Home generalDry fresh herbs and get flavors - instructions

Dry fresh herbs and get flavors - instructions

  • Harvest herbs
  • Cook herbs
    • Drying of herb stalks
    • Dry leaves and flowers
  • Drying kitchen herbs in the oven - is the "> herbs in the Dehydrator
  • Freeze herbs
  • Insert herbs

Herbs are wonderful ingredients for a variety of dishes. Their aromas enhance numerous dishes. Those who cultivate basil, lovage and Co. themselves, can conserve the part of the crop that is not used fresh. We provide you with detailed instructions for proper drying and storage of collected herbs. We also go for freezing and pickling in vinegar or oil.

Basically, fresh culinary herbs with their full flavors are of course to be preferred. However, very few people have the option of year-round cultivation. This privilege is reserved for those persons who own a heated greenhouse. Therefore it is recommended to preserve the collected herbs. There are several options available for this purpose. The most important are drying, freezing and pickling in vinegar or oil.

Important: Not every herb can be dried. In addition, some varieties are not suitable for freezing. In this informational text, we provide clues as to which culinary herbs should be preserved and how. The guide will help you to enjoy your kitchen lovers for a longer time.

Harvest herbs

Logically, before it goes to conservation, the culinary herbs must first be collected. Here is a short guide and some tips on how to proceed:

  • on a sunny morning
  • after the drying of nocturnal dew
  • even before the midday heat
  • then they have the most flavor
  • with sharp knife or good secateurs
  • Cut herbs down to a hand's breadth above the ground
  • this promotes the new drive

Cook herbs

Drying is the most traditional way of preserving culinary herbs with their delicious flavors. Without the necessary knowledge you can do a lot wrong. The biggest mistake is to put the stalks or leaves in the sun - assuming the sunshine promotes drying. Even in the warm shed, the herbs have nothing to look for. When the sun hits the roof, the cabin gets almost 50 degrees Celsius hot. Excessive heat is poison for all kitchen herbs.

Rule of thumb: Temperatures from 42 degrees Celsius are considered harmful. The respective herb dehydrates and loses its aroma - but this is exactly what should be avoided. Optimal is an airy location where the herbs are not exposed to direct sunlight.

All kitchen herbs, which are usually boiled or used for salad dressings, can be dried. These include, for example:

  • oregano
  • thyme
  • marjoram
  • mugwort
  • lovage

In contrast, dill, cilantro, chervil, cress and borage (cucumber) should not be dried.

Drying of herb stalks

Step 1: Wash the branches carefully and pat dry with kitchen paper.

Tip: The best way to harvest the herbs after a rainy day. Then it can be assumed that they are dust-free and generally clean. As a result, you can confidently save the first step. However, this does not apply to roots. They must be washed in any case.

Step 2: Tie the branches together into several small bundles. For this you use simple rubber bands or twine.

  • Do not tie together more than ten stems.
  • Label each bundle so that it will not be confused later, because: Cooked herbs often look very different than when fresh.
  • Do not mix the stems of different species, but dry each herb separately.

Step 3: Hang the bundles with the "head" down in a dark, slightly warm and airy place.

Tip: A lofty attic is ideal.

Step 4: Wait and drink fresh herbal tea. ???? The bundles have to hang for five to seven days.

Dry leaves and flowers

Step 1: Wash the leaves and flowers and dab dry.

2nd step: spread out in one layer.

Possible aids:

  • fine wire sieves
  • thin fabrics, stretched in a frame

Important: Never use newsprint. The printing ink is harmful.
Again, it is advisable to label the individual genera in order not to lose track at the end.

If necessary, add essential oils:

  • not in advance, but only when using crush
  • do not move while drying
  • otherwise the good substances and the aroma dissipate
  • Store in an opaque container
  • Do not forget the label here

Who dries kitchen herbs in these conventional ways, can enjoy them for about a year. Only then do they lose their flavors. It is best kept in a suitable and closable container in the freezer.

Drying kitchen herbs in the oven - is the ">

Tip: Roots should be split before they go into the oven. This facilitates or accelerates drying.

Step 2: Activate the convection function of the oven and set 40 to a maximum of 50 degrees Celsius.

Step 3: Cover a cake grid with a gauze cloth.

Note: The cake grid is suitable for its "holes". These ensure that the herbs come from above and below.

