A well-stocked pantry is nothing without a good supply of herbs and spices. Drying herbs and spices and storing them for darker days will help you fight appetite fatigue that might set in after consuming the same foods day after day.
Every pantry should have ingredients that will help enhance the flavor of foods. Drying herbs and spices is an ideal solution and also a healthy alternative to salt. There are different herbs that you can grow yourself and dry using one of the methods described in this article.
The following herbs and spices are the most common choices for drying and a good start for everyone:
- Bay leaves
- Celery leaves
- Rosemary (Suggested reading: How to Grow Rosemary)
- Garlic (Suggested reading: Hot to grow Garlic)
This is a partial list and is intended to show you a small sampling of the most popular herbs. There are a lot more herbs available, some of which can be used to add exotic flavors to your foods.
Drying herbs and spices – How to do it the easy way
When drying herbs and spices, leafy plants can be removed from stems to speed up the drying process. If you plan to dry smaller stems, you can leave them intact.
Although you can use a food dehydrator to dry your herbs, there are three additional methods that make drying herbs and spices an easy task.
You can place the herbs in a paper bag and tie the top closed. When you tie it closed, you want to tie the bags around the stems so the stems are the only thing touching the bag. The leafy parts of the herbs should be hanging free in the middle of the bag. Once you’ve packed the herbs properly, hang the bags in a warm area of your house. You need to look for a spot where the air is relatively dry. Drying herbs and spices using this method takes up to three weeks. The best part is that your house will have a particular pleasant scent before the herbs completely dry out.
Related reading: Drying foods for long term storage
Using the microwave is another popular method for drying herbs and spaces and it helps you save time. Just set the herbs on a paper towel and place a paper towel over the top of them. You can microwave the herbs for five minutes, depending on the power of your microwave. If they aren’t dry, microwave them for a minute at a time until they dry out and are brittle to the touch.
And last but not least, you can use your refrigerator for drying herbs and spices. You will need some tulle netting and some room in your refrigerator. Place the herbs on the netting and roll them up inside it. Tie both ends of the netting closed and leave in your fridge for a couple weeks. When you open the netting the herbs should be dry.
Drying herbs and spices is just the beginning, storing them is the end.
Your herbs can be stored in one of two ways and it’s all up to what you prefer. You can store the whole leaves or you can crush them up before storing them. If you decide to store the whole leaves the herbs will keep fresh and retain their flavor for longer. However, if you crush them up before storing, you will save storage space and it will allow you to quickly use them when you need to cook. Some people decide to crush a small quantity and store them in glass jars with airtight lids. Make sure you label the jars correctly so that you can faster identify the spices you’ve stored.
I can’t see myself cooking without my herbs and spices. Regardless of what times we might have to face, I make sure we have enough herbs and spices in our pantry so that our food will have an enhanced flavor. Beans and rice will keep you alive, but the secret to fight food fatigue lies in the spices. Make sure you take them into account when building your survival pantry.
Stay safe and God Bless!
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