Drying Fresh Herbs with the Microwave

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Do you ever wonder about the analytics used by FaceBook to decide what kind of random “suggested” posts will show up on your newsfeed?  As mentioned in an earlier post, I am one of those who do wonder … does whatever idea someone is promoting really work?? The many posts I was subject to about drying herbs in the microwave fell into the “does it really work” category.

I’ve dried herbs by hanging them in a dry cool place. I’ve dried them by hanging in a not so dry cool place. I’ve dried them in the oven. All of these techniques met with different degrees of success. Although I wanted to preserve the fresh taste of homegrown herbs, my earlier dried herbs were mostly usable, but lost quality of taste and appearance. I have now dried fresh herbs in the microwave and I can report that drying herbs in the microwave falls into that “Yes, it really does work” category.

Since moving into a little cottage downtown, I’ve enjoyed minimal house/yard maintenance responsibilities. I have a lovely porch and have filled it with pots of herbs, flowers, etc.  My chives needed a “haircut” this weekend (but I had no plans to cook with chives anytime in the near future). So, it looked like a good day to try the microwave drying technique!

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Out came the kitchen scissors. I sheared off the top (left about 1.5 inches), washed them well and placed on a paper towel to completely dry.

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Most of the directions I read instructed to microwave the herbs whole and then “crumble” when dry. I didn’t want my dried chives to be in “crumble” form so when they were dry I snipped them into “sprinkle” size and spread them out on a new layer of paper towels.

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Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Repeating until the herb is completely dry and crispy. This is a close-up of what the chives looked like after two 30-second trips around the microwave. They are still bright green, and just starting to dry out and feel crisp.

 

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They don’t look much different here, but the chives are now completely dry and crisp after a total of 2 minutes time in the microwave on high, and they are still a nice bright appetizing green color.

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As the plant grows I can continue to add to my little jar, and I will have preserved the fresh taste of my chives for fall and winter, when the porch plant is but a fond memory!

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I can’t wait for my basil and rosemary to need their own “haircuts”!

Debbie

 

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