Herb Drying

There is nothing quite as good as the taste of fresh-picked herbs. However, when you don't have access to fresh herbs, dried herbs add a lot of flavor. Dried herbs are generally more concentrated than fresh and therefore you will probably use less in a recipe.

I have an abundant of fresh organic herbs year-round in my garden in Napa, but neighbors and friends are always asking me to bring them back into the city, so I have started drying herbs and storing them in jars for fun.

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Drying herbs is so easy! All you have to do is pick whatever herbs you want to dry. Wash them. Tie them into bundles. Find a warm, dry spot to hang them upside down until dry or you can also dry them on racks. Remove the woody stem. Chop them if you want. Store them in air tight containers. Dried herbs can last for up to a year if stored in airtight containers. You will know when your herbs are over the hill when you open the container and cannot smell them.

Dried herbs can be used to make herbal teas, tinctures, oils and salves. I have only dried herbs for use in cooking and flavoring oils. I have dried Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Sage and Tarragon.

Rosemary Gladstar wrote "Medicinal Herbs, a beginner's guide", which is a great book for learning how to use herbs for healing health issues.

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I dry my herbs in a basket hanging in my mudroom.

Dry herbs make great gifts!

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