Garden 2017: Dehydrating Herbs

Garden 2017: Dehydrating Herbs

My garden is in full bloom lately! Everything is taking off, I’m a happy girl right now. (Except for those asshole caterpillars and aphids, but lets not even go there this time.)

My beautiful oregano plant has decided to go to bloom. And I’m definitely taking advantage of it. Cutting off the flowers as they come while still not letting them go to seed. I rinse them, pat them dry and tie them together. I have a nice sunny place in my kitchen to let them hang dry. It normally takes a week or so, and the herbs are dry enough to store.

When you purchase Mexican Oregano (not the same as Italian or Greek, obviously) it comes in full flower form and you have to grind it up yourself. So I figured I would do the same with the Italian Oregano that I had growing in my garden. So far, it’s led to some really tasty fragrant dinners. It seems that Williams Sonoma sells bottles of oregano blooms (overpriced if you ask me, however I’m still guilty of purchasing it), why not just grow it yourself?

Oregano blooms smell absolutely amazing.

Even dried, they are still insanely fragrant. The dried herb and dried blooms should come off of the stem easily when they are dried enough. I strip them from the twigs and put them in a glass airtight container. If you do this you can either use them whole or grind them up. I have a tiny molcajete that does the trick, but you can also use a spice grinder.

Pictured here is a bundle of air dried lemon thyme that had gone to flower. I followed the same process with drying my oregano. Thyme is so fragrant and should be a part of any cooks outdoor or indoor garden for sure!

To speed up the process you can also use a dehydrator (I own one and use it when I have a large haul of herbs to dehydrate. ¬†They range from cheap to super fuckin’ expensive. You don’t have to dish out a shitload of money to get a decent dehydrator either, I got mine at Target for about 40 bucks and it works great.

You want to store your newly dehydrated herbs in an airtight container. Doesn’t have to be a glass bottle, it can be a bag, plastic container, etc. Try not to keep them in direct sunlight, if you do they will spoil sooner. This also goes for storing them near heat as well. So putting them right on top of your oven, on that ledge where it meets the wall is a bad idea if you want your herbs to last.

 

 

 


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