How to Dry Your Own Herbs

Posted on Aug 24 2016 - 7:58am by Christine

Adding fresh herbs to your baby’s food is a great way to add flavour WITHOUT adding salt.

Depending on where you are in the world, however, certain fresh herbs may not be available to you all year round. OR – you may have bought more of a particular herb than you can use for the recipe you’re making and need a way to prolong its life!

So it’s useful to know how to dry fresh herbs for future use – and it’s VERY easy to do!

How to Dry Your Own Herbs

  • Make sure the herbs are COMPLETELY dry (blot with a paper towel if not). Damp herbs will rot rather than dry!

  • For sturdy, low moisture herbs like thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage and dill
    Tie the stems of the bunches together with wool, then hang the bunch (upside down) from a hook. We use a row of key hooks for this! To protect the herbs from dust, you can carefully slide a paper bag over the bunch, gathering and securing it at the top. Punch holes in the bag to allow the air to circulate.

  • For herbs with a higher moisture content, like basil, chives and tarragon
    Spread the leaves on a piece of muslin, but allow the air to circulate underneath. To achieve this, we stretch the muslin over the top of a colander, overlapping the edges and tying it on with a piece of string, then sit the leaves on top.

  • Keep the drying herbs in a warm, dark area with good ventilation and no damp – the ideal temperature for storing leaves is between 70 and 90 deg F.

  • Let the herbs dry for around 2 weeks, then check them. Continue to check them on a weekly basis. They are ready when they are brittle and dry – but be careful not to OVER-dry them! If they are left for too long, they will crumble into dust when you go to use them.

  • Rub the hanging herbs from their stems and store in air-tight containers, away from direct sunlight. Do not crush the larger leaves (like basil) before you store them as they will lose some of their flavour – it’s much better to crush them just before you use them.

Dried herbs will last for around 12 months – but remember, they will taste a lot stronger than fresh. As a rule of thumb – if you WOULD have used 1 tablespoon of a fresh herb in a recipe, only use 1 teaspoon of the dried variety.

More about introducing herbs, spices and garlic to your baby

The dangers of adding salt to baby food

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