Easy Winter Recipes: Tips For Drying Herbs

| February/March 1996

• Herbs can be dried in any number of ways: by tying the stalks into bundles and hanging them in a dry, well-ventilated place; laying them out on screens to air-dry; or in dry climates, placing them in large paper bags, then shaking the bags several times a day. Good air circulation during drying helps prevent the growth of mold. Small quantities can be dried on an open plate in a frost-free refrigerator or in a dehydrator.

• For best flavor retention, do not dry herbs in a conventional or microwave oven: essential oils volatilize at 85° to 110°F.

• Dry small-leaved herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, and marjoram, on their stems. Strip the large leaves of basil, mint, sage, and lemon balm from their stems to speed drying.

• To help herbs such as basil retain their bright green color, lay them out in a thin layer between paper towels; stir the herbs at least once a day to aerate them.

• As soon as small-leaved herbs are crispy-dry, gently rub the leaves off the stems. Store all dried herbs in whole-leaf form; don’t crumble, grind, or powder them until you’re ready to use them.

• Store whole leaves in tightly sealed jars in a dark, cool spot or in the refrigerator or freezer, not in a cabinet over the stove where they will be exposed to heat. Hanging bundles of herbs are decorative, but they gather dust and lose flavor rapidly.

Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019


Next: February 16-17 2019
Belton, TX

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on natural health, organic gardening, real food and more!