If you are planting herbs in your backyard and they are producing quickly, then there is no doubt that you will have a hard time keeping up with your harvests. You might not be using that much in your cooking. So if you do not want your precious herbs to go to waste, there is one way to do it – drying herbs at home. So if this is what you want to do, then here are some tips on how to do it the right way.
The first method you can try is to freeze them up. This is by far one of the most recommended in this list because they can keep the herbs’ flavor best. All you need is to wash the herbs thoroughly and shake off the excess water. Place the leaves in freezer bags and remove most of the air inside before you seal them. Make sure that you combine the herbs that complement each other in cooking.
Air Dying Method
One of the easiest ways to preserve your herbs is by using the air-drying method. All you need is to gather 5 to 10 branches of herbs and bunch them together. Tie them up tightly with a string or a rubber band. The smaller your bundles are, the easier and faster it will be to dry. Then, hang them in herb drying racks, stem side up, in a well-ventilated room. With this technique, your herbs will dry and be ready for storage in just one week. You will know that the herbs are dry enough when you do a crumble test.
Oven Drying Method
Another way to preserve your herbs is to dry them up in the oven. Place your herbs on a cookie sheet that is one-inch deep or less. Then put your oven on low heat (less than 180-degrees Fahrenheit). Place the cooking sheet in the open oven and bake them for 2 to 4 hours. Do a crumble test to make sure that the herbs are dry before you take them out of the oven for storage. Remember that the oven-dried herbs might lose a little bit more of their potency and flavor so make sure that you use more of them when cooking.
Now that you know the techniques in preserving your herbs, there is no doubt that from now on, nothing will go to waste. You have to remember that the herbs that you preserve at home taste so much better compared to the ones that you buy at grocery stores. Simply because you know that they are fresh and stored properly.