Grow And Dry Your Own Herbs And Seasonings

Growing and then drying your own herbs for flavorful seasonings is easy, and can be extremly satisfing when you realize you did it yourself.

Herbs are easy to grow in containers; you can grow them in a window or outside. Decide which herbs you use and plant a pot or two. Once they have grown then you will need to preserve the bountiful harvest for later. The easiest way to preserve herbs is to freeze them or to dry them.

Parsley is probably the most common of the home grown herbs. When the leaves are grown, but before the flower stalks form, use a sharp pair of scissors to cut off the leaves and stems. Wash the leaves carefully, and pat dry. You can either use a needle and thread to string the stems together, and hang them to dry, or you can lay them on paper to dry in the sun. In two or three days, depending upon your climate, your parsley should be dry and crisp. Simply crumble the leaves, avoiding the stems, and place in an airtight container for later use.

Mint, sage, basil and thyme are other favorite herbs that are easy to grow and dry. They are harvested after the flowers have bloomed. Pick only the largest leaves, wash them to remove dirt and debris. You can dry as with parsley, either on a string, or laying flat. When dry and crisp, place in a airtight container or bag. Don't forget to label your containers.

You can also freeze herbs the frozen herbs can be used much like fresh herbs when you are cooking. place in small bags after washing and patting dry. They will keep for about a year in the freezer, if they are not defrosted.

When you are cooking with your stored herbs, remember that dried herbs are more concentrated and the frozen ones will be more like fresh. You can use them as herbal teas, or for enhancing your favorite recipes. Experiment with your favorite flavors and herbs.

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