My first teetering steps towards reducing my carbon footprint have taken place in the garden. I’ve grown kale, Swiss chard, all types of lettuce, tomatoes and summer squash. The beans look like something out of Jack and the Bean Stork. It’s been fun, quite a lot of work and very rewarding, the veggies taste fantastic plucked from the warm earth and taken straight to the plate. The secret that bumps the taste to the next level are the herbs. They’re sublime and very plentiful, the mint in particular seems to be planning a takeover of the entire garden. So I decided to give Drying Herbs at Home a go, it will be lovely to use them in cooking throughout the winter months. A delicious reminder of the summer months, a lovely culinary gift from the garden:)
Which herbs dry well?
- thyme (I used summer thyme)
- cilantro (coriander)
- lemon balm
- bay leaves
How do you dry herbs?
There are a few directions you need follow for success:
- Make sure you pick the herbs before they produce flowers
- Pick them in the morning, after the dew has evaporated but before they get too hot and wilted
- Don’t wash them – it will promote mold
- Remove any damaged leaves from the top and strip the leaves from stems
- Keep the different varieties separate
- Tie them very tightly as they shrink when dried
- Make sure the bunches are small, too big and they might develop mold, if they do develop mold don’t use them! relocate them to the compost!!
- Hang them upside down in a well ventilated cool area out of direct sunlight
- Allow between 7 – 14 days to fully dry (depending on the size of the leaves)
- You will know when the leaves are fully dried as they will feel crisp to the fingertips
- Store them in airtight containers as soon as they’re fully dried, as leaving them too long can encourage mold
How do I store the dried herbs?
- Use glass jars with airtight lids.
- Store the dried herbs out of sunlight so they don’t lose their color.
How can I use the dried herbs?
Mint and lemon balm make lovely teas. The rest are fabulous used in cooking, they’re particularly nice in the winter months, bringing a little sunshine (and garden memories) to your plate.
Looking for delicious recipes with dried herbs?
Lavender and Lemon Shortbread Cookies
Looking for seeds to plant a herb garden?
Try Johnny’s Seeds which have a fabulous variety of all the seeds you could possibly desire.
Do you have a Herb Garden?
Please do share a picture – I would LOVE to see:)