Basil refers to the mint family. There are different types of basil, Thai basil, lemon basil, holy basil, and sweet basil, but the most commonly used type is sweet basil. In this guide, you will learn how to dry basil leaves in an easy way.
Basil is the yearly plant, and it favorably raises in the hot and dry season, it is planted in many countries throughout the world. It is commonly grown in southern Europe, Southern US areas, Southeast Asia and New Zealand because it is a little bit delicate to cold weather.
Basil leaves are commonly used in a fresh salad, sandwiches, pesto sauce, and many other recipes because the basil’s main flavor is in the leaves. The fresh leaves can be used in all the growing season, but when the temperatures are starting down and begin cooling the plant start die.
Drying basil leaves is a simple and easy way to store the delicate, delicious and tasty leaves and enjoys the same summer flavour in the winter.
Do you wash basil before drying?
Sure you can wash the basil leaves before drying them. Washing will remove all the dirt and dust from the leaves and make them clean and germs free.
The most important and very helpful tip for drying is that the leaves should be quite dry, and there should be no moisture and water drops in them, especially if you are drying them in the oven, I highly recommend you wash them and let them on the towel overnight for dry.
How to Dry Basil Leaves
The most common, easy, economical, and almost the most traditional method of drying basil leaves are air drying. It’s very easy to prepare just by noughting a bundle of fresh basil leaves or branches with a rubber strip, twist a rope, or using any available strong string.
Hang them in a well-ventilated, dry, and warm area up to the downside but away through from the sunlight, and where the insects, germs, and pests would not be able to chow on your basil leaves.
The maximum temperature in the air dry basil is 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit. The main disadvantage of using this way for drying the basil leaves is it takes about 2 to 4 weeks or it depends on the weather condition for the herb or fully dry up.
And if the leaves and the branches and parts of the plant are not fully free from the damp before this procedure, it may cause fungus or mold on the basil leaves, and making these leaves useless. Finding the best place in the home to use in drying basil is a challenging task.
Don’t hang the basil in open areas where it may disrupt your daily activities, try to put them where they won’t disturb you and you won’t forget about them.
Oven Drying Basil
Oven drying is faster than drying the basil in the air but does not need much care. In the oven drying method heat is an important factor, without burning them removing the moisture from the leaves so low temperature is crucial. For oven drying, we need parchment paper, oven, baking tray, and of course basil leaves.
Pluck and wash the basil leaves as same as you wash them before air drying the leaves. Cut the stalks of any portion that you like because after all you are gonna use them in the future.Dip or whiz the leaves and begins in a bowl of cool water to get remove all the dust, dirt, and insects.
Put them on a dry towel and drop them flat for about an hour, so the towel will absorb all the moisture from the leaves. During this, you can preheat the oven at the minimum level of temperature, don’t go over the 200°F.
Wrap your baking tray with parchment paper so that the leaves won’t stick and burn. Once your basil leaves have air-dried, start picking only leaves off and put them on the baking tray. Cut any brown spots or large holes.
Oven drying is the fastest method but it needs more attention supervision to ensure that the leaves don’t burn. Put a single layer of the leaves and ensure that no leaves are overlaying. Put the tray in the preheated oven on the lowest temperature setting.
Using food dehydrator
In the Food dehydration method, the food is dried using warm air. This drying method is not only used and suitable for the basil leaves. Its also used for drying and storing vegetables and fruits. In this method, Heated air circulates in the food to dry and make sure that all that it is completely dried or not.
The dehydration method for drying the food is one of the most useful, suitable, and convenient methods, and is usually used when a large quantity of the basil leaves requires to dry. Put a single layer of the leaves and then turn on the dehydrator, and set the lowest possible temperature.
This process almost requires 4 to 6 hours or it depends on the lowest temperature in your dehydrator and also the moisture level in the leaves.
The sun-drying method is very useful in tropical areas during summer days and when a large quantity of dried basil leaves requires.
Plucked leaves put on some wire-mesh screen, a clean bedsheet, or a drying mat. Then put it under the sunlight, it may take someday and it also depends on the weather. You may put few rocks on the rug to weigh it down.
It is important to make sure that the weather is calm. Try to move the mat many times and move it in the sunlight.
The sun-drying method might be not a useful or fasts method to dry the basil leaves. But it’s an energy-efficient method because it uses solar energy in the whole process.
Drying basil in the microwave
Another method of drying the basil leaves is drying in the microwave. It’s the most efficient, fastest, and useful method of drying the basil leaves and store their natural taste and aroma.
This goes most useful if you need a small quantity of dried basil right away and if you have confined time for drying basil leaves. In this method, we need to pluck good quality basil leaves from the plant.
Wash them and remove all the dirt, dust, and germs from the leaves. Put the leaves on the paper towel and gently remove all the moisture from the leaves.
Place the leaves in the most top container in the microwave. Turn on the highest temperature for 20 to 30 seconds.
Leave the leaves for microwaving until they become crust and dry. It usually takes 2 to 3 minutes and also depends on the microwave ability.
How to Store Dried Basil
Dried the basil leaves, like other spices and herbs, the best way to store and preserve them is by putting them in airtight jars and keep them away from the light.
Freshly dried basil leaves can be saved as healthy leaves and only smashed when it is utilized to save the exact spicy flavor and other fragrant mixtures that cooks and food aficionados long for.
Others prefer to smash the leaves after drying basil. It can also be saved in little jars and then sprayed on top of food.
Here we have discussed some useable methods on how to dry basil leaves. You can dry basil leaves using air dry, microwave, food dehydration, and other methods also.
Always wash the basil leaves first and then try to dry the basil leaves because washing will remove all the dirt, dust, and germ from the leaves.
Using the air dry and sunlight method is useable and also economically affordable. The disadvantage is, it takes time for drying.
There are two methods to oven-dry the basil. You can bake the leaves in the preheated oven for 1 to 2 hours or until is become fully dried. Set the timer and check it for once during the baking.
The other method is to put the tray in the oven for short time around 20 minutes and then turn off the oven and leave the tray overnight.
In this method, you can save your basil leaves from overheat and burning. But it takes 12 extra hours to complete this drying process.
In both ideas, crispy and decaying leaves are a sign that they are fully dried. You can allow them to cool down and then store them for later use.
Using microwave and oven method always take care of temperature and check for once after setting the time and temperature.