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!
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.Pin It