This time of the year it is very easy to find amazing herbs which aren’t available throughout the year. So it has become significantly important for people who are crazy about herbs to learn a thing or two about drying and preserving them. Especially since herbs add such a great flavor to whatever you are cooking. There are people who grow herbs in their kitchen garden and also people who buy them at their local farmers’ markets. Either way, the 5 tips enlisted below on drying and preserving herbs will come handy if you want to be able to use herbs throughout the year.
1. Freezing herbs
Like other food items you can freeze herbs too and use them in winters when the herb patches are locked under snow. To use this technique place clean and dry herbs on a baking sheet and toss them inside the freezer overnight. When the herbs are frozen put them in containers to use them all year long.
2. Air drying
Air drying is perfect for certain herbs like oregano and thyme. To remove dirt you can wash the herbs but you have to make sure that they are absolutely dry afterwards. Next, take the herbs and place them in a warm dark place. You can leave them to dry and once that has been done take the herbs and put them into air-tight containers.
3. Oven drying
For people who want the drying process to happen quickly, over drying is the perfect method. To use this method put herbs on a baking sheet and toss them inside a 150° F oven for 1 – 4 hours. Keep checking the herbs so that they don’t get overheated and remove them from the oven when they become crumbly.
4. Preserve with vinegar
Vinegar is a common method of preserving different food items and herbs happen to get preserved with vinegar too. To use this method you need to put vinegar in a bottle along with the herbs. Make sure that you choose vinegar which complements the taste of the herbs.
5. Oil and butter
You can add herbs to oil or make herb butters to preserve the herbs. This technique protects the taste of the herbs way better than any of the other techniques. If you choose to preserve herbs by using this technique just make sure that your herbs are completely dry because otherwise they could get contaminated with bacteria.