Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How to Dehydrate Fresh Herbs

My poor basil plant faced a serious emergency, its little branch broke. Thus leaving me with a bunch of perfectly fine basil leaves.

Really, this wasn't a big issue because I've had a plethora of ideas set for the plant. Storing the herb for winter use has been a priority of mine since it is a key ingredient in many recipes we enjoy. Lately the choice of storage has either been pesto, or drying the leaves for sauces! So I collected the little branch and went to work!

This technique works for almost any herb, and couldn't be any easier! There are a lot of ways to dry herbs, nonetheless, we prefer this technique due to the lack of bug issues.

What you need:
  • Dehydrator
  • Herbs of your choice
Collect herb leaves, be sure to use ones without bug holes in them.

Place leaves in bowl and let soak. After soaking, pour leaves in colander, finish washing off, then lightly towel dry. Place leaves on dehydrator trays.

Let dry for 4-6 hours, or until leaves are crispy.

Sometimes a majority of the leaves will dry, leaving you with some still a little wet. You can choose to store the already dried ones and continue to dehydrate the others, or freeze the remaining damp leaves in a Ziploc bag.

To store the leaves you can leave the leaves whole, or crumble them in a mason jar for easy use.

We add the dried herbs to not only pasta sauces, but to sautéed veggies, dipping oil, soup, and Chile Verde sauce. It is just so tasty, and obviously full of flavor! You can make one jar for each herb, or combine the herbs to make special mixes! Basil and oregano is an old favorite of ours.

Hope you all can store your fresh herbs this summer for winter meals!

Nancy Jane

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