Plenty of herbs can be purchased at the store, but it’s far more rewarding to grow and dry your own herbs. You have total control over how your herbs are grown and you create a more sustainable lifestyle. Drying your own herbs provides you with plenty of herbs and spices to use in the kitchen.
Growing an Herb Garden
If you choose, you can purchase fresh herbs from the store to dry. However, you can also grow your own herbs. To start, you need to determine how you’ll grow your herbs. They can be planted in the ground, in growing boxes, or in pots outside. You can also have an indoor herb garden in several pots. When you plant your herbs, make sure you properly label them. Herbs can be very delicate, so you should check up on them often. Keep them watered, provide them with fertilizer if needed, and trim away any dead leaves.
Drying Your Herbs
Before drying your herbs, wash them with cold water and then thoroughly dry them. They need to be completely dried before dehydrating them. If your herbs have larger leaves, such as basil, remove the leaves from the stems before drying. Smaller herbs, like rosemary, should be left on the stem. You should also place smaller herbs on a mesh screen to dry. Herbs will dehydrate much faster than fruits, vegetables, and meats, so you should keep an eye on them. Drying times will vary from herb to herb. Once your herbs are fully dried, make sure you let them cool completely before storing them.
Storing Dried Herbs
When storing your dried herbs, make sure you keep them in an airtight container so they don’t spoil. Glass or metal containers are good options. It’s also important that you keep your dried herbs out of direct sunlight. A cool, dry area is the best place for your herbs. You also need to label all your herbs. Include both the name of the herb and the date it was harvested. This allows you to use up your older herbs first.
It’s convenient to have your own dried herbs on hand. Drying freshly grown herbs allows you to have the ingredients you need without wasting any of your harvest. A food dehydrator is the best way to dry out your herbs.
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