May 4, 2023
The Searles Gardening Team
Drying herbs is indeed an excellent way to preserve an overabundance of basil, parsley, thyme, sage, or other herbs for future use. Hanging herbs upside down in small bunches is a simple and traditional method that allows for maximum airflow in an area with low light. Warm, dry air will gradually remove the moisture from the herbs, resulting in dried herbs with no moisture content.
When using the hanging method, it's important to avoid direct sunlight as it can cause the herbs to lose flavour. Bunches of herbs can be tied together with jute string, leaving enough length for easy hanging. The drying time will vary depending on the herb, but it typically takes a few weeks for herbs to be completely dried out. Once dried, the herbs can be stored in a jar with an airtight lid, and it's important to label the jar with the name of the herb and the date it was dried. Properly dried and stored herbs can last up to two years.
Another method for drying herbs is to use drying trays covered with paper towels. This method requires regular turning of the herbs to ensure even drying, and it's important to avoid direct sunlight and ensure good air circulation. Alternatively, you can place the tray of herbs in the oven after baking, with the oven door open to allow for gentle heat drying. It's important to use low heat to avoid losing flavour and burning the herbs.
If you have a dehydrator, this can be a convenient and efficient method for drying herbs. Using a low temperature setting on the dehydrator can help maximise the flavour and essential oils of the herbs. This method can also be used for drying turmeric and ginger.
Once dried, herbs can be used for cooking, making potpourri, or as thoughtful gifts. You can also swap herbs with friends or create your own special herb blends to add flavor to your meals. Drying herbs is a great way to make the most of your abundant herb harvest and enjoy their flavours throughout the year.