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How to Dry Fresh Herbs

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How to Dry Fresh Herbs

 

Drying herbs is something any home cook, gardener or DIY enthusiast should have in their arsenal. You’ll save money and reduce waste, of course, but you’ll also have herbs with much more flavor than anything you can buy at the store. After all, dried herbs don’t last forever, and you never know how long those jars have been sitting on the shelf.

What’s more, drying your own herbs is easy and painless — as long as you know what you’re doing. Different herbs require different techniques; some popular herbs don’t usually take well to traditional methods of drying at all. No matter how long you hang basil upside down, for instance, it’s not going to be take on the same consistency as the stuff you can buy at the store. But there are ways to dry basil, and other herbs like it, properly.

Drying Herbs: The Basics

No matter what drying method you are using, there are a few basic steps that need to be followed.

1. If you are harvesting herbs directly from your garden, make sure to pick them at their peak, when their flavor is the strongest. For most herbs, that means when the buds have just appeared, but are not fully open yet.
2. The best, and only, herbs you should dry are fresh herbs. Remove any yellowed, dried or otherwise unhealthy looking leaves.
3. Clean your herbs before drying them. Run the stems under cool, running water, removing any dirt or bugs, and pat dry thoroughly with a paper towel. Herbs should be totally, completely dry before you start the drying process.

Check out the next page for tips on drying out many different kinds of herbs.

Earlier: 15 Childhood Favorites for Adults (Recipes)

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Read more: Basics, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Eco-friendly tips, Food, Green, Green Kitchen Tips, Home, Household Hints, Lawns & Gardens, Nature, Vegan, Vegetarian

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Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.

142 comments

+ add your own
3:04AM PST on Feb 28, 2014

Thanks for the tips, bookmarked it.

7:34AM PDT on Oct 6, 2013

Neat tips. I love my dehydrator. Thanks for posting!

11:11AM PDT on Oct 1, 2013

thanks for this useful information. instead of throwing out fresh herbs I can't use in time, will try to dry

9:32PM PDT on Sep 27, 2013

thanks

9:43PM PDT on Sep 25, 2013

Awesome, now I can dry my basil, oregano and parsley. Thanks for the info.

9:16PM PDT on Sep 25, 2013

Thanks for these tips, I have catnip, sage, dill, and chives that I wanted to dry. Big help to me!

10:33AM PDT on Sep 25, 2013

Thank you.

7:40AM PDT on Sep 25, 2013

Thanks so much..

12:57AM PDT on Sep 24, 2013

Thanks for sharing these.

8:53PM PDT on Sep 23, 2013

ty

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