Since I started growing and harvesting my own herbs, I have learned a trick or two on how to preserve them for optimal use. Believe me, you don’t want washed up looking or tasteless herbs. Here are 5 tips on how to store dried herbs.
If you don’t grow your own, I will also provide tips where to buy them.
How to Store Dried Herbs
Don’t Cut Your Herbs Before You Use Them:
Most of the herbs you buy at the store are tasteless compared to freshly dried herbs. Once you cut an herb, it releases its oils, and starts to denigrate. Any aromatic herb such as mint will lose its smell rapidly. It is impossible to retain Lemon Balm’s fragrant smell.
If you grow your own, you don’t want to cut them before using them. Simply, seal them in a vacuum sealed bag. Alternatively, use a glass container, but realize it has air in it and the herb will denigrate. (You could always vacuum seal your herbs in a ball canning jar. My vacuum sealer has an attachment for sealing ball jars.)
Light and Air Are an Herb’s Enemy
Light and air are an herb’s enemy. It will cause its color to change which signifies it has lost some of its vigor.
Bulk herb bins are death nails for herbs. They spend their life in an air filled container with artificial light blaring on them.
Don’t get me started about grocery store herbs. Yep. A small glass jar allowing the herbs to sunbathe.
Either Dehydrate Your Herbs or Dry in a Very Warm, Dark Area.
If you simply hang your herbs upside down, they will fare better than the grocery store variety. However, they will dry quite a few shades lighter than their original color and be less potent.
If you have access to a dehydrator, dehydrate them.
If I dehydrate my herbs, then I set the dehydrator at 95-110 degrees.
This is the only time an herb should be near heat.
Don’t Store Your Dried Herbs Near a Stove
Okay. How many of you store your herbs within arms reach of your stove? Sure it is easier to grab for the paprika when you need it. Remember heat, light and air are an herbs worse enemy.
Store them in a vacuum sealed bag or vacuumed ball glass jar(best) or glass container in a cool dark place. (This is my foodsaver that has an attachment to seal ball jars. This is the attachment for sealing wide mouth jars.)
Join the Conversation:
How do you store your dried herbs?
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