There is no better feeling than successfully growing fresh herbs! Now that you are growing herbs, what are you going to do when the herbs are growing faster than you are using them? Today, I’d like to talk about how to easily preserve herbs when you have an abundance.
Fresh herbs that grow quickly in my garden are sweet basil, sage, and parsley. They tend to grow faster than I’m able to use them. So, I figured, why not learn how to preserve herbs to be used during the winter months? This allows me to create my favorite and flavorful recipes from homemade spaghetti sauce to herb-rubbed pork chops.
I tried many different methods of drying herbs but found this way to be the easiest and most efficient way to dry the herbs myself. I am not a professional, only a home grower, but have been able to dry all my herbs with great success. The best thing is the materials needed are ones you already have stashed away at home. Before you start, harvest your herbs. Read my last blog here to learn how I harvest my herbs. Then, follow the simple steps below to preserve your herbs.
The only materials needed are some string and brown paper bags. I like using brown paper bags instead of just hanging up the herbs. As the herbs are drying, some of the leaves will fall off and catch into the bottom of the bag. This leaves less mess, and the fallen leaves can still be used. Here’s a tip: you can use these paper bags over and over again! Did I mention how amazing herbs smell while drying? The aroma is mouth-watering!
Steps to Drying Herbs
Step 1: Put washed and dried herbs into bundles and tie a string around the end of each bundle.
Step 2: Cut or poke holes into all the sides of the paper bag (except the bottom). This will allow ventilation and air to flow easily through the bag.
Step 3: Place each bundle in a brown paper bag and close the top of the bag together stapling the string to the top so enough of the string sticks out to hang the bag.
Step 4: Find a nice place to hang the herbs for about three weeks or until completely dry.
Preparing and Storing Dried Herbs
Once the herbs are dry, simply pull off the leaves and crumple them up. Don’t forget any leaves that fell into the bottom of the bag! Here’s another tip: I sometimes use a chopping knife and cutting board to speed up the process. Store dried herbs in an airtight container and VOILA! You have herbs you can use all year. Happy Cooking!
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