Dec 7, 2013

How to dry herbs/spices

http://fixlovely.blogspot.ca/2013/12/how-to-dry-herbsspices.html
Herbs/spices are one of my all time favorite things.

I grow some of my own herbs, but I usually have to buy most of them from the store. I get them fresh, but don't have time to use all of it before it goes bad :-(. 

This post is about how to dry and store herbs you grow yourself and herbs from the store. There is virtually no herb or spice that you can't dry in the oven for later use!

How to air dry herbs

When you air dry your herbs, one of two things happens: they will either keep their color (rosemary, green onions), or turn brown (chives, basil).

For the herbs that stay green, you can dry them on a paper towel on a rack or plate where they won't be disturbed, and let them dry for a few days.
Green onions air drying
How to oven dry herbs
But for your herbs to keep their color, the best way to dry them is in the oven. That way they also look pretty in their jars.

1. Wash your herbs. 
If your herbs are leaves/stems, skip step 2.

2. If your herbs are roots (like ginger) or long leaves (like green onions), chop them into manageable bits. Remember, they will shrink as they dry. For spices like ginger, wash them, slice them into 1/4 or smaller slices.

3. Turn the oven on Warm (you do not want your oven higher than 175, as that will singe your herbs), lay your herbs on a tray (or plate) lined with parchment paper, and let them sit in the warm oven for 2-3 hours, or longer if the herbs are thick or fleshy (like sage, ginger or garlic).
Slices of ginger drying in the oven
 Once dry, put them in a labeled jar and use as needed! Dried herbs will keep for several years. 

Dried green onions, ready to add to anything!
I like to buy herbs at the grocery store, and dry them like this!
I've done ginger, green onion, celery, garlic, and red peppers. I like to make my own garlic powder.

Herbs from my garden that I've dried like this are mint, sweet marjoram, basil, parsley, lemon balm, chives, sage, oregano, thyme, and more!

Here's my shelf of herbs. I love it so much. 


Instead of drying whole garlic, here's a hack I discovered to keep it fresher, longer!

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