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How to dry your own herbs
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How to dry herbs - From fresh garden herbs!

Imagine how your dishes will taste this winter if you have your own garden herbs to add to them.  Its easy to dry or freeze some for a year-round supply of good quality herbs! Here's how to do it, complete instructions in easy steps and completely illustrated. You don't need any special equipment: air drying or room drying is the easiest, as well as, most inexpensive method for preserving herbs. Moisture evaporates slowly and naturally during air drying, leaving the precious herb oils behind. Dehydrators (see this page for more info, models and prices of food dryers) are useful if you want to dry large quantities of herbs or you have high moisture herbs such as basil.

Directions for Freezing herbs

Ingredients and Equipment
  • fresh herbs - any quantity.

 

  • glass or plastic containers, a vacuum food sealer, or "ziploc" type plastic bags.

Instructions

Start with fresh herbs - as fresh as you can get.

Step 1 - Which method for which herb?

Click on the blue link below that corresponds to the herb you want to dry, as the method vary with different herbs!

  1. Sage, thyme, summer savory, dill, bay leaves, oregano, rosemary and marjoram are sturdy, low-moisture herbs that are best suited for air-drying.
  2. Basil, tarragon, lemon balm and the mints have a high moisture content and will mold if not dried quickly. So the oven, dehumidifier or dehydrator methods work better
  3. Chives are best frozen.

Tips

To release the full flavor, crush whole herb leaves or use a mortar and pestle to grind, just before adding to the recipe. When using dried herbs, add to soups and stews during the last half-hour of cooking or follow recipe directions. Be creative and add dried herbs to flavor your favorite foods.

Only use a microwave oven as a last resort for drying, as microwaves literally cook the herbs producing very poor quality. 

 

If you're interested, here's more information and where you can get a vacuum food sealer.

A vacuum-sealed FoodSaver bag is on top at left. You can see how the FoodSaver really sucks out all the air, so the herbs won't dry out or get freezer burn. That means the food inside will last many times longer.  I've been using them (and their predecessor in the marketplace, Seal-a-Meal) for many years. If you're interested, here's where you can get one.

TIP:  If you don't own a vacuum food sealer to freeze foods, place food in a Ziploc bags, zip the top shut but leave enough space to insert the tip of a soda straw. When straw is in place, remove air by sucking the air out.  To remove straw, press straw closed where inserted and finish pressing the bag closed as you remove straw.

 

Ball home canning kit water bath canner

Home Canning Kits

Features:

  • Everything you need to get started with waterbath canning (fruits,pickles, jams, jellies, salsa, sauces and tomatoes)
  • 21-1/2 qt. enamel water bath canner
  • Funnel, jar lifter, lid lifter, bubble freer spatula
  • Ball Blue Book

This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also s simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if your want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!



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     Ball and Mrs. Wages salsa canning mix

Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.

Need lids, rings and replacement jars?  Or pectin to make jam, spaghetti sauce or salsa mix or pickle mixes?  Get them all here, and usually at lower prices than your local store!

Get them all here at the best prices on the internet!


Remember to ALWAYS call the farm or orchard BEFORE you go - weather, heavy picking and business conditions can always affect their hours and crops!


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