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I love the fresh herbs in the summer, but I also love being able to use them throughout the winter in cooking and teas. What is the best way to dry them to keep them freshest? In past years, I would lay them out in old crates and let them dry, usually in the basement (out of the way of small children). What I noticed though was they would lose a lot of the scent and flavor.
This year I am using the dehydrator and drying them down faster. The pro is they seem to be holding their flavor and scent better. The downside is I have to actually plan. In the past I would cut all the herbs and then dry them at the same time. I can not do that with the dehydrator without meshing the herbs flavors. So this year my dehydrator has been on heavy duty drying herbs most days of the week. It definitely worth purchasing one that you can add trays to, like this dehydrator and these additional trays.
Finding the best way to dehydrate them took some playing. Most herbs dry well on the lowest setting of 95 degrees. The bigger herbs like chives and large basil leaves I have to cut up into smaller chunks so they dry. After they are dry I take a coffee grinder and grind them up quickly. If there is moisture left in the leaves, the grinder will not grind them well. If this happens I simply lay the herb back out on a dehydrating tray and let it dry longer.
After they are dry I put them in a clean dry jar with a solid lid. I received a bunch of old honey jars from my grandmother that I love to store my herbs in. They are cute and gives them a purpose since they really can’t be used for canning. I wish I had more lids for the little ones, as many of the herbs won’t fill the big jar.
Dehydrating herbs instructions:
Set Dehydrator to 95 degree
Walk away for at least 12 hours
Check to see if herb is dry to the touch
Grind in coffee grinder or blender
Store in airtight glass jar
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