Dry a bounty of fresh herbs for use all winter.
Preserving that fresh herb flavor doesn’t end with the drying process. Here’s how to keep that distinct flavor going strong until next season.
• Store dried herbs in glass or ceramic containers or jars equipped with airtight lids. Plastic containers are air-permeable and therefore not a good choice. You can also store dried herbs in a clean recycled glass container, such as a mayonnaise, mustard, peanut butter or baby food jar.
• Make sure herbs are completely dried before storing. Sufficiently dried leaves should crumble easily when crushed between your thumb and finger. Check the container after one week for any signs of dampness or moisture inside the container or on the herb. If moisture is detected, remove the contents and dry again until the herb is completely dried.
• Store dried herbs in a cool, dark, dry area such as a cupboard or drawer. Keep containers away from windowsills and other bright light areas as well as any heat or humidity sources, such as a stove, sink or dishwasher.
• When adding dried herbs to any recipe, measure out the amount away from the stove. Standing over the stove with an open jar adds humidity and will shorten the storage life and flavor of the herb.
Kris Wetherbee writes in western Oregon.
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