfectly in combination with tomatoes and mozzarella. Mint added to lemonade makes this drink extremely refreshing
Herbs have not only taste, but also many health-promoting properties. An infusion of St. John’s wort leaves will help with stomach ailments, while that of lemon balm will soothe upset nerves and ensure a peaceful night’s sleep. Sage has purifying properties and additionally enchants with its fragrance. How to dry herbs? Learn about simple home methods.
Methods of drying herbs
There are really many methods of drying herbs. You can do it naturally or with the help of special devices. The most popular methods of drying herbs include:
- drying herbs outdoors,
- drying herbs in the oven,
- drying herbs in a mushroom and fruit dryer,
- drying herbs in the microwave
To dry herbs outdoors, tie the petioles together and hang them in an airy place, preferably sunny. This method is best for drying rosemary, mint and oregano. It can be problematic to dry only the leaves and not the whole stems. Then it is worth using a linen bag. This method, however, has one drawback – it is time-consuming. Drying herbs this way takes about two weeks.
If you want to speed up the drying of herbs, you can use an oven. Place the herbs on baking paper and set the oven on the lowest temperature – you can also do it using a fan heater. After placing the herbs in the oven, slightly open the door to allow the steam to escape and leave them for a few hours. Keep in mind that with this method you can only dry one type of herb at a time to avoid the aromas mixing. The drying time of herbs in the oven takes several hours and depends on the size and humidity of the herbs. In order to continuously verify the degree of drying, it’s a good idea to look into the oven from time to time and assess the degree of drying of the herbs
How to dry herbs? How about in a dryer? Here we also put a thin layer on the trays and turn on the dryer. We must remember to constantly control the degree of drying of herbs. The drying time is up to several hours. Everything depends on the type and humidity of herbs
The most controversial method of drying herbs is considered to be drying in a microwave oven. However, it is the most effective method because drying herbs takes just a moment. To dry herbs in the microwave, place them between two paper towels and put them in the oven, setting it to 400W. The drying time also depends on the type of herb, e.g. basil will dry in one minute, while dill sprigs in two minutes
Drying herbs in the fridge – an unusual and somewhat forgotten way
Drying herbs in the refrigerator may seem a bit strange, but it is a very effective and efficient way. This can be done in two ways. The first way is to arrange the herbs on trays, and the second way is to wrap them in a linen cloth. In this case, it is best to dry individual leaves on a tray or plate and cover them with an airy cloth. Thus prepared herbs should be put in the refrigerator and wait until the dry air in the refrigerator draws moisture out of them. The state of drying should be checked after about 5 days and estimate whether the herbs are sufficiently dried or whether they still need to be dried. Refrigerator drying results in green and crisp herbs
How long to dry herbs and store them?
Dried herbs require proper storage. Containers with dried herbs should not be placed in sunny or damp places. It is also worth remembering not to crush them but to pour them whole into tightly closed containers or jars This will protect them from losing their color and smell.
Each container should be signed.