Homegrown Dried Herbs 🌿

When I visited my sister Banu in Philadelphia a while back I saw her use this amazing selection of dried herbs for a vegetarian chili she was making.  The herb bottles were beautifully labeled and the herbs dried to perfection. My other sister Shobha and I looked at these beautiful herbs in awe; they looked like Banu had bought them from a specialty food shop, only to find out that Banu dried them all herself at home. 

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I asked my sister how she dried these beautiful herbs, I thought they were dried outside in the sun, but that’s not how Banu dried them. In fact, she doesn’t like drying herbs in the sun, as they tend to lose their aroma and color. Then I thought maybe she had a dehydrator or some gadget of sorts, but no, she didn’t. So how does Banu dry her herbs?  She dries them inside the home. That’s right. Not in the oven or in a specialty kitchen gadget or anything like that. She just dries them right on the counter in her kitchen or on her dining room table. Banu dries every herb she grows including sage, parsley, lemongrass, thyme, rosemary, mint and dill. Here is Banu’s method for drying herbs at home.

.Drying herbs at home Banu style:

  • Pick herbs of your choice preferably in the early morning, this retains the oils and the fragrance in the herbs. Banu said she found the herbs she picked in the morning had a stronger fragrance when dried, than those herbs she picked later in the day which were milder in flavor and not as fragrant.
  • Wash the herbs and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Spread the herbs out on a thin layer on a clean cloth.
  • Every day for a few days move the herbs around so they don’t stick to each other.

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  • After a week the herbs should be dry enough such that when you handle them they have a slight crunch to them. At this point the herbs are ready to be stored in an airtight container to use all throughout the year.

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  • Home dried herbs have a lovely olive green color, a wonderful flavor and aroma, and look as beautiful as they taste.

Looking to preserve the fresh-picked aroma of garden fresh herbs? Try drying garden herbs at home.

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The next time you need a few herbs for a stew or soup, just reach in the kitchen cabinet for your own home grown dried herbs.🌿

7 thoughts on “Homegrown Dried Herbs 🌿”

  1. Herbs are easy to dry. I would have figured that everyone dried them in the home. When I was a kid, the neighbor dried so much oregano, that it was hung in small bundles in the garage. As you mentioned they should not be out in the sun if the weather gets warm. Most dry so readily that a dehydrator is not necessary. When I grew oregano, I remember that some got cut and dried before bloom, and then, some of the blooming stalks were dried later. Each had a different flavor. I think that the flowers were discarded, but the leaves on the blooming stalks were quite different from those that grew on the ground. For some reason, if I remember correctly, the nettles were dried out in the sun. I do not know why. They were so thin and flimsy that the leaves were ground into a powder once dried.

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  2. Okay just when I didn’t think you could add anything to your repertoire 😉 This is too cool! I tried to plant herbs, but they died pretty quick. I need to try again, but I do not have much of a green thumb hehe.

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    1. 😀 You are too sweet 😘. So here is the trick with growing herbs – they dont like to be fussed with, they just need sunshine and water and that’s it. They do not like being grown indoors. And dont start with basil! Basil is the most tender of herbs – buy the plant to use in cooking but dont get too upset of the plant doesnt do well – that happens to the best of us gardener. The best hardy herbs to grow even for a “brown thumb” is thyme, rosemary, sage, and mint. These wont let you down! Let me know how they turn out! Have a great weekend Mckenzie! I am loving your Bay Area eats and hikes!

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