Skip the herb isle at the grocery store by growing and drying your own herbs at home. This method requires no special equipment other than a brown paper bag and a jar to store it in. I’ll include info on how to do the dehydrator method soon.
Step 1: Grow and harvest your own herbs.
Step 2: Dry the herbs. The easiest way to dry out most herbs is to use the paper bag method. I do this by first washing the herbs in a bowl of water. Swish it; like the agitating motion of a washing machine. This seems to get rid of any bugs and dirt that may otherwise escape a simple rinsing under the faucet:
Next, let the herbs dry out on a towel. They must be thoroughly dry before moving on:
Next, pick individual leaves (or strip the stems of leaves all at once), or place the entire stem into a brown paper bag and strip the leaves later. Cut a couple of small holes into the sides of the bag for air circulation. This is where the leaves will stay to completely dry out. Store in a cool, dark place and after about a week, begin checking on the progress. Check every so often until the herbs are dry and brittle.
Step 3: When thoroughly dry, the leaves should be easy to crumble. Chop or crush/crumble them.
Step 4: Store in a sealed container in a cool, dark place. Use as you would any dried herb.
Tip: Did you know that the lid from a Parmesan cheese container will fit on a mason jar? And your herbs will store quite nicely in them too. Way to reuse!