Late summer is time to think about drying herbs, and you can do it with or without a dehydrator.
As autumn gets a grip, with cooler mornings and shorter days, we delight in the earthier scents. There is something special about the complex aromas created from drying herbs to awakening your senses in the home.
I so love to hear those words, “Wow, Mom, the house smells amazing!”
When it comes to preserving our own food, drying herbs is one of the best places to start. Most contain so little moisture that the preservation job is done soon after they’re harvested.
Drying herbs and spices also makes good economic sense considering the cost of high-quality seasonings and teas.
And when we grow our own, we know with certainty we are getting products that are both fresh and organic.
Lastly, when you grow your own, you can grow the particular varieties that appeal to you and experiment with creating your own custom herb blends. The synergy of blended herbs often creates enhanced flavor and superior medicine.
According to The Deluxe Food Lover’s Companion, culinary herbs are leaves, while spices are obtained from the bark, berries, buds (and even flower stigmas in the case of saffron), fruit, roots and seeds of plants.
Drying Herbs In the Open
If you are in a drier climate your basil, oregano, dill, marjoram, parsley, and thyme will dry just fine in a warm place OUT of direct sun for a few days or until thoroughly dry.
If you are in a humid area, this may not work well, though pioneers and early settlers hung theirs by a wood or cookstove.
If trying it for the first time prepare only smallish bunches thinking about good air circulation.
Drying In Dehydrator or Oven
If you happen to have a dehydrator, you will usually get a better finished product with herbs like:
- bay leaf
- the mints
- summer savory
Also, with a dehydrator, you can dry as many different types of herbs at one time as you have trays for.
The flavors do not mingle during the drying process. Most herbs will dry within four hours and can then be stripped from the stems and stored immediately.
~Herbs dry in 3 hours at 95-125 degrees
Drying In the Car
In her book Live Without Electricity and Like It, the author mentions using her car parked in the sun as a giant dehydrator on a hot day. She closed the windows (all but two left open an inch for air circulation), and it worked! That’s frugal living for you!
If you are crafty, you can even get creative and make a gorgeous pint-sized herbal weaving to hang near your kitchen for future flavoring of soups and other dishes! Here is how to do it with versatile sage.
Home-grown is fresher, more flavorful, higher in nutrients, free of chemicals, saves you money, and gives you the ability to save seed in many cases. For those of us who are intentionally wanting to be more self-sustainable, it is a satisfying experience in simpler living.
(DEAR READERS, I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE AN APPEAL. THERE ARE AFFILIATE LINKS IN THIS POST. IF THERE IS ANY WAY POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO USE THE LINKS, IT WOULD BE A BLESSING. IT WOULD HELP TO COVER SOME OF THE TIME IT TAKES TO WRITE THIS FREE RESOURCE. ALL THE LINKS ON THIS WEBSITE ARE FOR PRODUCTS THAT I FEEL ARE WHOLESOME AND HELPFUL. I WOULD SHARE THESE LINKS FOR PURPOSES OF ENCOURAGING FAMILIES EVEN IF NOT AN AFFILIATE. I SINCERELY THANK YOU!)
“Oh, better, no doubt, is a dinner of herbs, When seasoned by love, which no rancor disturbs, And sweetened by all that is sweetest in life, Than turbot, bisque, ortolans, eaten with strife.” ~Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
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Thanks for reading!