Today I am dehydrating herbs in my new dehydrator! I’ve wanted an Excalibur dehydrator for a very long time, and finally found this one at a really good price. Yes, it is big! Right now it is on the dining table until I figure out its permanent location (it is still set up for seed starting and soon for crafts). It has 9 trays with 15 square feet of drying space, a 7 inch fan and a 600 watt motor. Not too loud, sort of like a window fan or air conditioner running. These are rated as one of the best dehydrators on the market. I’ve tried cheap ones, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.
There aren’t any vegetables ready in the garden yet, so I harvested 4.5 ounces of thyme and 3.8 ounces of chives. It doesn’t sound like much, but herbs are very light, and the volume/weight ratio even surprised me! I spread out the thyme on 4 trays and the chopped chives on another four.
Prepping herbs to dehydrate.
When dehydrating herbs, there isn’t much prep work at all. My garden is organic, so I don’t have to worry about washing off any chemical residue. Most insects don’t like herbs, so that is rarely a concern either. If they are dirty from soil splashing up on them after a good rain, just rinse them off and lay them between towels to gently pat them dry before dehydrating. That’s it.
I did chop up the chives with my kitchen shears, but I left the thyme intact on the stems. It takes a bit of time to remove all those tiny leaves from the stems. I’m hoping that after drying, the leaves can by removed easier. If not, well, I will remove the leaves for the next batch. The oregano, parsley, basil and dill are almost ready for their first harvest, maybe by the weekend. The only problem I may have this week is the rain and high humidity. The more humid it is, the longer things will take to dry.
I’ll keep you posted about drying times, what I’m drying and how I’m storing them. As the vegetables become ready for harvest I will post prepping tips for those. Most vegetables require blanching, just like if you were going to freeze them. This helps to preserve color, texture and nutrient value. I’m going to experiment with making low-carb, fat-free veggie chips, too!
Oooooo! Cinnamon apples chips this fall? Mmmmmmmmmmm…
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