Herbs are part of our everyday life, as we use them daily in the kitchen or as a cure. They are the salutary gifts of nature that can not be missed in the household. We distinguish typical herbs such as basil, bean cabbage, marjoram, oregano and rosemary and very valuable medicinal plants such as peppermint, sage, chamomile, fennel, which must always be handy. The best thing is that many kitchen herbs also have health-promoting properties and are also among the natural remedies. One such example is the rosemary, which finds a good use in the kitchen as well as in the medicinal plants. Some herbs are preferred to be used freshly, while others, when dry, smell even more and unfold their useful properties. Herbal drying is an ancient method to make them last longer. But how to dry herbs exactly and keep them properly, we will explain below.
Autumn is the best time to harvest the garden herbs and to dry them
Which herbs are suitable for drying?
Autumn is approaching and the best time to harvest the herbs. After months of gardening, we are now rewarded for our efforts and the garden presents us with his gifts. Many people breed kitchens and medicinal herbs, where they find a good way to do this – directly in the garden bed, in flower boxes or pots on the terrace or on the window sill.
Their care is, in principle, quite simple. But even in the cold months we do not want to do without these healthy ingredients, so we have to make them last longer. You must inform yourself in advance and know exactly which herbs are suitable for drying and which do not. Also set your preferences and determine which natural products you want to dry and store in winter. It should be mentioned here that the Mediterranean herbs are good for drying, including for example sage, thyme and rosemary.
Bean leaves can be easily dried and smell in winter as well as in summer
Basil, which is one of the most popular herbs, is best served in the fresh state. We advise you to dry or freeze green leaves of basil. That would definitely be a mistake. However, there are a number of typical kitchen herbs, which can be easily dried. Such are bean, peppermint, oregano and caraway. Even the petals of roses, lavender and chamomile are dries, because their wonderful scent quickly drives the winter boredom. Tarragon, sorrel and dill can be chopped and frozen. So you have these herbs ready for the whole winter.
Do you freeze certain herbs every autumn?
Herbs dry? How does it work?
The process of herbal drying begins with the collection. For the purpose, choose only well-developed plants and pick their tips. Here is a small trick very important: Be careful not to collect any moist herbs, they lose their spices and mold when drying. Do not wash the collected plants! This is a big mistake that some lay people commit. The collected herbs you only have to shake vigorously and in this way free them from dust and dirt. In some herbs the leaves are dug straight from the stem, others can be dried on the stem, for example rosemary, because its leaves are very thin and delicate.
Herbs dry and then store them for winter
Before collecting the herbs, you must also prepare for the next step, where you dry them. Take a large tray and put on baking paper on it. Place the collected leaves or flowers on them and leave them in a dry, shaded and well-ventilated place. Within the next two weeks the herbs are properly dried. You can test it with your fingers. If they crackle when crushing, this is a good sign. Finished!
Well-dried herbs rustle when touched
How can you store dried herbs properly and for long time?
Proper storage of the herbs is just as important as their drying. Dried herbs such as rosemary, mint and thyme remain for a long time in screw-on glasses or porcelain dishes. Thus, their aroma is also retained. In the trade there are also specially coated paper bags, which are wonderful for the herbal storage. We advise you to use plastic bags, linens or thin paper bags for this purpose. There is the danger that the gorgeous scent of the dried herbs could quickly scald. You do not want that, do you?
Do you have a small herb garden at home or build your herbs and medicinal plants outside in the bed? And how do you want them to last for a long time and use them in winter? Follow our tips and you will have a winter full of fresh flavors!
Have fun with the drying of fresh herbs and store them correctly!