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Old 07-03-2005, 09:57 PM   #1
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Drying Herbs?

I have a pretty good patch of mint in the back yard that I need to start clipping and drying.

can anyone tell me what I need to do to get it all dried up nice.

Also, is dried mint good for much other than delicious mint tea?


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Old 07-03-2005, 10:03 PM   #2
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Cut branches of mint and tie several together. Hang them in a cool dry place with some air movement and leave them undisturbed until they are dry. Then strip the dry leaves and package them.

If it's peppermint, it's good for tea and desserts. If it's spearmint, there are thousands of Middle Eastern, Greek, Armenian etc. recipes that use it in savory dishes.

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Old 07-04-2005, 01:34 AM   #3
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Also make sure where you hang them they wont gather dust or have any insect visitors. It really ruins some nice dried herbs when you see spider webs all over them.

A dehidrator can also work well for drying herbs if you happen to have one. It will make sure to keep them clean and reduce the drying time greatly.
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Old 07-04-2005, 01:47 AM   #4
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A very light sprinkling of dried mint is a great addition to a batch of brownies!
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Old 07-04-2005, 06:25 AM   #5
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I have a bumper crop of herbs this year, and unfortunately, don't have a/c and summers are humid here. I tried micro-drying some sage, which I'd had some success with before, but got a fire going (and I used special microwave paper towels!). Now that it is a little cooler out I may try the oven. When it is humid, your hung herbs tend to mold before they dry. I do have one bedroom air conditioned .... it would just be me to have herbs hanging in the master bedroom. I mostly want to dry sage, I use a lot of it around the holidays, and it is one of those herbs that dries very well, and is even tastier in dried form. Most of my herbs, I've decided, are a seasonal thing and too bad. More trouble than they are worth to dry them. But thyme and sage I use in great amounts, and have in great amounts in the summer. I have a freind with a dehydrator and am thinking of asking to borrow it. I've never seen one. Are they huge? In return I'd give him a year's supply of whatever herb he desires.
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Old 07-04-2005, 06:29 AM   #6
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P.S. Daisy ... thanks for the recipes. I found some ground lamb at the grocery a couple weeks ago, and know in a general way what I want to make with it. I have a huge mint patch and a pretty decent parsley one. I'm sure I'd have figured out how to use them with the lamb, but getting proportions right when you're cooking something you can't really taste as you go along is a big help.
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Old 07-06-2005, 09:01 AM   #7
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Drying Herbs and Freezing them

I dry herbs pretty much as the forum is describing but depending on how I use a specific herb I will freeze them as well.

With Basil I will prepare as a paste and freeze into cubes using ice cube trays. I will make various pestos as well as freeze them the same way.

The flavor stays intense and fresh herb paste or pesto is excellent in the middle of winter when fresh herbs are scarce. We make Thai food and whole leaf basil is required. We freeze our basil whole leaf as well. Since we are going to be cooking it anyway, wilting caused by freezing, does not matter as much and you will still have the intense flavor.


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Old 07-12-2005, 05:26 PM   #8
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I cut off a bit of mint and hung it upside down in my shed. I was amazed to see that it dried in less than a day. I was expecting it to take much longer.
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Old 07-12-2005, 05:35 PM   #9
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Bryan, I also freeze my basil, and Italian parsley as well, as a paste, and find that it works extremly well...you still get that fresh aroma and taste.
But I do mine in Ziplock sandwich bags, getting all the air out, then pressing out very thin, no more than 3/4" thick. That way, I can take the bag out and break off however much I need.
I put several of the sandwich bags in a bigger ziplock, which keeps them together, and further protects them from freezer burn. I have used some that were 3 years old that were still good.
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Old 07-13-2005, 05:42 AM   #10
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This is one great reason to be living in Colorado. Drying just happens. The hard part is watering often enough that they don't dry on the plant.

I will cut a few sprigs of something (rosemary the other day) to use in a dish, then I just leave the unused portion on the bay windowsill above the kitchen sink. In a couple of days it is dry, I strip the leaves from the stems, and put them in old jars from store-bought spices. This year we didn't do much in the garden, so all I have is rosemary, oregano, chives, and garlic (and hopefully tomatoes in another month or so ).

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