Drying herbs at home is such a rewarding experience. The colour and aroma of your own dried herbs are superior to the herbs that you buy in the grocery store. Store-bought herbs demand a very high price. You will notice a more top quality and deeper flavour in the herbs because they are so fresh. Discard the stems after you have removed the dried leaves. A mortar and pestle are super for crushing or a quick spin in a blender for a more delicate product.
The serendipity is when you crush the dried leaves, and the aroma permeates the air and seems to infuse into your skin.
The warm feelings that occur are very hard to put into words.
The sense of peace from being surrounded by such delicious smells and the aroma lingers in the air for a very long time.
What have I dried; Rosemary, Oregano, Cilantro, Thyme, Dill and Parsley. Then there is a variety of mint, apple mint, orange mint, chocolate mint and after-dinner mint, to name a few.
Thoroughly dry Basil and Sage as mould could be a problem. They are definitely worth the extra time that it takes.
There are many more herbs, but most others require a sweltering climate to grow successfully.
Certainly, placing the herbs in a brown paper bag and placing the bag somewhere warm does work. It does take up to a week to dry thoroughly. An Excalibur Food Dehydrator costs pennies to use, and it is rapid. With the setting at 115 degrees or lower, allows drying without destroying the natural enzymes in the herbs. The beautiful part of a dehydrator is that you can dry in bulk. The Excalibur comes with a varied number of shelves. The nine shelf unit is the largest option.
Using a dehydrator eliminates the risk of the herbs moulding before they are completely dehydrated.
Store the herbs in glass jars to maintain maximum freshness.
It is very important to pick your herbs in the morning as this maximizes the essential oils in the herb increasing its aroma but also the nutrition value. Be sure to wait until the dew has burned off so that the herbs are dry. Pick out any sticks or dried leaves and shake well; it is best not to wash the herbs if at all possible. That keeps the moisture content as low as possible and maximizes the flavour, natural oils and quality. Herbs are more potent when picked before they flower.