Drying the herbs at home to use them as spices in food dishes is an old tradition. However, in the today’s fast pace life, many consider it a hard and time consuming effort. However, home grown dry herbs add more flavor and confidence to your dishes than the herbs you purchase from big stores and markets. In fact, best herbs are those that are grown under your own supervision plus cultivating own herbs at home are is easy and inexpensive. This article will guide you through three easy steps for obtaining dry herbs at home to fill your kitchen spices jar.
Easy and best herbs to grow at home are Tarragon, Bay, Mint, Lemon balm, Lavender, Rosemary and Thyme. This is because these are best air drying herbs as compare to high moisture containing herbs. After drying, the spices of these herbs allow you to enjoy summer flavor all year.
Before Drying the Herbs
As you are drying the herbs to make spices, so before drying, it is vitally important to harvest healthy branches. Harvesting should be done at the right time. Best time to harvest the herbs is before the flower development. Discarding of any damaged leaves is recommended to have best quality dry herbs. I would suggest harvesting on a warm and dry day around mid-day after the morning dew has evaporated.
Let us now just jump right in to discuss the procedure of drying herbs in a step by step and uncomplicated method.
Procedure to Make Spices from Best Herbs
Effective drying of the herbs relies greatly on abundant dry and fresh air rather than on heat or through any heating medium. Idyllic scenario demands for a well-ventilated place out of direct sunlight. If the atmosphere is humid, then the process of drying will be much slower and could result in mold infestation. In that case, i would suggest using a small commercial dehydrator for drying the herbs.
Step 1: Harvesting and Cleaning the Herbs
Once the harvesting is done, make sure to remove any insects or soil by shaking off the herb stem. If necessary, rinse it with cool water. Then pat dry with paper towels and provide plenty of air circulation for quick drying of water.
Step 2: Clubbing the Stems to Dry Herbs
After cleaning stems of the herbs, remove lower leaves from the stem and then cluster 4-6 stems together for tying them as a bunch. I would suggest using a rubber band here instead of thread. This is because, as the bundle of stems will shrink while drying, it will cause loosening of the thread and eventually the herbs will fall. It is best to periodically check the bundle that it’s not slipping.