Friday, August 26, 2011

Preserving Herbs

Herbs are simple to preserve.  Clip them early in the morning, when their fragrant oils are most concentrated. Rinse and dry them completely between paper towels. Turn the oven on to its lowest temperature for 20 minutes, then turn it off.

Lay the herbs on a screen or cooling rack, and place them in the oven. Allow the herbs to dry in the oven  for 5-6 hours. Repeat the process until they crumble easily between your fingers. I usually dry them twice in 24 hours. 

Once herbs are dry, preserve them in an airtight container. Use a food sealer, such as the Oliso Vacuum Sealer, which I recently purchased through Groupon. Alternately, place the herbs in a plastic freezer bag and press out as much air as possible. Seal the top, leaving just enough space for a straw at one end. Suck the air out to complete the seal. 

I like to store my herbs in the freezer, but they may be stored in any cool, dark area. Discard after 3-6 months, or if you detect any mold. 

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