Preserving the Harvest: Drying Herbs and Greens
Preserving the harvest is a great way to get more out of your garden! A few weeks ago, I harvested a ton of herbs and greens that were not being used in the garden. I wanted to find a way to save them to use throughout the year when there are not as many wonderful things to eat from the garden.
I used some of the basil to make a nut free version of Pesto, and the kids and I used some of it to make some yummy kale chips. But I still had bunches of herbs and greens to use, so I decided to dehydrate them. Dehydrated foods take up less space for storage, lose very little nutritional value, and are easy to store without the use of electricity.
First, I took the mountains of kale, spinach, and swiss chard and washed and spun it dry. Dry greens take less time to dehydrate. You can dehydrate in your oven, but I like the dehydrator because it uses less electricity and doesn’t heat up the house as much. The mix of greens dehydrated in just a few hours.
While that was dehydrating, I washed and spun dry all of my herbs. I decided to dry the herbs in paper sacks to save even more electricity and heat in the house. Herbs dry great like this. I am going to mix the dried herbs and make my own Italian seasoning mix to use throughout the year and give as Christmas gifts.
Hang up for a couple of weeks and the herbs will be crisp and ready to crunch with your fingers and place in airtight jars for storage.
Later in the day all of my greens were dry.
I placed them in a large paper bag and squished them so they would begin to break apart. This is such an easy way of preserving what you have.
I stored it in an airtight jar and have been sprinkling it in many dishes that I cook for the kids or my husband and I. It’s a great nutrition supplement for meals you are serving to picky eaters. I feel good about boosting the nutrients in their food as well as not letting my excess greens go to waste. I love preserving things that I can’t use right at the time they are ready. I feel like a superstar of avoiding waste. Also, I know we can use that nutrition when the garden season is over.
What are some ways you preserve the harvest?
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