Frugal woman., Homemaking., Natural Homemaking, Traditional Homemaking

How to Dry and Preserve Basil

Drying and preserving basil is simple to do. This post will show you step by step how to dry and preserve basil using a dehydrator or oven.

If your summer garden has an abundance of basil, you will definitely want to consider using this recipe to dry and preserve some of your basil. You can use dried basil powder to add flavor to marinades, soups, chicken, or even salad dressings.

This tutorial and recipe is going to walk you through the process of drying basil and creating a basil powder in your own kitchen. You will want to have some small, air tight glass jars to store your basil powder in when you are done. Other than that, this process is simple and can be done using a dehydrator or low temp oven.

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Drying and preserving basil is simple to do. This post will show you step by step how to dry and preserve basil using a dehydrator or oven.

How to Dry Basil for Basil Powder

Low temp is the name of the game for dehydrating basil. Whether you use your dehydrator or your oven, you will want to dehydrate your basil using the lowest temperature available. This should help prevent your basil from scorching or becoming burned. It is easy to burn the delicate leaves of basil, which would alter the flavor profile of your basil powder.

The lowest temperature on my Elite Gourmet Dehydrator is 95˚ F. If your dehydrator or oven does not go this low, aim for the lowest temperature that is 115˚ F or below. This will help preserve some of the nutrients and natural flavor of your basil.

Drying and preserving basil is simple to do. This post will show you step by step how to dry and preserve basil using a dehydrator or oven.

Step by Step Instructions for Basil Powder

  1. Harvest your Basil: When you are ready to begin drying and making your basil powder, begin by harvesting your basil. This is best to do in the morning or evening, when the basil leaves are perky and not wilted from the afternoon sun. You can simply pinch off the larger leaves using your thumb and index finger. While harvesting, I like to place my leaves in a basket as I gather the basil.
    You can also pinch off entire clusters of basil, depending on how big your basil plant is.
  2. Wash and Remove the Stems: Begin by washing your basil and removing any large stems from your basil leaves. Lay the leaves on a dry towel and gently pat them dry to remove any moisture.
  3. Put Basil on Trays: After you have removed most of the moisture from your basil leaves and lay them on your dehydrator trays or a baking sheet. You will want a single layer of leaves, making sure they are not over lapping.
  4. Drying the Basil: Put the sheets of basil in the dehydrator or oven. Using a temp 115˚ F or lower on your dehydrator or oven, start dehydrating the basil. This process will take several hours to complete. There is no set time, but what you are looking for is dry leaves that are crumbly and light green in color.
  5. Storing Your Basil: When your basil is dry and ready for storing, you can do this in a couple ways. You can keep the leaves whole and store them in a larger jar. This process will retain the flavor a little bit longer than creating flakes or a powder. You can also make a powder texture using a mortar and pestle or a couple pulses with your food processor.
  6. Making Basil Powder: Put your basil in a food processor that is totally dry. Gently pulse the food processor until the leaves have become like flaky and like a powder. This doesn’t take long given how delicate the leaves are. Using a dry spoon, scoop out the powder and store it in an airtight container.

Ideas for Using Dried Basil

Now that your basil is dry and preserved, you will be able to use it in recipes all winter long. You can add your dried basil to soups, sauces, or marinades. You can also use it in sourdough bread or combine it with other dry herbs to make a herb seasoning blend for dips.

Drying and preserving basil is simple to do. This post will show you step by step how to dry and preserve basil using a dehydrator or oven.

Dry Basil Without a Dehydrator

If you do not have a dehydrator or oven to dry basil in, you can simply harvest your basil and keep the stems on. Gently wash and throughly dry your basil. Bundle your basil in small bundles with only a few stems in a bundle at a time. Gently tie a piece of string around the base of the stems and hang the basil upside down to dry. Keep your basil bundle away from any walls or surfaces as it dries. When the leaves are crunchy and dry, begin processing following steps 5 – 6 above.

I hope you enjoyed this post on how to dry basil. If your garden is abundant in other herbs this season, you will enjoy my post on how to make your own garlic herb seasoning salt here!

Drying and preserving basil is simple to do. This post will show you step by step how to dry and preserve basil using a dehydrator or oven.

How to Dry Basil

Equipment

  • Food dehydrator or oven
  • Glass jars or airtight containers

Materials

  • Fresh basil leaves

Instructions

  • Harvest your Basil – Simply pinch off the larger leaves using your thumb and index finger. Gather your leaves in a basket.
  • Wash and Remove the Stems – Begin by washing your basil and removing any large stems from your basil leaves. Lay the leaves on a dry towel and gently pat them dry to remove any moisture.
  • Put Basil on Trays- After you have removed most of the moisture from your basil leaves and lay them on your dehydrator trays or a baking sheet. You will want a single layer of leaves, making sure they are not over lapping.
  • Drying the Basil -Put the sheets of basil in the dehydrator or oven. Using a temp 115˚ F or lower on your dehydrator or oven, start dehydrating the basil. This process will take several hours to complete. There is no set time, but what you are looking for is dry leaves that are crumbly and light green in color.
  • Storing Your Basil: When your basil is dry and ready for storing, you can do this in a couple ways. You can keep the leaves whole and store them in a larger jar. This process will retain the flavor a little bit longer than creating flakes or a powder. You can also make a powder texture using a mortar and pestle or a couple pulses with your food processor.
  • Making Basil Powder – Put your basil in a food processor that is totally dry. Gently pulse the food processor until the leaves have become like a flaky powder. This doesn't take long given how delicate the leaves are. Using a dry spoon, scoop out the powder and store it in an airtight container.

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