Fresh rosemary can be naturally dried for cooking and crafting alike. Learn how to dry rosemary the eco-friendly way.
Rosemary is a popular herb to add to meats, cocktails, baked goods, cheeses and butters. Its fragrant undertones make it popular for perfumes, soaps, essential oils and candles.
Whether you grow it in a pot or a garden plot, rosemary does not require intensive care and can thrive in many climates. So rather than purchasing pre-packaged rosemary, a more eco-friendly option is drying rosemary yourself. It is also an herb which requires very little work prepare for use in your own home. Once dried, you can use rosemary in all kinds of recipes, such as homemade fire cider or a delicious casserole made from stale bread.
How to Dry Rosemary With the Hanging Method
The most eco-friendly way to dry rosemary is the hanging method. To hang dry rosemary, begin by harvesting fresh rosemary. With sheers or sturdy scissors, cut at the base of the stalk and be sure to rinse the herb off before hanging to remove any dirt or bugs.
The best place to create your drying station will be in a warm, dry spot in your home that receives plenty of natural light. To create a drying station, use tacks or screws to suspend a piece of string or wire between two level fastening points. Tie the string tightly. Then you can make several bunches of rosemary and tie them together with small pieces of string. Hang the bunches from the suspended string with the base of the stalk facing upward.
Be sure your drying station is in a place that will not be disturbed, as drying rosemary takes 2-3 weeks. To tell if the rosemary is dry, check that the leaves are brittle, but not crumbling. When dry, remove the needles from the sprig for all-purpose use.
You can dry other herbs alongside rosemary using this method. You can also dry rosemary on a suspended dish rack if the area remains relatively undisturbed.
The Oven Dry Method
A faster, but much less eco-friendly method to drying rosemary is baking it. After harvesting and cleaning the rosemary, remove any large woody excess on the stems. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a parchment paper substitute, lay the fresh rosemary out in individual sprigs to dry. Set your oven to the lowest possible temperature and let the herb dry in the oven for 2-4 hours. The rosemary will be fully dry when the needles fall easily from the sprigs onto the baking sheet.
If you are considering how to dry rosemary at home, we recommend the hang dry method over the oven method.
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