We have often said it: homemade is (almost) always tastier. This also applies to drying herbs yourself. Because in all honesty: with a bit of bad luck, the jars of dried herbs (spices) from the supermarket are not nearly as tasty as you had hoped. But how do you do that: make your own dried herbs?
We treat fresh herbs like gold in the kitchen. They give your dish more flavour, depth and color: something we strive for as much as possible. But who doesn’t recognize that leftover clumps of herbs stay in the back of your fridge until they turn black? Such a shame.
Drying herbs yourself is in that respect a good solution to prevent this kind of unnecessary food waste. Even if you have your own herb garden (or a few pots on your balcony), drying herbs is a guarantee that nothing goes to waste. It also saves you money as well. And again: it is also even tastier.
In short: there are plenty of advantages. Moreover, it is also a pleasant hobby that fits perfectly between baking sourdough bread and making kombucha of this time.
Dry fresh herbs yourself
True, not all herbs are equally suitable for drying. Herbs that do dry well include mint, lavender (great in ice cream or cakes!) , oregano, thyme, sage, tarragon and chamomile flowers . Herbs that dry less well are often the softer green herbs such as parsley, coriander, dill and basil. If you want to keep the latter, chop them finely and divide them into ice cube trays together with some olive oil. You can easily defrost these and use them while cooking.
Hang herbs to dry
Anyway, back to drying. The best method is to tie the herbs together and hang them upside down. Don’t make the bunches too big, otherwise the middle herbs won’t get the chance to dry properly. Hang them in a cool area away from direct sunlight and wait 1 to 2 weeks. Once they are completely dry, you can store them in a sealed container.
Drying herbs with an oven
If you find that too much hassle, or if you have little space left, you could also dry herbs in your oven. This is faster and very practical, but the heat from the oven (even the minimum temperature) will take away some of the flavor of the herbs. If you want to try it anyway, set your oven to the lowest temperature and arrange your herbs on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place the herbs in the oven until completely dried (check every 30 minutes): this will take from 1 to 4 hours.
Use the herbs in your favorite preparations, or make them into tea, or spice rubs (for the barbecue!). Didn’t we already say it’s a fun hobby?