Consider drying your herbs for a fresher alternative to store-bought varieties
Drying your own herbs makes for tastier dishes and a fatter wallet! It’s a simple process and your guests will love the flavorful dishes you’ll serve. Dried herbs are safe from mold, yeast and bacteria; and they’ll stay potent for up to a year. All you really need to dry herbs is air circulation. A little warm air can help as well. Choose the right method for you!
Tie bunches of herbs together and hang them upside down to dry. It’s helpful to use a twist tie so that they can be tightened when the stems shrink as they dry. Pick a warm, dry location. Avoid the Kitchen! As this room is often humid from cooking, washing dishes, etc. Wrap a paper bag or muslin around the bundle and punch holes for air circulation. If you are drying sprigs or leaves, you may want to lay them flat to dry. Use an old window screen layered with cloth mesh to do this. Drying should only take a few days.
Solar Drying Herbs
If you live in a warm, dry location, consider drying your herbs outside. Herbs will dry best at 100 degrees fahrenheit and less than 60% humidity. Don’t expose the herbs to direct sunlight or they will bleach and be sure to bring them inside nightly. Use stackable drying screens to dry more herbs faster! You might even consider placing the drying screens inside of your car as well. You can build your own dehydrator by using stackable screens and placing glass over the screens to trap radiation. An absorber plate will transmit heat and a vent will aid with air circulation. Learn more about building your own solar food dehydrator here.
Listen to the Home Wizards Show – October 12, 2013
Cindy Dole & Eric Stromer – Home Wizards Hour 1 – Carving pumpkins with power tools – Pumpkin preservation – Fall fix-it list and entertaining ideas
Cindy Dole & Eric Stromer – Home Wizards Hour 2 – Scary front yard Halloween decor – Easy landscaping and fall bloomers – Drying your garden herbs