Rosemary is an evergreen shrub that is in the mint family. It is one of the most sought-after herbs worldwide for its multiple health benefits and aromatic favors. When organically grown in your garden, it contains more taste and nutrition than the ones found in stores. Unlike other tender herbs, like basil or parsley, rosemary is easy to dry as it holds its flavor and color even after drying.
Since the fresh ones can’t be stored for long as they have a limited shelf life. So we will share some “do it yourself” techniques to harvest, dry and store your own rosemary herbs to make the lip-smacking lamb, dressing oil, pizzas, pork, soups and many more for the strong flavorful punch.
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5 Simple Ways for Drying Fresh Rosemary
Let us discuss step by step the process to dry and preserve freshly harvested rosemary leaves.
1. Hang It Dry
- Wash rosemary in cool water to get rid of the dirt and debris sticking to the plant.
- Tie them up to kitchen twine or a rubber band. Hang upside down by the rubber band. If you can hang it from a rack it will allow more air to circulate around the herb.
- You can also cover the bundle with a ventilated paper bag to combat against dust or pests.
- They should keep drying for about 2-3 weeks.
- Check regularly to make sure they do not become moldy or damaged. Dry them until the needles become brittle and begin to fall off.
- After they dry, isolate the sprigs from the stems and store the leaves in an airtight container.
- You can crush the dried leaves in a container and sprinkle them on dishes for the flavor.
2. How to Dehydrate Rosemary
With the help of a dehydrator, you can dry rosemary in very little time.
- First, rinse the rosemary sprigs gently. Then dry them on paper towels.
- Once clean, cut them down so that they fit in the dehydrator trays. Spread them out evenly on the baking sheet.
- Dry them in at around 95 degrees F to 115 degrees F. If the humidity level is high you can add another 10 degrees. Dehydrate them for 1-4 hours, checking periodically until brittle needles fall off easily.
- Once they are dry, separate the sprigs, transfer the rosemary in a clean glass jar and seal tightly. Store in a dark, dry cupboard.
3. Bake It in the Oven
Do not worry if you do not have a dehydrator and need to dry rosemary in an easy and quick spree. You can also use a salad spinner to remove excess moisture.
You have to bake the rinsed and dried rosemary sprigs on a very low heat to dry them completely.
- Snip the branches into 2-inch sprigs. Spread the sprigs out on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and place it inside the oven.
- The temperature should be as low as possible. Keep it inside for 2-4 hours, until they become completely dry. The catch is to see if the needles are easily falling off the sprigs.
- Once you see they are dry, separate the sprigs from stems and preserve the herb in an airtight container and label it with the date.
4. How to Dry Rosemary in the Sun
- Detach sprigs of rosemary from the plant with the help of a pair of scissors. Do it in the morning to get rid of dews.
- Next, make bundles of the sprigs by wrapping them with twine or rubber bands around the bases.
- Hang the rosemary sprigs in a cool, dry and well-ventilated space to dry. Make sure there is adequate sunlight throughout the day.
- Keep changing their positions so that they dry out evenly. In around two weeks time, all traces of pliability will be gone from both stems and leaves.
- After the drying process, store in an airtight container and generously sprinkle them on savories or desert as per your mood and palate!
5. Microwave It
Follow these simple instructions for drying the rosemary leaves in a microwave.
- Pick the rosemary leaves from the stems and spread them on a microwave-safe plate. Line it with 2 layers of paper towels.
- You have to cover the herbs with a second paper towel or clean dish towel. After that microwave them on high power in an 800-watt microwave. It will take around 1 minute initially, followed by a few 20-second bursts until completely dry.
- See if the rosemary leaves crumble when you bend them. Continue cooking if they are still pliant. Once dry, remove the dried leaves from the stem.
How to Store Dried Rosemary
Once dried it is important to store them properly to retain its flavor and usefulness. Rosemary is best kept in cool, dark locations. Store your rosemary in a tightly sealed container to prevent moisture and humidity inside the jar. Dried herbs keep many times longer than fresh but don’t last forever. It is best to clean out your unused herbs and spices twice per year to ensure they are at their best.
Hope you find the above-mentioned ways useful and easy to preserve the benefits of your garden in a bottle!