My little herb garden has done really well this year. Especially the chocolate mint. . . . that stuff is practically trying to take over the whole bed.
In fact, I’ve been using it as the background for a lot of product photos lately. . . .
I love using fresh herbs in soap making and DIY beauty treatments (like the rosemary ACV hair rinse here) and of course cooking, but sometimes you have to turn to dried herbs. And while, we haven’t had any really cold weather, yet, and the herb garden is still going strong for now, those frigid temps are on the way. But before it gets here, I wanted to dry some of the herbs.
Now, there are a few different ways to dry herbs. . . . there’s drying by bundling the herbs and letting them air dry over several days, oven drying them, and even microwaving. If you live in humid areas (like I do – even in the Fall, it’s still humid). then air drying is going to take a lot longer. So, for me, that means oven drying the herbs.
First, some tips that I have quickly learned:
Pick the herbs in the morning when the essential oils and flavors are stronger.
If they need it, rinse them immediately.
For smaller leafed herbs, wait until after they’re dry to pick them off the stems. It’s much easier and quicker.
Preheat the oven to a very low temperature setting (under 200F degrees).
Spread the herbs out on a cookie sheet, making sure they’re not touching each other as it’ll take longer to dry if they are.
Place in the oven, leaving the door cracked. Leaving the door cracked ensures that they dry instead of bake.
After about 20 to 30 minutes, check the herbs. When they’re through drying, the leaves will crumble in your fingers. If they need longer to dry, leave them and recheck them every 10 minutes.
I dried my basil and chocolate mint with the oven at 180F degrees, and it took about 30 – 50 minutes in all for each batch.
Store whole or ground in a jar.