How to Dry Out Basil Leaves: 3 Healthy Ways to Save the Taste of This Herb Year Round!
Basil is valued for its delightful aromatic fragrance, healthy and culinary qualities. Who hasn’t admired its thin taste when added to pizza, or to tomato salad? This loved plant is used in numerous dishes around the world. So, you probably would want to save the herb, grown in your garden or container, for all the year round. Drying its leaves is a fantastic way to preserve basil’s excellent flavor, and enjoy it for the months to come! In this way, the aromatic herb will continue to enhance the taste of your culinary creations throughout the seasons. Go on reading to explore how to dry out basil leaves, and find the step-by-step instructions of the 3 methods to do this.
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What are the Benefits of Dried Basil Leaves?
Here are some benefits of the stored herb, reveling why it’s useful to know the ways how to dry out basil leaves:
- Flavor preservation: Drying this herb helps retain the distinct flavor, allowing you to enjoy its taste during off-seasons when fresh plant may not be readily available.
- Extended shelf life: Dried leaves have a significantly longer shelf life compared to fresh ones, ensuring that you can enjoy the herb for an extended period.
- Convenient storage: After drying, basil takes up just a little space and is easier to store than a fresh plant. It can be placed in airtight containers or glass jars.
- Versatile use: Dried herb can be used in various culinary applications, such as soups, stews, sauces, marinades, and salad dressings. Its intense flavor can enhance the overall taste of your dishes.
Do You Need to Wash Basil Before Drying?
Before choosing a method how to dry out basil leaves, it’s important to ensure that the herb is clean. Washing it before drying removes any dirt, insects, or residues. Follow next steps to ensure that the fresh leaves are properly washed:
- Fill a large bowl or basin with cold water.
- Place the leaves in the water and wash them gently to remove the dirt or debris.
- Remove them from the bowl or the basin and pat the leaves dry with a clean kitchen or paper towel.
- Let the basil air dry for a few minutes until there is no excess moisture remained.
How to Dry Out Basil Leaves in the Oven?
Drying them in the oven is an effective method, which you can perform following the easy steps:
- Preheat the oven to the lowest setting, around 180 °F (80 °C).
- Take a baking pan (it’s better to cover it with a sheet of parchment paper).
- Arrange the clean and dry leaves on the baking pan, ensuring they are spread out in a single layer.
- Place the pan in the preheated oven and open the oven door slightly, allowing the moisture to escape.
- Let the leaves dry there for 2 to 4 hours, until they become crumbly.
- Check the basil periodically, turning it over, if needed, to ensure even drying.
- Once the leaves are fully dried, let them cool completely.
- Store them in an airtight container or glass jar, placed in a cool and dark place.
How to Dry Basil Leaves in a Dehydrator?
Using a dehydrator is a convenient method for drying basil leaves and conserving their qualities. Here is how to do it:
- Wash the leaves.
- Arrange them on the dehydrator trays in a single layer, ensuring that they are not overlapping.
- Set the dehydrator to a low temperature, around 95 °F (35 °C).
- Allow the leaves to dry in the dehydrator for approximately 4 to 6 hours, or until they are crisp.
- Check them from time to time, as drying times may vary depending on the humidity in your environment.
- Once the basil is fully dried, remove it from the dehydrator and let it cool down.
- Crumble the leaves into smaller pieces or grind them into a powder using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
- Put the dried basil in an airtight container or glass jar, and store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
How to Dry Basil Leaves in the Microwave?
If you’re short on time and need to quickly dry them, the microwave method is an ideal option. Here’s the way how to do it:
- Clean the leaves and pat them dry.
- Place a few of them between two microwave-safe paper towels or on a microwave-safe plate lined with paper towels.
- Microwave on high power for 1 minute intervals, checking the basil dryness after each interval.
- Repeat the process until the leaves are completely dry and crumbly. Be cautious not to overcook them, as they can burn easily.
- Remove the herb from the microwave and let it cool down.
- Crumble the dried leaves or grind them into a powder.
- Place the dried basil in an airtight container or glass jar, and store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
Then, enjoy the flavors and benefits of dried basil leaves in your cooking adventures!