Herbs are easy to grow and have multiple uses for flavor in cooking or to brew soothing medicinal teas. It’s that time of year when fresh herbs are in abundance and if you’d like to have them available year-round, you can preserve them either by drying or freezing them.
Drying Herbs in the Microwave
The fastest way to dry herbs is to dry them in your microwave. You can have properly dried herbs in under 2 minutes!
To dry herbs in your microwave:
- Cut and wash your fresh herbs leaving them on their stems.
- Pat dry gently.
- Lay herbs on a dry paper towel in the microwave and cover with another paper towel.
- Microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds and check for dryness. Continue in 15-second intervals until herbs are sufficiently dry.
- Remove leaves from stems and store them in an airtight container. You may want to chop larger leaves before storage.
The centuries-old tried and true method for drying herbs is to simply air dry them. Wash your fresh herbs, tie them with twine into small bundles and hang them in a warm dry location. Make sure the area has plenty of airflow.
This method will take 1 to 2 weeks depending on the herb. Once again, you’ll remove dried herbs from their stems (chop if necessary) and store them in an airtight container.
You can also use a dehydrator to dry your herbs by laying clean herbs in a single layer and dehydrating them until properly dry.
If you are looking to retain that just-picked fresh flavor from your herbs you may want to freeze them.
Not all herbs are ideal for freezing, but this method works great with herbs you enjoy the most when fresh like basil, dill, parsley, and cilantro. Some herbs can be frozen as they are, right after cutting like Dill and Curly Parsley or you can chop them and freeze them as described below.
Simply wash and dry your herbs, chop them finely and add to an ice cube tray, filling each compartment about two-thirds full. Then fill the rest of the compartment with water, extra virgin olive oil, or melted butter, cover, and freeze until solid. Once frozen, you can remove the herbs from the ice cube trays and store them in an airtight container in the freezer until ready to use.
If stored with water, simply allow the cube to thaw and drain off the water to use the herbs. With olive oil or butter, you can add your herbs directly to whatever you may be cooking.
We include herbs in our 3 flagship seed collections - Home Garden Seed Collection, Homesteader Collection, and Farmers Seed Vault so that you will always have fresh flavor in your survival food supply.