Drying Herbs


Year after year I can count on the herbs in the garden to provide a bounty of flavor through the growing season. But I want the flavors of sage, thyme, rosemary, and the like in the coldest months, when we have so much snow i cannot possibly find them! Last year, I did just that! Each June I take stock and I devise a plan to start drying herbs and store them for future use.

There are a few different methods, I tend to use air drying and also employ a dehydrator. I like to air dry rosemary, sage, and lavender because they don't loose their leaves until you pull them off. Tie the woody stem on to kitchen twine and let them hang over the dinning room table. After a week i check to see if they are dry and brittle enough for storage. All of the herbs are eventually packed into little air-tight glass jars and put n a cool, dark pantry.



Oregano and Thyme, on the other hand, start to shed their leaves early in the drying process. I found the best way to dry and preserve their leaves is with a food dehydrator. This process takes about 2-3 days, depending on the amount that I'm drying and the thickness of the leaves. The only drawback is, you can only dry one type of herb at a time.

20110815-065223.jpg Bundle of thyme. This will fill one small glass jar.

20110815-065153.jpg Here's my dehydrator, I use a Nesco. They are easy to use and you can find them on Amazon.



In addition to drying herbs, food dehydrators do wonders with hot peppers!