Following on from last month's topic of freezing herbs, I have been asked about drying herbs.
There are 3 main methods, air, oven and microwave drying.
All 3 methods have their advantages and disadvantages.
Air drying is gentler and there is less damage to the volatile oils as there is no heat involved.
However, it takes 1 to 3 weeks, you need somewhere dark and airy to hang them and if they go musty, chances are, the herbs in your garden have stopped growing or are past their best.
Oven drying takes 3 to 5 hours depending on the fleshiness of the leaves.
The herbs need turning every 30 minutes, so you're stuck around the house during this time.
There is heat involved, so there's a chance of damaging the oils, but it's minimal.
Microwave drying is virtually instant - takes 2 or 3 minutes to do a batch and if you mess it up, then you can cut some more and have another go.
The disadvantages are, that the process which is designed to eliminate the water content from the herbs can also damage the volatile oils.
The choice is yours and the full instructions for drying parsley and other herbs are on this page here drying fresh herbs.
There are other methods of preserving herbs - freezing, oils, sauces, jellies and butters and I will cover those in a future newsletter.
If you want to check out those methods now, then please go here preserving herbs.
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