We are slowly approaching the end of summer and the aromatic plants will begin to decline. But should we let our aromatic plants die at the end of the season? No, a simple and effective solution is to dry them! You can then use them all year round, especially in the winter when the fresh aromatic herbs from the garden are no longer available. Don’t panic, by following a few rules and tips, the taste, smell and properties of your herbs will be well preserved!
From picking to drying herbs, step by step!
Almost all aromatic plants are suitable for drying, such as sage, lemon verbena, thyme, rosemary, basil, mint, marjoram, oregano, chives, lemon balm, bay leaf, savory, coriander, tarragon, agastache…
1.) Choose your plants correctly: It is generally recommended to pick the plants just before flowering. This way you can indeed guarantee an optimal taste, because when they flower they usually lose some of their taste. It is also recommended to harvest them early in the morning when it is still cool, after the dew drops have evaporated but before the sun is too high in the sky. When picking, cut off the stems and remember to put them in a basket or canvas bag.
2.) Prepare your plants for drying: Wash your tufts gently and remove any soil or insects. Do not put them directly under water, it is best to rub your plants lightly with a damp cloth. If you still feel the need to submerge them, make sure to dry them well afterwards. Your plants should not be wet when you start to dry or they risk mold. Before continuing to dry the aromatic herbs, trim the dry or wilted leaves as well, to preserve only those that are in good health.
3.) Put Your Plants Outside to Dry: For the drying itself you have several options, more or less long but also more or less qualitative!
-> Option A: Bunch drying: This traditional solution involves making small bunches of your aromatic plants and hanging them upside down with string. Leave them for about a week until the herbs are well dried in a fairly dark place (the sun can change the colors and flavors of the herbs) and sufficiently dry and ventilated (so that the herbs can dry well without absorbing moisture). to take) ).
-> Option B: Drying in a net dryer: With this technique you dry your aromatic herbs optimally. Often the drying nets have several floors and offer large capacities, while being perfectly ventilated. In addition, the different stages of the dryer make it possible to dry several plants at the same time. We especially recommend the 8 Tier Collapsible Hanging Dry Net.
-> Option C: Drying in the dehydrator: Arrange your aromatic herbs on the trays of the dehydrator. Herbs can be packed tightly on each tray. Drying takes between 2 and 6 hours, depending on the plants being dried, so it’s important to pay close attention.
-> Option D: Microwave drying: While this option is much faster than the previous techniques, it is generally not recommended as it significantly reduces the properties of the aromatic herbs, as well as their nutritional value.
4. Store Dried Herbs Properly: To properly store your dried herbs, place them in glass jars or in a perfectly airtight container. Then put your pots in a dry place out of the light. This way you can use them for almost a year.