Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How To Dry Basil

This past Spring, I planted four Basil plants in my garden. It's such an easy herb to grow and is a pretty plant, as well. Basil would fit right in among the other perennial flowers in your flower beds.
Basil plants are meant to be hacked back several times during the growing season before the stems start to flower, so that's what I did.

After giving some away to two of my neighbors, there were still two pitchers full of Basil left.

I left them in vases filled with water for about 5 days, then decided to preserve the harvest via drying.

I read somewhere that you could dry Basil by hanging pieces upside down, so I gave it a try. 
Simple enough.

The rest was dried the way I usually dry Basil...The leaves were cut from the stems and laid on a paper towel on cookie sheets. I set the four cookie sheets on the Dining Room table since we hardly use that room. You can also put them on top of your cabinets to dry, as well.

When they look like this, I put them in a warm oven to crisp them up. It's humid where I live and you might not have to do this step if your air is dry. I usually put them in the oven after I've baked something else and after the oven has cooled a bit. About five minutes is all they need.

Here's how the hanging leaves looked:


Once the leaves are crisp, just rub them between your hands to break the leaves in small pieces.


I put the Basil in some spice jars I saved and made a label out of contact paper with my label punch. Note to self: buy a white paint marker.

I can't decide whether I like the round jars with the green lids or the square jars with the black lids.



Either way, I will probably have enough Basil (after one more  harvest) to last me until next year.
Anyone else have herbs growing in your garden?


Pam

29 comments:

  1. I have basil, thyme, rosemary and English lavender. Great tutorial Pam.

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  2. mmmm...smells so good and tastes even better. What a great idea Pam!

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  3. Pam, thanks for the tip. I just bought a bunch and love to put them in vase to use and also for a bouquet. But I will try to dry them because I know it would be better then stuff from the store..Happy Tuesday..Judy

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  4. Pam, I have tons of them growing and I have never dried them, just used them fresh. I tried once, and because I hung them outside, they molded. I know with the humidity here that was a dumb thing to do! I will try hanging them inside. I also have cilantro, parsley, greek oregano, and sage. Can I do them all the same way?? And, I did not know I needed to cut them back. Some of them just go to seed. Thanks for posting this!

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  5. Great tips for growing and drying basil, Pam. I planted two varieties last spring and just cut them back. Now I know I should do that earlier and I love the idea of putting the cuttings in a vase. No, I didn't even think to do that. Next time.
    Mary Alice

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  6. Thanks for the tip Pam, I have an abundance of Basil in my garden right now and I was hoping to dry some. Have you tried cilantro or thyme?I'm looking forward to hearty herb filled soups this fall!

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  7. I love basil...it is so fresh on a pizza or tomato sandwich!

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  8. Looks easy enough! Thanks! My basil is the only one hanging on in the Texas heat, but I am enjoying it and hoping it lasts for a while.

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  9. I dry some of mine, and freeze the rest. I just blend it with olive oil and put in ice trays. once they have frozen I transfer to a ziplock freezer bag. Its like using fresh basil.

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  10. Love basil and this is a great tutorial....thanks Pam!!

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  11. Very nice! I am pinning this and am so going to grow my own basil next year. I wonder if it's too late in the season to get some to try it in a pot again inside? I grew last year in a pot and it did great for awhile. Did you grown yours in the ground? They looks so large and hardy! I have an overabundance of Rosemary. I really want to learn how to cut it so as not to mess up the bush to much and how to dry and store it for cooking as well. I guess I need to do some research. Thanks so much for the great picture tutorial!

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  12. Hi Pam, I have basil growing in a pot on the patio. I will try hanging it. Great idea!

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  13. Pam,
    I LOVE,LOVE,LOVE basil.I have a basil garden we have been enjoying it all summer.Great tips on drying them.I am going to try that!Thanks for visiting white lace cottage.I am now following along now too!
    xx
    Anne

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  14. I didn't know I liked basil until I was eating a pasta salad at a restaurant and I was intrigued by the flavor....I asked and found out basil was used. Since then I love it! Looks like you are well stocked and ready until next near now!

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  15. I grow basil every year Pam but never tried to dry it. I usually freeze mine, but I'm definitely going to try drying some now too. I bet your house smelled so good!

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  16. Why have I never done this? Maybe if I get/make myself some of those cute jars I'll be more motivated!

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  17. I did have cilantro and arugula but the heat has since done them in.

    Popped in from Wow Us Wednesday ~

    thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

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  18. Great idea! Doing this saves amount and enjoy every process.
    thanks for the share.

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  19. Thanks for posting this. I have three huge plants in my flowers, and didn't have a clue what to do with them.

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  20. Oh, I love basil. I am so jealous that you have enough to dry! My plant didn't survive this crazy heat wave we are having.

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  21. I grow many types of herbs and basil is one of my very favourites! I do prefer it fresh though (have you ever tried a havarti, honey and fresh basil sandwich? It's soooo yummy.)

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  22. Thanks so much for this tutorial! I love basil!!

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  23. I need to try this with my basil. Thanks for sharing.

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  24. Wish I could keep my herb garden alive so I could do this at home!!

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  25. I love the square jars! I never seem to dry any herbs. I have dried dill a couple times, when we would get a lot from our CSA, but that is about it. Great tips!

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  26. We have basil, sage, rosemary, and lemon mint. I have never dried any but I should. You make it look so easy!

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  27. I have rosemary, thyme, applemint, orangemint, oregano, and basil growing. This year has been a bumper crop year and was going to start trying to research the drying methods so this was very helpful. I've also wondered about putting the herbs in a dehydrator. Nice job on the post! :)

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  28. Thank you! Dropping by from the Homestead Barn Hop because I'm overrun with basil and parsley this year. I appreciated the tutorials and pics for two different methods.

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  29. Good reminder for me to go attend to the basil in my garden. It's getting lost among my tomatoes!

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