Use Powdered Medicinal Herbs in the Kitchen

Learn how to select, grind, store, and portion your powdered herbs and explore recipes that incorporate these herbs into healthy dishes.

| July / August 2018

  • Keep an eye on your stored powdered herbs and use them in a timely manner, as they'll gradually lose their potency.
    Photo by Stocksy/Nadine Greeff
  • Blending powdered herbs into carriers, such as nut butters, helps disguise their flavors while still providing medicinal benefits.
    Photo by Stocksy/Cameron Whitman
  • Instead of a mortar and pestle, you can grind your herbs using a coffee grinder to make the process quicker and easier.
    Photo by Dreamstime/Anton Starikov

Herbal teas, supplements, and liquid extracts are all convenient, popular ways to get a daily dose of healthful herbs, but another wonderfully simple option is often overlooked: powders. Some powdered herbs, such as garlic, basil, rosemary, and thyme, are already well-known and beloved kitchen spices that are commonly purchased and used in powdered form. However, unusual medicinal herbs, including eleuthero, rhodiola, and schisandra, can be used in the same way.

Though many of these herbs have traditional uses outside of the kitchen, they contain valuable antioxidants, so a sprinkle of powdered herbs is a perfect way to enliven a dish with both health and flavor. Some medicinal herbs may not be palatable on their own but are desirable from a health perspective. If an herb has a bland or unappealing flavor, mix it into food to help disguise its taste.

Whether you highlight them in dishes or slip them in unnoticed, powdered herbs have the potential to be a simple yet effective way to enhance your meals.

Grinding Your Own Herbal Powders

Grinding herbal powders at home is a very simple process. While using a traditional mortar and pestle to make an herbal powder can be difficult and time-consuming, a spice mill or coffee grinder makes the task much easier. A coffee grinder with a removable cup makes cleanup less of a chore, but any quality grinder will do the job.



Grind only 1 tablespoon at a time of herbal roots, barks, leaves, berries, or flowers so the coffee grinder’s motor doesn’t overheat. After the herbs are evenly ground, they’ll be ready for use!

Storing Powdered Herbs

Like powdered spices, the key to keeping powdered herbs fresh is to store them in airtight containers in a cool place, away from direct light and humidity. Herbs are full of active principles, and these compounds quickly degrade and become inert when exposed to light, moisture, or a high-temperature environment

ANNL
7/20/2018 7:58:48 PM

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