Step 4: Put the herbs on top of it - just one layer!

Step 5: Put the cake rack in the oven.

Step 6: Allow to dry for several hours with the oven door slightly open (about three).

  • Turn the herbs after about one and a half hours.
  • Once they "rustle" when touched, they are completely dry.

Herbs in the Dehydrator

Anyone who owns a dehydrator can dry both leaves and roots as well as fruits in it. Make sure that the temperature is not higher than 40 degrees Celsius. Due to the powerful air conversion, the herbs dry very quickly.

Freeze herbs

For all those kitchen herbs that you can not dry, there is a good alternative: freezing. This type of preservation preserves most of the ingredients and also the aromas of the respective "herbaceous". A small disadvantage is that the later thawed ingredients no longer look very pretty - so they are less suitable for decorating. But it is primarily about the seasoning, nothing speaks against this method, on the contrary.

Tip: Although parsley can be dried, it loses many good substances in this type of preservation. Therefore it is recommended to freeze the herb.

Other culinary herbs that should be better frozen:

  • dill
  • chives
  • coriander
  • chervil
  • cress
  • borage

In general, herbal genera with soft leaves and shoots are eligible for freezing.

Note: The smooth parsley has more flavor after freezing than the curly parsley.

With lemon balm and peppermint the desired preservation of the aromas by freezing works less well. Here, the drying makes more sense.

Important: After harvesting, the herbs should migrate into the freezer as soon as possible.

Instructions for freezing herbs:

Step 1: Wash the kitchen herbs and pat dry.

Tip: If you opt for the ice cube version, it is not tragic if the leaves or stalks are not completely dry when dabbing.

Step 2: Finely chop the leaves or stalks on a wooden board.

EXCEPTION: DO NOT mince mint. Preferably freeze the leaves as a whole so that they do not lose their aroma.

3rd step: Now you freeze the kitchen herbs in portions in ice cubes. This works as follows:

3a) Take the ice cube container to hand.
3b) Fill the individual "compartments" with herbs (either pure or mixed).
3c) Add some water everywhere.
3d) Into the freezer compartment with the full container.

Ice cube forms are formed in a short time and the herbs are wonderfully preserved.

Practical: So processed kitchen herbs can be wonderfully dosed. When cooking you just need to get a cube out of the freezer and put it into the food - a simple principle with a spicy effect.

The "ice-herbs" should be given in the frozen state in the food or in the pot or pan. So you can not defrost them first. Otherwise, the melting ice crystals destroy the cell walls. As a result, the essential oils are released and the aroma is already lost before it can begin its "task" at all.

Insert herbs

The third way to conserve fresh herbs is to put them in vinegar or oil. This results in interesting spicy notes.

Delicious aroma variants with vinegar:

  • Basil*
  • dill
  • tarragon
  • balm

Delicious aroma variants with edible oil:

  • Basil*
  • oregano
  • thyme
  • sage
  • other labiates

* Especially with basil it is worth considering preserving the herb in vinegar or oil. The popular spice can neither dry well nor freeze. In the former method it rapidly loses its aroma; when frozen, the leaves turn brown and also lose much of its flavor.

Instructions for preservation with vinegar or oil:

Step 1: Wash the herbs, dab dry and if necessary cut small.

Tip: In a vinegar mixture leaves the herbs in the whole; For the oil extract, however, comminution is recommended so that they can release their valuable ingredients better.

Step 2: Fill in a transparent and closable container.

Step 3: Cover completely with vinegar or oil.

Tip: Good wine or fruit vinegar as well as cold-pressed rape or olive oil are optimal.

Step 4: Close the vessel and shake vigorously.

Step 5: Set up in a sunny spot and leave for three weeks.

Important: Shake vigorously two to three times a day.

After about 21 days, the respective herb has released its ingredients to the vinegar or the oil.

Step 6: Filter the vinegar or oil before first use.

Tip: It is best to squeeze the sieve residue again so as not to give away a drop of the delicious spice.

There are several ways to preserve fresh herbs. The most natural of these is drying in the air. If necessary, you can push the spicy plant parts in the oven. In addition, there is the option to freeze dill, chives and Co. The last method is pickling in vinegar or oil. However, it is more about the production of a special herb vinegar or oil and less about the preservation of culinary herbs in the strict sense. Nevertheless, the resulting aroma can really taste!

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