Friday, July 24, 2009

Drying Fresh Herbs

Last year, I received a small bunch of mint plants from Freecycle. The ones that I planted in my small garden bed soon spread to gigantic proportions, AND they came back this year even bigger. I actually freecycled about 5 or 6 bunches of plants myself this year. I love frugal gifts that keep on giving!

Anyway, last year I was fairly stumped last year on how to use up vast quantities of mint, since it's not an herb I ordinarily throw into dinner. So this year, I decided to try to dry some so as not to waste it.

I found simple directions here. Here's the huge bunch of mint I cut.

Then I washed it, removed any chewed or diseased leaves, blotted it, and let it air dry overnight.

Then I tied it into bunches and inserted the bunches into paper bags.

I don't think the bags are absolutely necessary for the drying process, but I assume their function is to protect the herbs from dust and moisture. I bought a large pack of paper lunch sacks at the dollar store.

I left the bags hanging on a hook in my kitchen for weeks. Then my husband and daughter stripped the dried leaves off the stems and slightly crumbled them into this jar.
I still didn't know exactly what I was going to do with the dried mint, but once I saw it in the jar and smelled the fragrant aroma it occured to me: loose herb tea! My husband and I both enjoy herb tea, which, as you know, is merely an infusion of herbs, not real tea. So now we have homegrown, organic, loose mint tea to have in the evenings.
Ahh, life is good. :-)
Check out more frugal tips at Frugal Fridays!


  1. Mmmm. I love mint tea! Can i have some? :)
    You can make it with fresh leaves too, and I think its awesome for the summer. Just boil the water and pour it over the whole fresh leaves in a pitcher. Let them steep for a while -- I did about an hour but whatever you want -- then strain the leaves out and put the pitcher in the fridge and then you can have iced mint tea for the summer. :)

  2. I have herbs right now that I was wondering how to dry. Thanks!


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