I grew some wonderful lemon basil this summer. How do I dry it so I can enjoy it in the winter time? Many thanks for this great site. I have learned so much!
Hardiness Zone: 5a
By Paula from Niagara Falls, Ontario
Paula, I dry a variety of herbs and Lemon Basil is one of them. I pick the leaves early in the day after all dew or moisture is gone. I place a paper towel in the microwave on the turntable. Next, I spread out the leaves into one layer and try to not put one on top of the other. My microwave has different power levels and I use level #3. Start with 3 minutes then check. They should begin to look wilted. Microwave again for another 3 minutes on level 3. By this time, mine is usually done. It will be shriveled and crispy. I then let cool and then store in clean pint jars with a tight fitting lid. Moisture is the enemy of dried herbs and can cause mold to form so be sure to keep airtight. You might have to experiment with different time amounts and different temperatures. But this is what I do and it works well for me. Good Luck, Banty
I have grown sweet basil, purple basil and the very flavorful Thai basil, all of which are really yummy. I have a dehydrator, and have tried them that way, on the temp recommended, which is about 105, as i recall, same as my Greek oregano, but if you want it to taste really good, and have an idea how much you will generally use at a time, take the clean, dry, basil, put the fresh leaves, as many as you expect to use, in a fold of alum. Foil. Make as many folds of alum. Foil as you need, but work fast, and get them in a zip type bag, lay them flat in the freezer, and as you pick, just keep making small packets of leaves, put them in the bag, and you will have really fresh tasting basil when you pull it out. You have to get it out and cut or tear it quickly, and put it in the food, or use it as a garnish, but the scent, and flavor will still be fresh, and no dulling of color like there is when it is dried.
All you really need to do is set them out and let em dry naturally the best type of drying out herbs and em upside down on a piece of string on something up high like a lamp or something else that's able to be high enough so the water can drip out
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