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In order to be able to enjoy the tasty aromas of herbs in winter, you must dry them in good time. You have several options for this.Hang the herbs to dry
Many create a bed with herbs in their own garden. These can be brought fresh to the dishes, especially in summer, and thus ensure a very special aroma. But what about winter when there are no fresh herbs from the garden? Quite simply: you have to prepare for the cold season and dry the herbs to preserve the tasty aroma. The dried herbs in the trade were mostly not processed carefully enough and therefore have a bad aroma. If you dry the herbs yourself, the aroma will be better preserved.
The right preparation
You can't just dry herbs like that. You need to properly prepare them for this process. This includes e.g. that you harvest the herbs at the right time. It is best to do this just before flowering, because then you will still have their full aroma. During the flowering period, the formation of flowers and fruits takes strength, which means fewer ingredients are formed. The result: the aroma is no longer so strong. It is therefore best to always harvest the herbs before flowering.
It's best to do this: spray the herbs with water in the evening and then harvest them the following morning. So the herbs are clean and completely dry again. The latter is very important, because if the herbs are moist, you can start to mold when drying.
This is how you can dry herbs
Option 1 - air dry herbs:
The easiest way to dry herbs is in the air. This is very time-consuming but also gentle. So say the flavors are best preserved. Simply bundle the herbs and hang them upside down in a warm, shady and sheltered place. Ideal places for drying are e.g. covered garden houses, attics or drying rooms.
After drying, you can shred the herbs and seal them airtight in a container. You can also close the plant parts directly and only shred them when you need them. This way, even more aroma remains.
Option 2 - dry herbs in the oven:
If the whole thing should go a little faster, you can also dry the herbs in the oven. Place the herbs loosely on a baking sheet and then let them dry at around 40 degrees for about 3 hours. Moisture is gently extracted from the herbs and the essential oils and thus the aroma are retained. The oven door should remain open a little so that the resulting moisture can escape from the oven.
You can also dry the herbs in the automatic dehydrator in the same way.
By the way:
Rather let the fingers dry the herbs in the microwave. Some things can go wrong. In addition, a lot of the aroma is always lost with this method. So you'd better be patient and don't touch the turbo version.
Which herbs are suitable for drying?
Not all herbs are suitable for drying, as all flavors are lost. For example, unsuitable Pimpinelle, sorrel, lovage and cress. You should rather freeze these herbs or preserve them in vinegar or oil (more on this here). However, suitable for drying are:
- lemon verbena
Herbs such as parsley, basil, chives and dill can also be dried. However, a lot of aroma is lost.