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Drying herbs for fun and profit

Drying herbs is a cost effective option that adds money to your pocket and flavor to your meals.

It can be a fun hobby, especially if you have kids to help, and this hobby can turn a tidy profit.

Herbs add flavor to nearly any food dish, only buying them at the shop can be dear. A more efficient alternative that puts money in your wallet while adding that flavor to your meals is to grow and dry your own herbs. This may bring lots and lots of fun, particularly if you have young helpers.

Fresh herbs have many benefits over the dried ones available in the store and you only need a sunny spot and some good soil to grow your own herbs at home. Herbs even grown in containers. Just choose the ones that you use most in your recipes and grow them in small planters pots.

How to dry herbs

Treat cooking herbs like you would other plants. As it happens with most kitchen crops, pruning and cutting back the leaves brings even more leaves. You'll find fresh basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme, they grow as you cut and use them. As a matter of fact, the herbs ae likely to grow faster than you can use them and you'll find yourself sharing with friends and family.

A different option to letting the excess go to waster or giving it away is to dry the extra fresh herbs. Dried herbs loose their moisture and some aroma, but still retain enough to make a very flavorsome contribution to your cooking. You'll have herbs to last for months to come. Herbs to use, to pass on to others, or transform into home made gifts, and to sell once once they are dried as well.

Let us begin with the equipment required. You'll need first a place to dry them. Wooden or wire racks are ideal. That cooling rack you use for cookies and cakes can double for drying herbs. Gather now a colander, some cheesecloth, paper towels, and some string.

All herbs intended for drying should be washed and rinsed in cold water. This is where the colander comes handy because the water drains at the bottom. Use paper towels to pat each leaf and stalk dry of any visible moisture.

See general facts about herbs and spices to learn how to dry herbs in more detail and find other ideas on using herbs. You'll find more information than can help to turn your hobby into a profitable business.

There are many ways to dry herbs. You may wish to preserve only the leaves, remove then the stalk and lay the leaves on a drying rack. Depending on the size of the leaves, you may need a fine wire rack as the cooling rack from the kitchen may let the leaves fall through.

Bunches of dried herbs are pretty and easy to make. Tie the therbs with string at the stalks and hang them upside down on a nail to dry out in the open air. Do it outdoors or indoors, but the place should be well ventilated with not a hint of damp. Humidity will help the herbs to retain their moisture and prevent any drying. Use cheesecloth to cover herbs laid on a cooling rack if your intention is to let them dry outside.

Make use of the oven for faster drying. The temperature should remain low, around 100-120°C or 210-245°F. Gently touch the leaves every half hour to test for dryness. The microwave oven is an alternative, only one has to be really careful not to shrivel them up.

Dried herbs will keep for a six months. The flavor begins to decline after that. Herbs should be stored in glass canning jars or plastic container. Take care to label them so you know which herb is which. Seal the containers air tight Ito keep the herbs dry and prevent mold or rot while in storage. You are ready to set stall at the next school fair or farmer's market. If you want the herbs to appear more stylish, decorate each jar with a ribbon or try a tea cloth tied with rope for a taste of the country.

Herbs season food in many unique ways, often taking your recipes from nice to mouthwatering. Your dry herbs make charming gifts so you will not need to dig into your pocket so often and you can make a profit too by selling those herbs. Drying herbs allows you to get the flavor while saving money and having fun all at once.

Describing the aroma of the kitchen as a medley of scents, the pungent, earthy notes of dried herbs mingle beautifully with the tantalizing smell of freshly cooked dishes, creating an olfactory symphony that speaks volumes about the culinary artistry involved.