Harvesting and Drying Herbs
For flavor and taste, there's nothing better than fresh herbs for use in
your kitchen. Herb growers quickly learn that the way an herb is harvested
and dried, affects flavor. The biggest key to success is harvesting them
in the morning. It's the oils in the herb, that gives it flavor. Those oils
are the strongest and freshest in your herb plants in the morning hours.
Here is how to properly harvest and dry herbs, to capture their flavor at
Most herbs are ready to harvest as soon as there are enough leaves on the
plant, that picking a few will not impair the plant's survival.
Harvest herbs in the morning hours, when the plant's oils are at their highest
Pick them using a sharp knife, pruning scissors, or shears.
Immediately after harvesting, rinse them gently in cool water.
Allow to air dry, or pat them lightly with a paper towel.
Use them immediately. Or, store in the refrigerator for later use.
How to Dry Herbs:
There are two ways of drying herbs:
The first way of drying them, is to spread them out on a drying rack.
The second way, is to tie them into a loose bundle, and hang them upside
down to dry.
It is essential to dry them in a cool, dry place where there is good ventilation.
This minimizes the likelihood of mold forming, while they are drying. Watch
for mold, and discard any affected plants.
Before storing dried herbs, it is important that they are completely dry.
It will take a few days. When in doubt, leave it out to dry another day or
After herbs are completely dried, they can be cut up as desired and stored
for future use.
Many herbs can also be frozen for later use(culinary herbs). If you freeze
them, drying them is not necessary.
You can also freeze herbs.
After cleaning and patting the leaves dry, simply wrap them up tightly in
plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
Then, place them in the freezer.
For use, remove them and immediately put them into your favorite recipes.
Freezing herbs is as easy as that!
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