To dry leaves and flowers: Spread the leaves and flowers in a basket. The chocolate mint was extremely strong and aromatic and the holy basil especially sweet and fruity this year. Every summer I swear I’m going to dry them for tea, but I never do.Does anyone have any tips for doing this?I was even wondering if I could give away jars of dried mint as gifts, or find fillable tea bags. Or, you could spread the plants out on a clean screen (or paper towels laid over a wire rack) in a cool, dry spot. Dried herbs can retain their medicinal value for years. Air-drying herbs for tea This is the simplest and most common method of drying herbs for tea. Image: Drying on a screen gives good airflow and can be faster than drying in bunches. Harvest herbs in mid-morning before newly developed essential oils have been burned off by the sun, but after the dew has dried. Submitted by Cathy on October 7, 2020 - 11:30am, you mention removing the stems after picking, then hanging by the stems for drying, pretty hard to hang if you do remove from stems, just saying, Submitted by Robin Sweetser on October 7, 2020 - 1:24pm. The best time to plant your herbs is spring. If you decide to buy a plant it's important to pick healthy, viable specimens. Keep the herbs in a dark and cool place like a closet or a cupboard. Don't forget to put labels on your containers! Microwave drying: Put the herbs on a plate and set the microwave on low. Once the herbs are dry, store them in ceramic containers or in dark glass jars with tight-fitting lids because herbs will deteriorate when they get exposed to oxygen. Make small bunches and hang them upside down in a warm dry place out of direct sunlight. Proper drying will preserve the leaves and concentrate the flavors. Enjoy a reminder of the garden this winter over a cup of homegrown herb tea. Some herbs can also be frozen. Put one tablespoon of the kind of herb that you prefer in a tea ball and put it in one cup of boiling water. Since herb teas are naturally light in color, test by taste rather than by sight. Victorian Tea Garden - equal parts pineapple sage, chamomile flowers, and lemon balm. (When the growing season has ended, you can cut the plants right back to the ground if you wish.). Just because you live in an apartment and you don't have a garden it doesn't mean that you can't grow herbs. Making herb tea is very simple. If you are having trouble drying in humid weather, you could resort to the oven but that it is not optimal for tea. A dry summer here helped to concentrate the flavors, making for some tasty teas. A combination of lemon balm, lemon verbena, and spearmint make a refreshing tea, served hot or cold. When it's time for harvesting make sure that you choose the healthiest plants. Most herbs like to be in the sun. Grab the bounty of fresh herbs while you can—and let’s dry those leaves for tea. Make sure that there are no yellowed or shriveled growth, and no egg clusters on the undersides of the leaves. Image: Drying on a screen gives good airflow and can be faster than drying in bunches. Use an indoor clothesline, laundry rack, closet rod, or exposed rafters to keep them off the ground. Specially herbs with soft leaves like Comfrey, Basil, Borage, Fennel, Dill and Parsley. Growing your own herbs can save you a lot of money. Store your herbs in small glass jars with tight fitting lids. Set the dehydrator to 135ºF and place the trays in the dehydrator. First, cut a string around 12 to 18 inches long. Robin has been a contributor to The Old Farmer’s Almanac and the All-Seasons Garden Guide for many years. (If you are making Comfrey tea, prepare it the same way but you need to use cold water). You must have JavaScript enabled to use this form. Tired of tea made from a single herb? The bees appreciated the blossoms though and the bubblegum aroma wafted over the garden on hot days. Ideally you should harvest before the plants flower for the best flavor but this is last call. It can take up to a week or more for them to dry depending on the humidity in the air. Better than bouillon! If you grew some of the plants mentioned in the Calming Herbs post from this spring, hopefully you have been enjoying them in iced and hot teas over the summer. Bring the water just to a boil, add anywhere from 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of dried herbs per cup of water to your teapot and let steep for 3-5 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea. There are two main methods to drying fresh herbs, air drying and using a machine such as a dehydrator. Q: I have a ton of lemon balm and mint growing in my garden. It grew so prolifically I couldn’t keep up! Leave in the dehydrator until the herbs are dry -- from 12 to 24 hours. Sorry for the confusion. And what are other uses for dried mint?Sent by LeahEditor: Readers, how do you dry herbs? Carefully brush off any dirt. Before your plants are killed by frost, get one last harvest in and dry your remaining leaves to use over the winter. You don’t want to rinse the leaves in the sink because they can mold instead of drying. Try these delicious combinations or experiment and make up some of your own. BONUS: You’ll also receive our Almanac Companion newsletter! Many tea aficionados don’t like to use the metal strainers, claiming they give the tea a metallic taste and don’t allow the herbs to fully swell and release their flavors.


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