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How to Dry Herbs

As the days grow shorter and the temperatures cooler our once vibrant garden is slowly fading away.  The tomatoes have been roasted and canned.  The peppers chopped and in the freezer alongside shredded zucchini and strawberries.  The only plants remaining are the herbs. I hate the thought of letting anything from the garden go to waste, so this year, I’m drying them.  It’s really not as complicated as you might think, taking very little time or effort.

Can’t you just imagine all the flavor that could be added to those comforting, winter soups or breads using herbs you’ve dried yourself?

how to dry herbs

Oregano, thyme, dill, rosemary, parsley or marjoram

These herbs are considered lower moisture herbs and can be dried in brown lunch sacks over a couple of days.

1.  Cut herbs in the quantity you wish to dry, from mature plants.  Gently shake each branch to remove any insects or loose dirt.  Remove any damaged or browning leaves.

2.  Rinse cut herbs in cold water and allow to completely dry on paper towels.  Wet herbs tend to mold, so make sure they are dry.

3.  Label brown bags with the names of each herb you are drying.  Place the herbs in the brown bag and fold over top to close.

4.  Allow bag to sit in cool, dry place.  After a couple of days you’ll have dried herbs.

5.  Store in airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place.

Add to soups and sauces by grinding the dried herbs just before use to release their oils and full flavor.

how to dry herbs

Chives

1.  Follow directions for steps 1 and 2 above.

2..  After chives are washed and dry, chop and separate them into equal portions.  Place in freezer bags in freezer until needed for use.  There’s no need to take them out ahead, they thaw very quickly.

Basil, tarragon and mint

These herbs are considered higher moisture herbs and will mold if not dried quickly.  Placed in a single layer they can be dried in the sun, in a low heat oven (140-200 degrees F, 65 degrees C) over a few hours or in a dehydrator.

how to dry herbs

What are your favorite ways to save the flavors of the growing season?  Drying, canning, freezing?  Share you methods and ideas!

About Alison


Alison Bickel lives in the heart of the Midwest where, along with her husband, they raise their three boys. Whether it’s in the garden, the kitchen or tagging along on her boys’ latest adventure she looks for the simple beauty in everyday from behind her lens. The photography bug bit her in sixth grade, upon getting her first camera, a Kodak Disk. She has been chasing light and subjects ever since. On her blog, ‘This Homemade Life,’ Alison shares tales of mothering, her passion for vegetarian cooking and obsession with farmer’s markets. You may email Alison at alison@alisonbickel.com.

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  • http://twitter.com/4theboys Allison Waken

    I’ve never tried drying herbs. I don’t know why it sounds so easy! Especially because sun drying here in AZ would be pretty quick ;)
    I do freeze some but I am not too good at it.

    Will definitely be drying some herbs this year!