Thursday, March 24, 2016

DYO (Dry Your Own) Herbs!

When you see organic herbs on sale at the store, don't pass them up! It's simple to dry your own herbs and they taste so much better than what you can buy in a bottle.

I like to dehydrate my herbs in my dehydrator. The one I own is pricey, but I use it a lot (so it has been worth the investment)! However, any dehydrator will work! If you have a dehydrator, preheat it to 125 degrees. Simply rinse the herbs in cool water and shake them off to remove excess moisture. Cull through and remove any leaves that look browned or bruised. Lay stems of leaves on the dehydrator trays with ample space between them for good air flow. It will take between 1-4 hours to dehydrate herbs. You will know they are ready when the leaves crumble easily. You may have to check every 30 minutes to see how they're doing. When they're done, crumble the leaves into a small ball (removing from their stems). Then, place the dried leaves into a spice jar, either whole or crumbled.
NOTE: If any leaf is not dry, you could develop mold in the jar. Make sure to only include completely dried leaves.

Some additional notes...

Some people also dry their microwave oven. Generally, your microwave comes with instructions to do that or you can search online.

You can also dry herbs in your oven on paper towels under the oven light (overnight). Generally, it is best to pull the leaves off the stems to get the best results. You can stack up layers (paper towel with leaves on top), one on top of the other. I've never used this method, but I read that it works well!

Save your empty spice containers to reuse them. Simply add your newly dried herbs into those containers, but remember to re-label them with the correct herb name!

Freshly dried herbs are about 3-4 times stronger than fresh. I usually use 1/4 of what it says in a recipe that calls for fresh herbs.

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