Imagine an herb that can boost memory, reduce inflammation, help fight bacterial infections, improve blood circulation, and taste great at the same time. If you know how to dry rosemary yourself at home, then such a magical herb is within easy reach! Rosemary is one of the most beneficial herbs you can find. Ancient Greeks, Hebrews, and Egyptians used it for all sorts of remedies. Today, rosemary is a key ingredient in dozens of pharmaceuticals, including Alrinte, Mediflor, and Rheumadoron.
But you don't need a prescription to benefit from rosemary. It's one of the easiest herbs to grow. You don't need much room to grow it, either. A small pot with some soil is all that's required. Make sure it gets lots of sunlight. Because rosemary is a pest deterrent, you can plant it near beans, carrots, and cabbage. That will keep your veggies pest-free. Rosemary seedlings take a while to germinate, so it's easier to start your own plant by cutting a branch or two off a matured plant and planting those. Learn how to dry rosemary and your life will change forever.
Why You Need To Know How To Dry Rosemary
Once you have a mature rosemary plant, you'll want to harvest it. The best way to store your rosemary is to dry it. The process of drying doesn't lessen the powerful benefits of rosemary, and dried rosemary will ensure that you can use it for up to three years. On the other hand, fresh rosemary will only last for 10 days. After that, it will start to rot.
Knowing how to dry rosemary is a key skill to have. The dried stuff you buy at the grocery store has lost most of its nutritional value, thanks to industrial drying processes. Also, these companies use pesticides and preservatives. The rosemary spends years in storage before a long transport journey on trucks and cargo ships. Also, it's so much more expensive than growing and drying yourself.
What equipment do I need?
Another great thing about knowing how to dry rosemary is that you don't need very much equipment. Some scissors and string are all that's required. Or, you can dry it in your oven with some parchment paper and a baking pan. Of course, you'll need a glass jar to store it once it cures.
How long does it take to dry?
From clipping to storing, you're looking at anywhere from three hours to a week. If you choose to oven cure the rosemary, then it will only take a couple of hours. The problem with oven drying is you risk either burning the rosemary or losing many of its health benefits through heat transference. On the other hand, hang-drying rosemary ensures that all the nutrients stay locked in the plant, but it takes up to a week to dry thoroughly. Either way, your home will smell wonderful while it's drying.
The Many Uses For Dried Rosemary
Learning how to dry rosemary is easy. Once you have all that dried rosemary, what do you do with it? Well, you can only eat so much lamb, but there are plenty of other dishes that rosemary can flavor. Spaghetti, stew, steak, roasts -- the list is endless. Because rosemary adds a mild sweetness to cooking, it goes with any dish. But you don't need to use it for cooking only. If you want to enjoy a blast of health benefits, add your dried rosemary to your herbal tea. Not only will it create a great flavor mix, but you'll enjoy the benefits of the flower to its full extent.
You can also add rosemary to your dryer. Simply throw some in a small draw-string bag and toss it in. It also makes a great salt, and it works at repelling many insects. For a real treat, mix rosemary with your bath salts and luxuriate in a great steamy bath. When you know how to dry rosemary, your life changes for the better.
One of the most popular uses for rosemary is to infuse it into an oil. Because the herb has been shown to help with eczema, you can rub a little in with an oil base.
All About Rosemary
Rosemary has a long history as a wonder-herb. It's also known as the "Dew of the Sea." That's because it hails from the Mediterranean coast, and the prickly sprigs attract dew in the morning. Back in the old days of the Roman Empire, and even before, during the age of the Greeks, Persians, and Hebrews, rosemary was sacred. Today, science tells us what ancient cultures have always known: that rosemary is one of the most beneficial herbs in existence.
Rosemary Nutrition Facts
Talking about science, rosemary is known as Rosmarinus officinalis. We know that the herb with vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamin, magnesium, copper, and tons of antioxidants.
As you can see, this is one health-friendly herb. No wonder people through the ages have used rosemary. All you need is to know how to dry rosemary, and you too can enjoy these benefits.
How To Dry Rosemary In The Oven
Because there are a variety of ways to dry rosemary, you have your choice of favorite. If you have a food dehydrator, then you may prefer to use that method because it's fast and effective. However, we've decided to concentrate on the two most popular, and least expensive, methods. Our first method is how to dry rosemary in the oven. That is a fast and effective method. Be warned, however, that unless you time the process perfectly, the rosemary risks losing a lot of its health benefits.
