Drying Herbs Using the Toaster Oven
There are many reasons to decide to dry herbs. One of them is when you notice that summer is ending, as well as the herb and vegetables growing season.
Because you know that fall begin soon and we could not grow herbs during the winter, it is a good idea to preserve them.
That way you can have enough to meet your cooking needs during the winter season.
Because the essential oils of the herbs are absorbed in the leaves when herbs are dried.
For example, you may have noticed that raisins (dried grapes) and prunes (dried plums) have a much concentrated flavor when we compare them to the flavor of fresh fruits.
Well, with dried herbs is the same. The concentrated flavor of dried herbs is more, comparing with fresh ones.
Drying Herbs: How to do it
1- The first thing you need to do is to harvest your herbs. Choose the ones that are going to be dried and remember that they should be harvested before they flower.
The reason for this is because when plants flower it concentrates its energy into creating the flower; this causes a decrease of the essence of the plant that is stored in the leaves.
If you harvest the herbs (in this case oregano) before they flower, then you collect the essential oils while they are still in the leaves of the plant.
Another tip: try to always cut herbs in the morning using sharp clippers or shears.
2- You should cut stems low on the plant. Then, shake the cut leaves (gently) to remove loose dirt or bugs.
3- Now, wrap a small bundle of herbs (with the stems) in a paper towel.
The paper towel should be slightly wet with water to prevent the paper towel from burning. And wrap that with aluminum foil.
4- Place it in the oven.
5- Heat herbs for about 10 to 15 minutes. Then, remove them from the oven.
Do not unwrap the herbs until they are completely cooled.
Then, remove the dried leaves from the stems of the herbs and store them in a cool, dark area in a glass jar or plastic container.
Dried herbs tend to look alike, so be sure to label the container with the respective name.