Sunday, August 30, 2009

Putting Up: Herb Drying

Certainly, you can dry herbs by hanging them upside down inside a paper bag with holes in it (to keep out dust) in a dry, dark place with good air circulation for a few weeks. I've personally found this works best for woody herbs like rosemary & thyme.

But what about for more "moist" herbs like basil or mint?

Well, I've read about a few options on the Internets. Basically, the oils in the herbs start to decline if they are heated above 100*F. An idea solution would be to construct a mesh frame that would be put on blocks outside in the shade in 80*F, non-humid weather. isn't going to happen. A second idea would be, perhaps, using a dehydrator. However, I do not have a dehydrator and would prefer not to one as I have no where to put it.

So, my runner up method is using the microwave. Yes, microwave.

The deal: Arrange leaves between 2 paper towels. 'Nuke for 2 minutes checking every 30 seconds (for me, they were done at 1:30). I think next time I'll do 50% power because I think it might have gotten too hot, but it definitely worked.

<-------Here's the before

<-------Here's the after

You want to make sure they are crinkling and crumbling. That's how you know they are good & dry.

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