How to dry Herbs

June 15th, 2010

Air drying herbs is not only the easiest and least expensive way to dry fresh herbs, but this slow drying process also doesn’t deplete the herbs of their oils. This process works best with herbs that don’t have a high moisture content, like Bay, Dill, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Summer Savory and Thyme. Moisture dense herbs, like Basil, Chives, Mint, Tarragon preserve better in a dehydrator, or try freezing them. Use a microwave or oven to dry herbs only as a last resort. These actually cook the herbs to a degree, diminishing the oil content and flavor.

How To Dry Herbs

  1. Cut healthy branches from your herb plants.
  2. Remove any dry or diseased leaves
  3. Shake gently to remove any insects.
  4. If necessary, rinse with cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Wet herbs will mold and rot.
  5. Remove the lower leaves along the bottom inch or so of the branch.
  6. Bundle 4 – 6 branches together and tie as a bunch. You can use string or a rubber band. The bundles will shrink as they dry and the rubber band will loosen, so check periodically that the bundle is not slipping. Make small bundles if you are trying to dry herbs with high water content.
  7. Punch or cut several holes in a paper bag. Label the bag with the name of the herb you are drying.
  8. Place the herb bundle upside down into the bag.
  9. Gather the ends of the bag around the bundle and tie closed. Make sure the herbs are not crowded inside the bag.
  10. Hang the bag upside down in a warm, airy room.
  11. Check in about two weeks to see how things are progressing. Keep checking weekly until your herbs are dry and ready to store.

Storing Dried Herbs

  1. Store your dried herbs in air tight containers. Zip closing bags will do. I like to use small canning jars.
  2. Be sure to label and date your containers.
  3. Your herbs will retain more flavor if you store the leaves whole and crush them when you are ready to use them.
  4. Discard any dried herbs that show the slightest sign of mold.
  5. Place containers in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.
  6. Dried herbs are best used within a year. As your herbs lose their color, they are also losing their flavor.
  7. Use about 1 teaspoon crumbled dried leaves in place of a tablespoon of fresh

Serrano Peppers

February 5th, 2010

How to Dry

Thread stems with heavy string placing hot peppers close together and making the strand as long as you wish. Hang in dry area with the air circulating freely around the strand. Takes several weeks. When using fresh or dried hot peppers, wear gloves to protect your hands because the oils in the peppers can cause severe burns. Don”t touch your face or eyes. If peppers do come in contact with your bare hands, wash thoroughly with soapy water. If burning persists, soak online casino hands in a bowl of milk.

Remedies for eating a pepper that is too hot for you:

Drink milk, rinsing the mouth with it while swallowing, ice cream or yogurt. Eat rice or bread which will absorb the capsaicin. Drink tomato juice or eat a fresh lime or lemon

* Do not drink water – it will distribute the oil to more parts of the mouth.