MASTER GARDENERS: Drying herbs to delay summer time

There are a number of methods to protect herbs. Whereas freezing herbs is an choice, we’ll think about 4 completely different strategies for drying herbs: air drying, drying within the oven, drying within the microwave and utilizing a meals dehydrator.

You will discover contemporary herbs now at native farmers’ markets and shops. In case you develop your personal herbs, make sure to decide them within the morning, after the dew disappears and earlier than the solar will get scorching. Ideally, herbs ought to be harvested once they have buds, however earlier than the flowers open. Wash the herbs beneath cool water and drain them on a paper towel.

Indoor air drying is the simplest and is finest for herbs like sage, thyme, dill, oregano and rosemary. Tie the stems of the herbs or use a rubber band to make small bunches after which hold them the other way up in a dry place that has good air flow. To protect the colour of the herbs, dry them in a darkish place. You may place them in paper luggage to catch any seeds and to maintain them dust-free. In case you use this technique, bear in mind to have the luggage free, so the herbs don’t contact the bag. Ventilate the bag with holes or slits. The method is completed when the leaves are dry and crumbly, usually about two to 4 weeks.

Oven drying is quicker than air drying. Flip the oven to 180 levels or decrease and place the herbs in a single layer on a shallow pan. Hold the oven door propped open two to 4 inches. Dry for 3 to 4 hours. Reposition the herbs often through the course of.

Microwave drying works nicely for herbs, comparable to parsley, basil and celery, or any herbs being dried in small portions. Use not more than 1,000 watts of energy. Put 4 or 5 herb branches in a single layer on a paper towel, cowl with one other paper towel and microwave for 2 to 3 minutes per cup. Rotate the herbs and make sure to examine on the herbs each 30 seconds — I had a paper towel catch hearth within the microwave once I wasn’t attentive sufficient.

A meals dehydrator works nice for drying herbs. The method is quick, straightforward and controllable. Depend on your meals dehydrator directions.

As soon as the herbs are dried, place them in hermetic containers. Dried herbs final for 3 months within the cabinet and as much as a 12 months within the fridge or freezer. For recipes requiring one tablespoon of contemporary herbs, use a beneficiant one-fourth teaspoon of floor or one teaspoon of crumbled dried herbs.

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