Herb Drying and Storage
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Herb Drying and Storage Buying Guide: Everything You Need To Know
Herbs are an important part of many recipes and add flavor to dishes. However, if you don’t have access to fresh herbs or can’t grow them yourself, it’s important to understand how to store and dry your herbs for maximum preservation of their flavors. This guide will help you understand the best ways of drying and storing herbs in order to keep them flavorful longer. It covers everything from purchasing the right type of herb, selecting the correct method for drying, packaging options and even some tips on what not to do! By following these steps, you’ll be able to enjoy flavorful and fresh herbs all season long!
What types of herbs should I buy?
When shopping for herbs, you should buy organic, non-GMO varieties if possible. This will ensure that your herbs don’t contain any chemicals or preservatives. Also, make sure to buy herbs with bright green leaves and no signs of wilting or discoloration.
How do I dry my herbs?
There are several methods for drying herbs, depending on the type of herb you’re dealing with and how much time you want to spend on the task. Air drying is a great option because it’s easy and requires minimal maintenance; all you need to do is string bunches of fresh herbs together and hang them in a cool, dry place. Dehydrating is also a good choice, as it requires less time and less space than air drying. Finally, you can oven-dry herbs in an oven set to the lowest temperature; just make sure that you check them every few minutes so they don’t scorch.
How should I store my herbs?
Once your herbs are dried, it’s important to store them properly in order to retain their flavor and aroma. Store dried herbs in airtight containers away from heat and light sources. Glass jars or tins work best for this purpose since metal cans can impart a metallic taste on the herbs over time. Additionally, if storing large amounts of herbs, try to use a dark-colored container in order to protect the herbs from light exposure.
How long will my dried herbs last?
Generally speaking, your dried herbs should stay flavorful for about six months. After that point, their flavor and aroma will start to degrade. If you want your herbs to last longer than six months, try freezing them in airtight containers or bags; this method can extend the shelf life up to one year.
What should I avoid when drying and storing my herbs?
When drying and storing your herbs, it’s important to avoid using plastic bags as these can trap moisture which can lead to mold and spoilage of your herbs. Additionally, avoid storing your herbs in a humid or hot environment; this will cause them to spoil more quickly. Finally, try to use the right amount of herbs when cooking with them; too much can lead to an overpowering flavor and waste valuable herbs.
Herbs are a great way to add flavor and aroma to dishes without added fat or salt. By understanding how to properly purchase, dry and store herbs, you’ll be able to enjoy their delicious flavors all season long! Whether you choose air drying, dehydrating or freezing as the method for preservation, just remember the tips outlined in this guide and you’ll be on your way to becoming an herb-drying expert!
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