The easiest and best way to preserve herbs is by drying them. Drying herbs is a perfectly acceptable way to store your fresh garden flavorings for further use. You can maintain garden herbs and use them in many creative and different ways. Start by gathering stems into small and loose bunches, then secure their ends together with a band or a string, hang these bundles in an upside-down position in a dry and ventilated place that should be out of direct sunlight.
You can put herbs with small leaves on the newspaper or on a rack to dry, such as thyme. Within two to three days, herbs should be thoroughly dried, giving the best results. However, fresh herbs aren’t always immediately ready to change and are the best for flavor and health benefits. Freshly preserved garden herbs can also be used to make beautiful gifts that are attractive and personal.
How to Dry Herbs?
Drying herbs is a traditional and authentic way to preserve them. Follow these steps for the best result:
- Snip herbs and tie them in a bundle with a band or a string.
- Hang these bundles in an upside-down position,
- Remove the dried leaves, once they are thoroughly dry,
- Store them in an airtight container.
You can keep the dried herbs for about a year when stored this way. Herbs can be kept compressed in containers, even in your kitchen. Herbs generated in the home taste better and are much cheaper than those in the store, and they usually only need to be used in small amounts.
Garden Herbs can be Preserved in a Variety of Different Ways
1. Drying Herbs in The Air
Drying is a simple way that works great for herbs such as thyme, oregano, sage, and marjoram. Shake them well to remove dust before drying and cut any wilted leaves. Also, wash the herbs, but make sure to dry them to prevent mold. Bind the stems together using a band or twine and hang these bundles in an up-down position in a ventilated, dry place and dark spot. Cover the pile with a paper bag if you’re having a dust problem or don’t have a dark place and secure sufficient air space to circulate. Leave them hanging until they’re dehydrated, which can be for 1 to 4 weeks. Finally, store them in a sealed container for a year.
2. Drying Herbs in an Oven
Drying herbs in an oven is an artificial and faster way to dry herbs. To utilize this method, use these following steps for the best result:
- Put the plants on a baking sheet along with parchment paper.
- Place the sheet in the oven at the temperature of 150° F with the bar slightly open.
- Frequently check seasonings and remove them when they become crumbly.
- The above step may take between one to four hours.
- Then, for a year, store them in a sealed container.
For green herbs like cilantro, basil, tarragon, and parsley, freezing is the best option to dry them.
The first method would be cutting the herbs, packing them into an ice cube tray, and tapping off with water. Another way is to blend them in a paste with a little water or oil before putting them in the freezer—store ice cubes in a sealed vessel in the freezer for three months.
4. Butter (Herbal)
Drying herbs in herbal butter can be fun and creative. Follow these steps for better results:
- In a mixer, blend butter with the herbs of your choice; you can also mix fruits and vegetables,
- After mixing them, shape them according to you.
- Cover them nicely and place them in the freezer
It’s so delicious you will love this flavored herbal butter on your snacks.
5. Infusing Herbs in Vinegar
Infusing vinegar with herbs can be used to preserve their flavor. An amusing aspect of keeping this unique method is that you can use any bottles you like. You can also use apple cider other than white vinegar for preserving the herbs. Follow these steps for the best results:
- First, choose the herbs you want to maintain,
- Place the small number of herbs in two cups of vinegar to get a better taste.
- Seal them and place them in a dry place.
- Leave them for up to six weeks.
The longer you put them in the vinegar, the greater its flavor will.
Herbs are such an excellent way to taste the food, and many of them require little sustenance to get started. A traditional and beautiful way of drying herbs is air drying by hanging them upside down in a dry and dark place. Storing them in a dark place helps them preserve the flavor. Tie them in small bundles to allow for good air circulation. The method you use to maintain your herbs will depend on what you are trying to preserve and personal preference. Picking herbs at the end of the period is essential to having supplies available after the garden has gone calm for the winter.