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  1. #1
    JennieAtkinson's Avatar
    JennieAtkinson is offline Early Fruiter
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    Default Freezing & Drying Herbs

    I have spent today freezing and drying some of the herbs growing in the polytunnel. I have never dried herbs before, so took advice from Lesley Jay and AndrewO and tried them in the microwave.

    Here are just a few of the things I found out today, but some of you may be able to add/or enlighten me!
    • its easier if you pick off the leaves first and then dry them - I put oregano in including stalks first and the microwave just spat!
    • put the leaves on a piece of kitchen towel and keep microwaving for short bursts (start for a minute, fluff up, then another minute, fluff up, then 30 seconds etc.) some herbs needed longer than others
    • fold up the kitchen towel and roll with rolling pin and then crush by hand (worked for rosemary as it was a bit hard) others can be crushed by hand (parsley, oregano, mint etc.)
    • as my herbs had been in the polytunnel I didn't wash them first (they looked ok!) but when I washed some curled parsley it burnt!
    Hope this helps. I had never done this before so it was a bit trial and error but pleased with the results. The only thing I wished I had done the rosemary last as it left a lovely oily residue on my hands.

    Herbs dried: flat leaved parsley, curled parsley, rosemary, sage, mint (three different types) and thyme.

    Kitchen smelt lovely!
    Last edited by JennieAtkinson; 14-08-2006 at 11:05 PM. Reason: spelling, always spelling!

  2. #2
    Earthbabe's Avatar
    Earthbabe is offline Early Fruiter
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    Default

    I tend to dry herbs just by hanging bunches around the place. Can't afford pictures (joking!) As for freezing herbs you could try blitzing leafy ones e.g. parsley, lovage, chervil with some oil in a blender and then spoon resultant green stuff into ice cube trays. Once frozen, release and put in bags/boxes in freezer as available. You can then just add to soups/stews etc. as required straight from the freezer.

    Enjoy!
    Bright Blessings
    Earthbabe

    If at first you don't succeed, open a bottle of wine.

  3. #3
    nick the grief's Avatar
    nick the grief is offline Gardening Guru
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    My Sister hangs bunches of Sage in her Kitchen & swears it keeps flies out !

    Would it freeze earthbabe if you mix it with oil? I've just minced it up fresh & put into icecube trays 7 the moisture content of the herbs is usually enought to freeze them into cubes.
    ntg
    Never be afraid to try something new.
    Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark.
    A large group of professionals built the Titanic


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  4. #4
    Earthbabe's Avatar
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    I don't use a lot of oil, just enough to "hold things together" so to speak as I am rather lazy in the removing the stalk department. You could use a little butter or marg instead but yes if there is sufficient moisture it shouldn't be necessary.
    Bright Blessings
    Earthbabe

    If at first you don't succeed, open a bottle of wine.

  5. #5
    Alice's Avatar
    Alice is offline Mature Fruiter
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    I never dry the herbs as I think the flavour is much better if just frozen. I just do as for veg - prepare them as you wish to use them, spread them out on a tray, put in the freezer until frozen then put in a freezer box. The herbs remain "free flow" and I can just use as required.

  6. #6
    Nicos's Avatar
    Nicos is offline 'Allo 'Allo !
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    I used to dry herbs by just hanging clumps of them upsidedown in the kitchen (vv trendy in the 80's and 90's!!!). Then realised they tasted better with the leaves stripped off the stalks and bunged into a bag in the freezer. The more bashed about the better. Have frozen parsleys, mint, dill. rosemary, marjoram and origano inthis way. Flavour lasts much longer than dried herbs. Never been sucessful drying/freezing chives though using these methods

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