Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dehydrating Herbs

This is the first year we have had an herb garden. I haven't used much of the fresh herbs but I have been busy dehydrating! I had no idea that they would grow so fast. Here is a picture of the garden.Drying herbs is very easy. Here are a few tips when harvesting. Pick your herbs in the morning. Let the dew dry and pick them before the heat of the day. This is when they have the best flavor. Also, harvest herbs prior to flowering.

You can dry your herbs simply by washing them, patting them dry and laying them on a cookie sheet of some other flat surface and allow them to air dry.

You can tie 5-8 stems together and place them in a paper bag with holes punched in it. Hang up-side-down in a cool dark area for 2 weeks.

You can place them in the oven on a baking pan at 180 degrees for 2-3 hours.

You can also use a food dehydrator. This is what I did. Wash herbs under cool water.Place on trays so that they are not touching. Place setting on low and periodically check to see if they are dry.Store your herbs in an air tight container. I use small mason jars. I have read they can be kept anywhere from 1-3 years. Anyone know how long they are good? I don't think they really go bad, I think they just lose their flavor.

Herbs aren't generally all that expensive at the store. But, it is awesome to have fresh herbs right at your finger tips while cooking. I also love the idea of using dried spices that came right out of my own garden.

Linked to Frugal Friday at Life as Mom.


  1. I just foraged for a bunch of herbs yesterday and came home with a bunch of lavender and rosemary among other things. I tied them in a bunch and hung them from my window- they dry nicely that way.
    Why keep them in the dark?

  2. This is really helpful! We're growing herbs for the first time this year. Just made my first homemade pesto!!! :)

  3. p.s. following you and looking forward to more!

  4. Penniless Parenting,
    They don't have to be in a dark room. As long as they get some airflow they should be fine. Scoring free herbs is awesome! Good for you.

    We love pesto! Thanks for following.

  5. I love dehydrating. Thanks for the information post. Have a great day!

  6. thanks for the info!! I was given chives to plant that had already bloomed --can I still harvest or wait till spring?

  7. I can't wait to dry my rosemary this year, we love it. Thanks for the tips.

  8. Kim,
    From what I know you can still use your chives after they have blossomed. In fact, you can even eat the flowers so I have heard. Just make sure you only pick about 1/3 of the plant at one time.

    Chives are the one herb that is not doing too well for me. I think I just need to move them into a bigger pot.

  9. I think herbs are rather expensive. May be the value is realized according to how frequently a household uses herbs.