If you are growing your own herbs, you can easily end up with more than you can use. Dehydrating your bounty in the Breeze food dehydrator is an easy and cost-effective way to preserve the medicinal value and flavour of fresh herbs and prevent waste. When dried and stored properly you can have dried herbs for cooking or making tea, all year round.
Historically, herbs were hung up to dry out in small bundles around the home. The drying process can take weeks if the conditions aren’t right. Sun, humidity, mould, dust and bugs are a few factors that can possibly sabotage the natural drying process. Fresh herbs require very little preparation and with the Breeze food dehydrator, you can dry all of your herbs in just three to five hours.
A low temperature protects and retains the colour, flavour integrity, and essential oils of herbs. Note: the enzymes in dried herbs are concentrated and become about three times as strong. As a rule of thumb, if a recipe calls for one tablespoon of fresh herbs, substitute one teaspoon dried.
Fresh herbs of your choice
1. Remove any long stems and damaged or bruised leaves.
2. If your herbs have come from your garden and are clean, washing is not required.
3. Otherwise, fill the sink with cool water and submerge the leaves. Lightly rinse to remove dirt, chemicals, and small insects, but don’t let the leaves spend too much time in the water.
4. Scoop out the leaves with your hands (or use a colander or sieve) and shake them to remove as much water as possible.
5. Place the leaves on a clean paper- or kitchen towel and gently pat dry to remove the moisture.
6. Place the leaves in a single layer on the Breeze dehydrator trays. For small herbs, you may want to use silicon mesh liners to prevent them from falling through.
7. The drying time can vary depending upon the type of herbs, the moisture content, humidity, and spacing between the herbs. Fine herbs like mint will dry more quickly than moisture-filled or oilier herbs.
8. Start with 2 hours and then check on the progress every hour. If you are drying a variety of herbs. Remove the tray when they are done.
9. The herbs are dry when the leaves crumble and the stems break when bent.
10. Allow the herbs to cool for an hour on the trays to avoid condensation forming in your storage jars. Mould will develop if moisture is present.
11. Store in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight. Dried herbs have a shelf-life of at least a year. After that, they are edible but tend to lose flavour.
If you dehydrated herbs, be sure to share with us - leave us a comment, or tag a photo using #luvelelife on Instagram.