Guess what time of year it is?! …NOT pumpkin season. Not yet! It’s still August, and I’m going to squeeze out as much of summer as I can. I don’t know what the huge rush is! Pumpkins aren’t even ready yet, the pumpkin latte, pumpkin beer, pumpkin milk, pumpkin muffin, pumpkin pumpkin pumpkin craze can wait a few more weeks as far as I’m concerned. Let’s not rush it. I’m holding onto summer as long as I can. Today I’m going to share a way to dry late summer herbs and a way to store them all year long. That way you can add tasty herbs to any meal even in the dead of winter. So here is Herbs are Taking over the Garden: Part 2.This year I tried to dry many different types of herbs to see how they turned out. I didn’t dry any last year and was pretty bummed about it during the freezing winter months. …Actually I take that back, I did try to dry some herbs, but it didn’t work out. They lost all of their flavor and just smelled like hay. I also tried drying stevia by hanging it upside down and it just turned brown and I had to throw it away. So this year I finally figured out how to dry the herbs while still keeping their delicious flavor and aromas. This year I have already dried basil, parsley, and stevia so far. I want to try drying rosemary as well because it is my absolute favorite herb! Here is the best way I have found to dry herbs.
In this sample I am drying stevia, but these steps could be recreated with any herb.
2. Wash the herbs well. I find that using a salad spinner works the best. Then I lay them outside on a table to completely dry. It is critical that the herbs are completely dry before you place them in the dehydrator, otherwise they might take too long to dry or get moldy.
3. Line the dehydrator trays, or a cookie tray if drying them in the oven. The herbs must be in a single layer with none, or very few overlaps. It doesn’t have to be perfect though because they shrink in size quite a bit. I filled up all of the trays and stacked them on top of each other.
4. Dry the herbs! I dried them at a higher temperature than was written on my dehydrator. It was about 115 degrees Fahrenheit for 2-4 hours depending on the type of herb.
5. Last step! After the herbs are completely dried up (they sort of crisp and crumble in your hands) throw them into a food processor to grind them up into small flakes. Then they can be put into a shaker or mason jar and stored in the cupboard like any other herb!
I found these awesome air tight jars that have a plastic ring around the inside so that they stay sealed.
I also love making these herb cubes, they are great to use with cooking and make a meal so much more flavor-able so quickly!
You can also preserve summer flavors by storing them in the freezer or canning! We’re going to be canning peaches, pickles, and beets this year.
Check out these awesome ideas.
How do you preserve summer flavors to enjoy them all year-long?!