Nevertheless, even if you do over-cook your sprigs, there will be enough nutrition left to make it worthwhile, and all the flavor will still be there.
Step one: snip
The first step in drying is to snip the rosemary sprig from the main plant. It's best to do this in the late morning, just after the nighttime dew has dried off but before the heat is at full blast. Use a pair of scissors and avoid tugging the sprig. Cut off three or four sprigs. Once you've snipped a stem, you'll notice that two or more new sprigs will blossom out from there within a week. That's more rosemary for you!
Step two: rinse
Next, you'll want to give the rosemary a quick rinse in cold water. Place your sprigs in a colander and wash off any soil or other debris. Then pat dry with a paper towel.
Step four: prepare your oven
Preheat your oven to its lowest temperature. In most cases, that's 175 degrees Fahrenheit, but if your oven goes lower or stops at 200 degrees, that's okay. Then, lay out a piece of parchment paper on a baking pan. Next, cut your rosemary into 1/4-inch sprigs. That will help them dry out faster. Lay them out on the parchment paper for baking.
Step five: bake
Place your baking sheet on the top shelf of the oven and bake for two to three hours. If you have particularly thick rosemary, you may need to bake it for four hours. When the stems become brittle to the touch, you know the baking is complete.
How To Hang-Dry Rosemary
The best way to dry rosemary is to hang-dry it. That involves hanging it upside down and letting gravity and air work their magic. The benefits of this method are numerous. Mainly, the rosemary retains all of those incredible nutrients, and its flavor remains as powerful as if it were fresh. Then there's the energy you save by not using the oven. Best of all, your home will smell wonderful while it's drying. Just make sure you hang it where people won't constantly walk into it.
Step one: snip
Like with oven-drying, the first thing you need to do is snip a few sprigs off the plant. With the hanging method, you want three or four sprigs bunched together, so go ahead and snip a lot of them. Just leave a few behind to regenerate the plant. While you're snipping, try to keep each sprig you cut about the same length.
Step two: bundle the sprigs
For this step, you'll need a few strips of twine, but rubber bands work just as well. Lay a few sprigs on top of each other, all facing the same direction. Make sure their bottoms are all lined up evenly. Hopefully, you were able to snip them in the same length, but if not, fix that now by cutting any excess off so that they are all relatively the same. You can lay up to eight sprigs, but we find four or five is the best.
Once they're laying on top of each other, tie their bottoms together with the twine (or rubber band).
Step three: hang the sprigs
Next, you're going to hang your bundled sprigs upside down in an out-of-the-way spot. It's always recommended to hang-dry your rosemary indoors rather than outdoors to avoid the sunlight leaching any nutrients out of the plant. In fact, even when you hang it indoors, you'll want to find a spot out of the sun. A cupboard or the attic are great places.
Hang them by the twine or band, so their tips are facing down. Leave them there, hanging upside down.
Step four: turn them
After they've been hanging for a day or two, go and turn them around, so the sprigs at the back are now at the front. Do this every other day or so. That will ensure that they all dry at the same time.
All in all, it should take between 10 to 14 days for your rosemary to dry completely. While that's a long time to wait for some, you'll benefit from all that nutrition, and those health benefits your dried rosemary bestows. Like the old saying goes: "Good things come to those who wait!"
How To Store Dried Rosemary
Whether you've baked your rosemary or hang-dried them, you'll want to store the finished product somewhere safe. We recommend a glass jar rather than plastic. Plastic is environmentally harmful, and filled with chemicals. Glass keeps your food pure and chemical-free. Plus it does a great job of displaying your wares.
Once you've put it in a glass container, make sure it's airtight. A mason jar or a stylish food storage container will work well. Once your rosemary is stored, use it with everything. Your dried rosemary will last for anywhere between 1 year and 3 years, although we recommend keeping it for 18 months at the most.
If this is your first time learning how to dry rosemary, then congratulations on a job well done! Remember that your rosemary plant will continue providing you with fresh rosemary for up to 20 years, so don't trim all of it at once, and don't throw it out. You can now enjoy a lifetime of healthier living, thanks to this amazing super herb called the "dew of the sea."