Everything You Should Know About Dried Herbs
Herbs are a wonderful way to add flavor to food, and they also offer many health benefits. If you grow your own herbs, you will want to dry them so that you can use them all year round.
So, how can you dry herbs naturally? The best way to dry herbs naturally is by air-drying them. To do this, simply tie small bundles of herbs together with twine and hang them upside down in a cool, dark place that is free from humidity. The herbs should dry out within two weeks or so. You can also use a dehydrator set at low temperatures to dry your herbs.
In this blog post, we will discuss how to dry herbs naturally, using three easy methods. We will also talk about the best ways to use dried herbs and the benefits of using them. Keep reading to learn more!
Three Easy Methods for Drying Herbs
Dried herbs have countless benefits both in the kitchen and around the home. Fortunately, there are many easy ways to preserve your herbs by drying them. Let’s take a look at the three easiest methods:
1. Drying Herbs Upside Down
The first method for drying herbs is to hang them upside down in a cool, dry place. This method works best with hardy herbs such as oregano, thyme, and rosemary.
Start by bundling the herbs together with twine and then hanging them in a cool, dark area that is free from humidity. Make sure the bundles are hung away from direct sunlight as it can cause the herbs to lose their flavor. You will know when the herbs are ready when they feel brittle or crunchy to the touch.
2. Drying Herbs In the Oven
The second way to dry your herbs is by using an oven. Preheat your oven to its lowest temperature setting and spread out your herbs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the herbs for about 30 minutes, or until they are completely dry and crumbly.
3. Drying Herbs In a Dehydrator
The final method for drying herbs is to use a dehydrator set at low temperatures. Place the herbs on the trays of your dehydrator and then set the temperature to 95°F. The herbs should be ready in 4-6 hours, depending on how damp they are.
Best Ways to Use Dried Herbs
Herbs have been used for centuries as a form of natural medicine, but they can also be used in the kitchen to add flavor to a variety of dishes. Here are some of the best ways to use dried herbs:
Use Dried Herbs in Recipes
Dried herbs can be used as a replacement for fresh herbs in many recipes. They are especially useful when cooking soups and sauces, as the drying process helps to concentrate and heighten the flavor of the herbs.
Here are some other great ways to use dried herbs in the kitchen:
- Sprinkling over roasted vegetables
- Flavoring homemade salad dressings
- Enhancing the flavor of pasta dishes
- Mixing into baked goods such as bread and muffins
- Making herbal teas
Use Dried Herbs For Tea
Herbal teas are a great way to get all the benefits of dried herbs. Simply steep your desired herbs in hot water for several minutes, then strain and enjoy! Some great mixes of dried herbs for tea include peppermint, chamomile, and lavender.
Use Dried Herbs To Make Spice Mixes
Create your own spice mixes with a combination of dried herbs such as oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary, sage, or marjoram. These spices can be added to salads, roasted vegetables, or even sprinkled on top of pizza.
Use Dried Herbs for Pain Relief
Dried herbs can help with pain management and muscle relaxation. Simply steep the desired herbs in hot water, then strain and use as a topical compress or soak. People have been using this method for centuries to relieve pain and tension.
Some of the best herbs to use for pain relief and management include lavender, chamomile, rosemary, and peppermint. When using dried herbs for pain relief, it is important to remember that their potency can vary.
Use Dried Herbs for Natural Air Fresheners
Create your own natural air freshener by filling a jar with dried herbs such as lavender, rosemary, and lemon balm. Place the jar in an area of your home that needs freshening up and enjoy the scent for weeks to come.
Benefits of Using Dried Herbs vs. Fresh Herbs
There are many benefits to using dried herbs over fresh ones, especially if you grow your own at home. Here are some of the most notable benefits:
You can easily keep dried herbs on hand for quick and easy cooking.
The drying process helps concentrate the flavor of the herbs, making them more flavorful than fresh ones.
Unlike fresh herbs, which must be used within a few days, dried herbs can last for months.
Health Benefits of Using Dried Herbs
Dried herbs are not only delicious but also have many health benefits. Here are some of the main benefits of using dried herbs:
- Rich in Antioxidants
- Packed with Vitamins & Minerals
- Contains Healthy Fats & Oils
- Reduces Inflammation
Are There Health Risks of Using Dry Herbs?
Although dried herbs are generally considered safe to consume, there may be certain health risks associated with them. Some herbs can interact with medications or have powerful medicinal effects when used in large amounts.
It is important to talk to your doctor before consuming any herbs to make sure they will not interfere with any other treatments you may be taking.
It is also important to note that some herbs should never be consumed in their dry form as they contain potentially toxic compounds. These include foxglove, hemlock, and wormwood.
Especially for individuals who are struggling with any kind of chronic illness, it is important to consult a qualified healthcare provider before consuming any herbs.
Are All Herbs Good When Dry?
Not all herbs are suitable for drying, as some may lose their flavor or potency when dehydrated. Fresh basil and parsley, for example, should not be dried as they will lose their subtle flavors.
Most hardy herbs such as oregano and thyme can be successfully dried and used in the kitchen.
Best Herbs to Have On Hand
With dried herbs offering such a wide variety of benefits, it’s important to have a selection of them on hand. Here are some of the best herbs to keep on hand:
With these dried herbs at your disposal, you’ll be able to create delicious dishes and use dried herbs around the house with minimal effort.
Should You Wash Herbs Before Drying Them?
No, it is not necessary to wash herbs before drying them. Washing them may actually cause the herbs to spoil faster as the moisture will remain on the leaves. Instead, gently brush off any dirt or debris and allow the herbs to air dry completely before storing them away.
How Long to Keep Dried Herbs
Dried herbs should be stored in an airtight container and kept away from direct sunlight. They can generally last for up to one year when stored properly. However, their potency may start to decrease after a few months so it is best to use them within the first 6-12 months.
It is also important to check your dried herbs regularly for mold or other signs of spoilage as they can become contaminated easily. If you notice any visible signs of spoilage, discard the herbs right away and replace them with fresh ones.
In conclusion, drying herbs is a great way to preserve their flavor and keep them fresh for longer periods of time. There are many different methods of drying herbs, but using an oven, or dehydrator, or hanging them upside down are some of the most popular options.
Additionally, dried herbs offer numerous health benefits and can be used in various ways such as making herbal teas, flavoring recipes, and making spice mixes. With the proper storage methods, dried herbs can last up to 6 months.
So next time you have fresh herbs around the house, try drying them for later use and enjoy all of the amazing benefits of dried herbs!
Are dried herbs healthy?
Yes, dried herbs are healthy as they contain antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats & oils that can help reduce inflammation.
Are there dangers to dried herbs?
No, there are no dangers to using dried herbs as long as they are stored properly. Store them in an airtight container away from direct sunlight and discard any that have gone bad or lost their flavor.
What is the best way to store dried herbs?
The best way to store dried herbs is in an airtight container, such as a mason jar or spice jar, away from direct sunlight. Be sure to properly label and date your containers so you know when it’s time to replenish them. Dried herbs stored in aesthetically pleasing containers can also make great DIY gifts!