How to Freeze and Dry Herbs

Hi I’m Tricia an organic gardener. I grow
organically. For a healthy and safe food supply, for
a clean and sustainable environment, for an enjoyable and rewarding
experience. Herbs are easy to grow and it’s a great
way to use less salt when cooking. Today we’re going to be preserving some
herbs so that we can enjoy their goodness all through the winter. Harvest your herbs early
in the morning, after the dew has evaporated but before the
heat of the sun has set in. This is when the oil that gives the
herbs their flavor is at its height. Most herbs have their best flavor when
the flower buds appear but before they open. For annual herbs
like basil you can harvest a good bit of the plant, rule of thumb is you want to leave about
six inches for future growth. If you’re growing herbs like dill or
coriander for the seeds wait until the seed heads are brown but
before they burst open. Cut the seed pods off the plant and put
them in a brown paper bag, they’ll explode in there, and once they do that you’ll be able to
put them out on a tray to dry. For perennial herbs harvest about
one-third of the current season’s growth, for some it is just the growing tips.
Typically perennial herbs like rosemary can be
harvested up until about a month or two before the first frost. You don’t wanna harvest them too late
into the season because the plant will produce tender
growth that won’t have time to harden off before the frost comes. The best way to preserve herbs is either freezing or drying them,
but make sure that they’re clean. Rinse them off with cold water and then lay them out on a paper towel
to dry. Freezing retains the best flavor for parsley, cilantro, chervil, sweet cicely, chives, tarragon, dill, and fennel. An easy way to freeze
your herbs is just to put them on a cookie tray that has waxed paper on it, put them in the freezer and let them
stay overnight. Take them out the next day and then put
everything in a plastic bag for long-term storage in the freezer. Another way to freeze herbs that is
great for adding to soups is to chop the herbs and add them to ice
cube trays with water When you need some of the herbs in your soup just pop a couple of your herbcicles into the pot. Drying retains the
best flavor for mint, thyme, lavender, oregano, marjoram, sage, rosemary, savory, lovage, lemon verbena, and lemon balm. A sure-fire way to dry
your herbs is in a dehydrator especially for herbs like mint which
have a high moisture content and can sometimes mold before actually
drying. Set your dehydrator to a low setting heat over a hundred and ten degrees
fahrenheit will destroy the flavorful oils. Another great way to dry your herbs is just to hang them in little bunches,
just take a little bunch and put a rubber band around it, this is better than string because it
will actually retract as the herbs dry. If you’re concerned about the dry leaves
falling onto the floor you can punch holes in the sides of a paper bag and tie the bag around the herbs. Dry them
indoors out of the sunlight because UV rays can make the herbs less flavorful. Warm dry areas are the best places to
hang herbs to dry, pantries and attics often work well. The herbs can also look pretty when drying in the kitchen and they take about three to
eight days to dry. The herbs are properly dry when they
crumble easily. Dried herbs should be stored in airtight
containers out of the light. Preserve your organically grown herbs and grow organic for life!

5 comments

  1. Been drying basil at the low temperatures for years 90-95 degrees. It tastes exactly like fresh. Well worth the effort. I even give it as gifts sometimes and people just rave over the flavor.

  2. Sweating is something to look into. Brown dirt warrior covers that. It's extremely helpful on restricting growth of naturally occuring carcinogenic mold/fungis. Organic gardening can be really dangerous as well.

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