Friday, June 1, 2012

Drying Herbs at Home

I am growing more herbs this year and using them more often in my cooking. Fresh herbs can add amazing flavor to many dishes and I'm looking forward to experimenting. Recently I visited my CSA farm and picked up some fresh mint, oregano, chives and thyme. I got so much that I knew I couldn't use it all before it spoiled so I pulled out my husband's neglected dehydrator and attempted to dry herbs for the first time.
Our Dehydrator
Joe uses this dehydrator a couple times a year to make beef jerky. The rest of the time it sits up on a shelf. This year I'm growing more things so I'm going to get more use out of the thing.

First I washed and dried the herbs and then set them out on the trays. I had enough mint for 2 trays and the other things got one tray. I stacked them up, plugged in the dehydrator and let them dry all day. I rotated the trays a couple of times for even drying. The thyme became brittle and dried quickly while the leafy mint took much longer. My house smelled very interesting during this process.
5 trays of herbs
After they were all dry and brittle I crushed them up and placed them in clean spice jars I'd saved. Now I've got organic, dried spices waiting in my cupboard for the next time they are needed. The mint is the one I'm not totally sure about what I'll do. I think I'll make tea with it but I need to find the right recipe.

Anyone else dry their own herbs? What do you dehydrate?

This post is featured on: Frugal Days, Sustainable WaysYour Green Resource.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Nicole. Found your post at the Your Green Resource Link up. I dry my own herbs regularly, mostly oregano and rosemary because it grows in such abundance in our garden. We use up our mint so fast we don't have enough to dry, but maybe someday. I hope you try drying other things, too. For example, we also dry our chili peppers and then grind them to make chili powder. One year, we had an abundance of oranges and lemons and I dried them in slices and used them to make potpourri.



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