A dehydrator provides its users with a quicker, easier and more consistent drying compared to drying herbs in the sun or through other methods. When using a dehydrator, there are certain things you need to do so that the herbs dry evenly and do not lose any of their functional properties. It is worth noting that drying herbs proves to be a useful and reliable way to preserve the herbs for later use in craft and cooking. It also helps in retaining the herbs’ flavors and as such; they remain nutritional beneficial throughout the time they will be preserved. Same as the article posted by Paul Woods, this article provides a guide on drying herbs in a dehydrator. Below are some of the steps to follow:
Wash the herbs
Herbs may contain a ton of dirt from the garden, and as such, they should be washed to remove the dirt. When washing the herbs, ensure that you rinse them gently using clean water to remove the dirt without damaging the herbs. After washing them, spread the herbs on towels in the shade to remove the surface water. Avoid sun drying the herbs in the sun to remove the surface water, as this may be detrimental to the nutrients and moisture content in the herbs. A mild warm breeze is enough to remove the surface water when the herbs are spread out for about an hour.
Prepare the herbs
After all the surface water has been removed from the herbs, the next thing you should do is prepare the herbs for drying. Remove the stems (if you are drying leafy herbs). This helps in increasing the surface area of the herbs thus allowing for quick drying. Spread out the leaves on drying screens to provide sufficient space for air circulation. Do not place too many leaves on the tray at once, as this is likely to lead to uneven drying whereby some parts of the herbs dry more than the others.
Dehydrate until crumby
Once you have prepared the herbs for dying, the next thing you should do is place the herbs in the dehydrator to dry. You should then set the ideal temperature of the dehydrator depending on the herbs you are drying. Some herbs require high temperatures to dry while others require low temperatures. As such, it is necessary to understand the temperature requirements of the herbs you are drying. Avoid using too high or too low temperatures, as this is likely to interfere with the nutritional composition of the herbs. Generally, herbs take between 6-24 hours to dry well. The best way to know that the herbs are fully dried is by checking if they are crumby.
Store the herbs in a glass jar
After drying the herbs in the dehydrator, you should store them in a glass jar. Ensure that you use airtight storage to prevent moisture from affecting the moisture. Keep the leaves whole makes it possible to have a long-lasting from the herbs than if they were crumbled. As such, only crumble the herbs when they are ready to use.
Drying herbs in a dehydrator provide you with control, flexibility and guarantee of constant supply of the herbs throughout even when the herbs are the off-season. This process is reliably fast and not as complicated as it is presumed to be.