logo

A - Z of Home Remedies & Cures

Help: To find Illnesses or Conditions associated with a Home Remedy. Select a letter from A - Z of Home Remedies. Or Scroll lists. Or Use Search.

How to dry herbs in the home

Drying Herbs in the Home


Dry Herbs by hanging.
If you have picked the herbs from your garden or bought them from the greengrocer, shake them to remove soil, weeds and insects, and remove leaves that have spots, are bruised or discoloured.  If they are dirty rinse the herbs under cold water and lay them out separately on sheets of kitchen roll and cover them with more sheets of kitchen roll. Press the paper on top of the herbs gently to absorb and remove all water. For best results use one type of herb rather than mixed bunches, as drying times will vary.

When the herbs have been thoroughly dried select a bundle of 8-10 stems and secure them with a rubber band.  Take a paper bag and cut several holes in it, label the bag with the name of the herbs and the current date.  Place the bundle of herbs in the bag, facing downwards, and close the ends of the bag around the stems and tie securely. Hang the bag upside down in a warm, airy room to dry the herbs.

Check the drying progress every week and if required tighten the rubber band around the stems. When the herbs are dry they will crumble when crushed. Store the dried herbs in an airtight container or in a sealable plastic bag.  Dried herbs will remain potent for about a year and they produce more flavour if you crush them when required.

Drying herbs concentrates their flavours and you will require less dried herbs than fresh herbs. Usually one teaspoonful of dried herbs is equal to one tablespoonful of fresh herbs.  Dried herbs should be added to the cooking pot earlier than fresh herbs to allow their flavours to develop.  Until you get to know the strength of your dried herbs, always use less than you are tempted to use.

Dry Herbs in the Oven
Instead of tying the herbs in bundles, place them separately on sheets of paper towel on a large oven tray. Preheat the oven selecting a low temperature, next place the tray in the middle of the oven and leave the oven door open to let the excess moisture escape and to ensure the oven doesn’t get too hot.  Dry for 30-minutes, then turn the herbs over on the tray and continue drying for 30-minutes.  Be careful not to burn your herbs, keep checking them to monitor the drying progress – keep the oven temperature low.

Depending on the heat of your oven you may need to dry the herbs in the oven for longer.  When your herbs are dry turn the oven off and let the herbs cool before removing the tray. You could experiment with just a few herbs to find the best oven temperature and ideal drying time.

Store the dried herbs in an airtight container or in a sealable plastic bag.  Dried herbs will last about a year and they produce more flavour if you crush them when required.

Drying herbs concentrates their flavours and you will require less dried herbs than fresh herbs. Usually one teaspoonful of dried herbs is equal to one tablespoonful of fresh herbs.  Dried herbs should be added to the cooking pot earlier than fresh herbs to allow their flavours to develop.  Until you get to know the strength of your dried herbs, always use less than you are tempted to use.

Dry Herbs in the microwave
An ideal method of herb drying for those in a hurry is in the microwave.  The microwave dries faster and keeps the herbs greener and tasting fresher. Remove the leaves from the stems and place them separately on a paper towel on a microwave plate, cover the herbs with another sheet of paper towel. If the sheet of paper is too big for the microwave plate – cut the overhanging corners off.

Select high temperature for one minute and press start, keep a sharp eye on the herbs, and stop immediately if there is a sign of smoke or smell of burning. If you have left a stem on the leaves it may ignite. This drying method is best for large leafy herbs. If the herbs require further drying continue drying in 20-second bursts. Properly dried herbs will crumble at the slightest touch.

Store the dried herbs in an airtight container or in a sealable plastic bag.  Dried herbs will last about a year and they produce more flavour if you crush them when required.

Drying herbs concentrates their flavours and you will require less dried herbs than fresh herbs. Usually one teaspoonful of dried herbs is equal to one tablespoonful of fresh herbs.  Dried herbs should be added to the cooking pot earlier than fresh herbs to allow their flavours to develop.  Until you get to know the strength of your dried herbs, always use less than you are tempted to use.

Freeze Dried Herbs
When you have dried your herbs you can freeze them. Chop the dried herbs into small pieces and place them in ice cube trays. Cover the chopped herbs with extra-virgin oil and place in the freezer. When the cubes are frozen solid put them into plastic bags and keep them in the freezer until required. It is always advisable to label the plastic bags with the contents.

Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking herbal medications



Comments





Health Issues

US agrochemical giant Monsanto has been ordered by a court in California to pay $289 million damages

VIEW MORE

Specialist doctors in the UK will be able to legally prescribe cannabis-derived medicinal products by the autumn

VIEW MORE

Half of US teens and adults under the age of 50 are infected with the oral herpes virus, and one in eight has genital herpes.

VIEW MORE