Some of us who enjoy cooking with fresh herbs such as oregano, basil, parsley, cilantro, sage, or those who like a good herbal tea, might have the space for an herb garden. As fall approaches, many do not have to keep the herbs inside to protect them from the cold weather. Another great idea is to dry your herbs and use them throughout the winter. The main reason to plant and take care of your own herbs is to make sure you use fresh ingredients for your food and tea. Many spice bags or similar products have a long shelf life at the supermarket, but the flavor might not be the same.
Drying techniques, you might want to try
The fastest way to dry your favorite herbs is to take a bunch of them and hang the bunch upside down. The bunch should be stored in a dry place such as the pantry or the attic. Sometimes if we keep the herbs far away from the kitchen, we might forget to incorporate them into our daily cooking.
Air-drying only the leaves and the stems is also great. You can pluck the leaves and put them on a tray in a clean area. Then, wait for the herbs to air dry. The time span depends on the humidity in the air and the season.
Dehydrating is popular with fruits and veggies, but it can also be done with herbs. However, you need a dehydrating machine. If not, you can try microwave drying or oven drying. To protect the herbs from burning, you need to place them between paper towels and microwave them for around a minute. If you try oven drying, you need to place some cheesecloth or muslin on the baking tray to stop the herbs from sticking. Use the lowest setting on your oven and dry for about 30 minutes. To test the herbs are dry enough, take one leave and check to see if it crumbles easily.
Overall, drying your herbs is excellent to avoid food waste; it helps give flavor to your food, and dried herbs are wonderfull for tea infusions.