How To Dry Rosemary: The Tried And Tested Methods Of Preserving Rosemary Sprigs
Rosemary is a pleasing herb that retains its flavor even after frying. It can be used in dishes based on meat, veggies, or even in beverages. Learn how to dry and store them with these simple and uncomplicated methods.
An evergreen herb such as rosemary is believed to have a long list of health benefits associated with its consumption. It has been an elemental part of medicinal practices since medieval times. Some of its benefits include the boosting of one’s immunity, alleviation of muscle pain, and improvement of cognitive abilities. Rosemary is a herb with ever-lasting benefits and comes loaded with minerals like calcium, and vitamins such as B-6. But you may not always have access to fresh rosemary leaves, and that is when the importance of well-preserved, dried rosemary leaves comes into the picture. Drying rosemary leaves allows you to use them for an extended period. Let us look at the best ways to dry and preserve the herb.
One of the most popular ways of preserving fresh rosemary leaves is by drying them, which can be done in two distinct ways. Let’s take a look at some of these methods in detail.
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Method 1: The Inverted Hanging Method
This method of drying rosemary leaves involves hanging the sprigs from a high point and allows the leaves to dry out naturally. The perfect time to do this is in the morning, as this makes the process much faster. The steps involved in this method are:
- Remove the sprigs of rosemary from the plant.
- Wrap a cloth around the base and tie the bundle together (the bundle can consist of up to 8 rosemary sprigs).
- Hang the bundle upside down in a place that is a well-ventilated location to dry.
- Cover the rosemary with a paper bag to form a protective layer that’ll keep away the dust.
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This method of drying rosemary can take approximately two weeks. During the time, ensure that you keep turning the rosemary bundle (changing its face that’s pointing towards the sun) to ensure even drying.
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Method 2: Using An Oven
Using the oven for drying rosemary is also a common practice, mainly due to its less-time consuming property. Here are the steps involved in this method:
- Carefully cut the sprigs from the rosemary plant.
- Rinse it thoroughly using cold water in order to remove the dirt. Dry it with the cloth to remove moisture.
- Once dried, spread them in a baking tray and preheat the oven.
- Place the tray inside the oven and leave it to bake for 2-4 hours at a lower temperature. Bake it until the leaves turn brittle.
It is clear that the oven drying method is way more time-saving when you compare it with the inverted-hanging method. But the results are, more or less, the same. You’ll have rosemary leaves that lack moisture, thus prolonging their shelf life. Furthermore, rosemary is a wonderful herb that retains its flavor even after frying. It can be used in dishes based on meat, veggies, or even in beverages.
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Other Methods Of Preserving Rosemary
1. The Freezing Method
This method is commonly used for other herbs as well. You can freeze washed up rosemary leaves in an ice tray, dipped in water, and then later use them fresh for your meals. Freeze them up in the tray for an hour, and then extracted them into a bag for long term storage.
2. Infusion Method
Dipping herbs in vinegar has always been a great way of preserving their taste and flavor. The same goes for rosemary. Dipping rosemary in vinegar, and then keeping it that way for at least three weeks would result in rosemary infused vinegar that’ll work well as a salad dressing.
The preservation of rosemary sprigs is as important as its consumption, as it would lead to a more convenient and efficient meal plan. Imagine what never running out of rosemary would feel like? Staying healthy never seemed so easy.