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HOW TO DRY HERBS


It isn't difficult to collect the herbs. A straightforward snip or simple cut and you have finished. Drying could be a challenge if you don't know how to do it right. Once you bear in mind that a herb is the same as every other plant its a lot easier to understand the best way to handle them.


You first have to collect the herbs you intend to dry. It is advisable to cut longer stalks rather than many shorter ones. You will hang up the herbs upside down inside a good ventilated area. You don't want to place them in bright sun light.


Even though sun light will help the natural herbs grow, the sun's rays may cause the herbs to lose their scent while drying.


As soon as you've collect 4 or 5 (8 to 10 inches  long) stems, you have to shake them off lightly. This will make sure there is no insects on the leaves .


Remove  any dead or bad leaves. You need to also strip  the last 3 inches from the stem. Now you can tie the ends together. You may use string or maybe a plastic strap if you want.


Once you have tied the herbs into bundles, place them inside a brown paper bag and cut few holes  for air flow.

Tie  the bag close with all the bare branches sticking out.

After that you can hang up the whole package upside down from the same string you tied all together with. Always keep an eye on the herbs while they dry.  


You don't want them to end up mouldy. When they are fully dried out, you are able to prepare them for storage. This could require a week or more. You have to be patient.


It's also possible to air-dry the herbs. Air-drying can be done by scattering the leaves from the herbs on to  screens to ensure the air flow can enter both sides of the leaf.

This allows the herbs to dry up evenly.  It is advisable to use one screen for every variety of herb. You don't want to  dry  peppermint with  oregano. This can cause some quite unusual tasting  dishes!


Never make the mistake of believing you don't need that much. In the summer when you've got a very good availability of fresh herbs, you do not realize the amount of of the herb you make use of.


It is because the plant is consistently growing and replacing your supply.


Dried herbs tend to be stronger compared to fresh ones. Fresh herbs hold water. The dried herbs have  a lot more concentrated essential oil.

You will discover you will not need to use as much of the dried herbs to get the same exact flavour. However with the ability to store your own herbs, you have to be sure you will have plenty till next planting season.


There is also a false impression that herbs could be oven dried or heated up in order to force dry them. This is simply not the right method to dry your herbs. High temperature can in fact release the essential oils that give the herbs their excellent scent and also flavour.


It's not a good idea to force dry your herbs and loose all their flavours


The main thing to keep in mind from all this is to ensure the herbs are stored in a warm, dry, and airy location when you are waiting to dry.