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How to dry herbs (+ make dried herbs into a gift!)

18 August 2021

Herbs; we can’t think of a better way to season food! By drying herbs, you can enjoy herbs all year round. Dried herbs also make a nice gift to give away if you are. The best part? It is really simple to dry herbs, and we will teach you how! 

Which herbs can be dried? 

All of them! Although, there are some herbs that retain their taste better than others when dried. These herbs include oregano, sage, mint, tarragon, lemon balm, rosemary, and thyme

Some herbs, such as parsley, dill, and basil, will lose some of their flavor if you dry them. Therefore, it is better to freeze them. With that being said, some of the flavor will definitely remain; so you can dry them. If you make a mix of dried herbs, parsley, dill, and basil can absolutely be included.

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When do I dry herbs?

The best time to dry herbs is once they have grown into strong and healthy plants. At this point, you can start harvesting the herbs in batches, as new leaves will continue to emerge. If cultivating during summer, one alternative is to dry some of the herbs in July. That way, you will have fresh herbs to harvest during the summer and autumn, and dried herbs to enjoy during the winter. 

You should definitely start harvesting before your herbs bloom. Once they bloom, the plants put more energy into the flowers rather than producing more leaves. The flowers can also affect the taste of the leaves negatively. 

How do I dry herbs? 

The place where you dry your herbs should be warm and dry. But not in direct sunlight; it causes the herbs to lose both taste and aroma.

Cut the stems or leaves of the plants and spread them on, for example, some newspapers where they are allowed to dry in case they are wet from rain or dew. Change the newspaper once dried from the rain or dew, or place the herbs somewhere else that is dry and warm. You can also hang the herbs upside down in small bouquets. Make sure you do not place or tie them too tightly - that will prolong the drying process. 

Once the herbs are placed on the dry area or hung upside down in bouquets, the herbs should stay there until completely dried. The time it takes to dry herbs varies. Sometimes it takes a few days, while sometimes it takes a few weeks for the herbs to dry completely.

Once the herbs are completely dried, store them somewhere dark, such as in a cabinet or pantry, or in a dark jar. Avoid scrunching the leaves until you are using them for cooking, to preserve as much taste as possible.

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How to make dried herbs into a gift 

Dried herbs make a nice gift to give away to someone you like, as a dinner party gift, for example. It is charming, personal, edible, and basically for free!

To make the gift, scratch the leaves from the stems and scrunch them into tiny pieces. Bring out a jar, preferably a glass jar for decorative reasons as the herbs will be nice to look at. 

Mix herbs of different colors to make the gift really beautiful. Attach the lid, and twirl a lace of some sort around the lid of the jar for a decorative touch. Write a nice ingredient label or gift card and attach it to the lace. There you have it - the perfect dinner party gift!