dying herbs and putting away in containers

How to Dry + Freeze Herbs

drying herbs on a rackFeaturing Herb Drying Rack via Gardeners.com (c/o)

H
ow’s your kitchen garden doing? Perhaps by now all the victory gardening you’ve been doing, your herbs are abundant that you don’t know what to do, you can’t possibly eat that much basil or make so much pesto sauce! Don’t toss them! This was the case of a friend of mine who DM’d me and asked me for advice and a blog idea (I listen, ask and you shall receive).

You spend so much time tending to your kitchen garden and when the herbs are getting out of control don’t toss them! You can freeze or dry them (will list which ones and how), and it’s great because it will save you money as herbs can be so expensive and seasoning too – you can enjoy what you grew year round.

I used to dry herbs but then stopped as we worked on transferring the garden area to the new area with the expansion – I missed out on an entire season of gardening it was quite sad! My friends at Gardener’s sent over an Herb Drying Rack that is collapsible which I like for saving space and it’s so pretty! It comes with 6 hooks but you can also add more hooks. You can use it to dry herbs, flowers, garlic, and hot peppers.

This task is as easy as taking your herbs, rinsing them, drying them off a bit and tie them and hang them. Some herbs are best freezing with some olive oil while others are best dried upside down, and stored in containers. Here’s a list of how to harvest specific herbs so you don’t have to toss them and you can use them even out of season!

kitchen garden herbs how to harvest and preserve them drying and freezing

Ways to harvest herbs


You can either dry herbs, or freeze them (some would be best blended with some oil and through a food processor) and pour the paste into a freezer bag laid flat and thin, or in ice cube trays and placed in a freezer bag.


Drying Herbs


drying herbs on herb drying rack
paper bag on drying herbs to keep dust off

dying herbs and putting away in containersdrying herbs and putting into containers

Hang dry using the herb drying rack (bundle them with twine or rubber bands) and hang. Cover in a paper bag to keep dust off.

When dried fully, remove herbs from stamps and place leaves into a jar to preserve. Keep out of sunlight. A dark room that’s cool and dry is the best place to let these herbs dry out.

  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Lovage
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Savory
  • Scented geraniums
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme

herbs to dry or freeze - a list and the tips - how to keep dust off your drying herbs

 


Freezing Herbs


freezing herbs
blend herbs in food processor to freeze herbs
freeze herbs with olive oil
frozen basil with oil how to freeze and preserve herbs

Remove stems and run each herb through a food processor, add oil to coat leaves. Put into a freezer bag, remove as such air. Here’s a tip – if you pour it into a freezer bag, make sure to lay it flat like a pancake so you can break off chunks as needed – or do what I did and freeze in handy ice cube trays. Source.

You can also blend herbs with a food processor and some olive oil.

A handy tool is this herb stripper to remove leaves from stems, like rosemary.

  • Basil (will turn a weird color frozen)
  • Chervil
  • Cilantro
  • Chives
  • Dill
  • Lemon Balm
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Lovage
  • Mind
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Savory
  • Sorrel
  • Sweet cicely
  • Sweet marjoram
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme

herbs to dry or freeze - a list and the tips - how to keep dust off your drying herbs

Source.


Ways to use your preserved herbs


Aside from using the herbs just as you would when a recipe calls for it, you can do other things with herbs –

  • Mix the herb blends (like basil, sage, oregano, rosemary and thyme) with cream cheese or sour cream for a cracker or chip dip!
  • Gift to friends – great hostess or housewarming gift, or a new gardener to inspire them.
  • Make a salt
  • See more ideas here and 30 dried herb ideas.

Additional online resources you might like

I hope this helps you save as much of your harvest as you can, after all you spent so much time growing and watering it!

how to dry or freeze herbs best practices and tools to use and which herbs are best to dry or freeze

 


Diana Elizabeth recently purchased a subscription to PBS Masterpiece for $5.99 a month and she thinks this was the best idea she’s had in a long time! Hello couch surfing!

Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive antique shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next epic party. She continues to blog weekly.

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