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Dry rosemary the expert way to guard your plant against losing its nutrients and aroma. Rosemary is an evergreen perennial plant that can be used for domestic purposes in adding flavor and fragrance to your dishes.
The plant can easily be grown by small and large-scale gardeners. Read this article to acquire as much information as you can on how to dry rosemary after harvesting it.
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How To Dry Rosemary
Using a dehydrator, air-drying or oven-drying are some effective ways to dry rosemary herbs for future use.
Rosemary can be used while fresh from the garden. However, drying the plant is a better way of preserving it for future use. There are three different methods that you can use to dry the rosemary and these are explained in this section.
– Using a Dehydrator
Wash and dry your rosemary sprigs using paper towels before placing them in a dehydrator. If you put the rosemary sprigs that are wet in the dehydrator, the risk of them being cooked instead of drying will be high.
You can also cut the stems to a reasonable size if you see that they are not fitting properly in the dehydrator trays.
Place your rosemary in the trays and make sure they are properly spaced to allow air circulation that allows them to dry evenly. You can now place your tray in the dehydrator and set your temperature at herb settings.
You can also set the lowest temperature on your oven, which is between 95 F and 125 F if there is high humidity. Dehydrate rosemary for at least eight hours and check if it is completely dry; if not, put your partially dried rosemary sprigs back in the dehydrator until they are fully dry.
Dry rosemary leaves will crumble if you crush them between your fingers and the stems should snap when bent, so that’s how you can test if your rosemary is dry or not. Separate the leaves from the stems and put them in a glass jar without crushing them for an everlasting flavor.
You can now store your dried rosemary leaves in an airtight jar and place them in a dark, cool place. Be sure you check for water droplets while the herbs are stored to avoid the risk of mold development.
Air-drying is a more natural method of drying the rosemary herb and this can be the best way to dry rosemary if you want to retain the oils and flavor in their full natural state. Cut the stems of the plant and tie them as small bundles of eight or fewer sprigs.
Hang the rosemary stems in a dark, dry room that is well-ventilated so that air can circulate freely. Remember to turn the stems frequently so that the leaves will dry evenly.
Your rosemary should be dry after two to three weeks, and you can check with your hands if the leaves are crispy before detaching them from the stems and packing them in a jar. You can tightly close the jar using a vacuum sealer machine.
Instead of continuously checking for water droplets in the jar, put a moisture-absorbing sachet inside. Place your jars in a dark room or cupboard as mentioned earlier in the dehydrating method procedure.
Dried rosemary can be used for two years without losing its divine flavor. Powdered rosemary can be the best alternative if you want to enjoy this beautiful plant for several years.
The air-drying method is time-consuming, although the results are excellent. If you need dried rosemary as soon as possible, consider the oven-drying method or use the dehydrator, but you will incur the extra costs of buying the gadgets.
Harvest your healthy fresh rosemary stems and rinse them if there is a need to do so. Dry the sprigs using a salad spinner or you can pat dry them using a paper towel to remove water after washing.
Set your oven to the lowest temperature and preheat while placing the sprigs or leaves only in the tray. Put your tray with the average quantity of rosemary so that all the sprigs will dry equally and at the same time.
Dry fresh rosemary at a warm temperature until the leaves are fully crispy. The maximum time taken to dry rosemary in the oven is 24 hours, but it depends on the type of oven that you are using as well as the humidity levels.
Put the whole leaves in a glass container and tightly close it to avoid air penetration. Keep your rosemary in a dark, dry, cool place as explained earlier on.
If you have a variety of herbs stored in your house, make sure you label the containers by writing the name of the plant and the manufacturing date. The date will help you to use the herbs according to their date or freshness. Knowing the manufacturing dates will also assist you to assess the effectiveness of the drying method.
– Microwave Drying
You can also preserve rosemary by drying it in the microwave, which is the fastest method of drying rosemary leaves. Prune the leaves off the stems and place them on a microwavable plate. Put paper towels at the top and bottom of the leaves. You can now place the rosemary leaves in the microwave before you switch the gadget on.
Set the temperature at high and microwave your rosemary for at least four minutes. You should monitor this closely as the microwave can burn the rosemary easily if heated more than expected. Take note that using the microwave is not the best way to dry rosemary as the heat will result in the plant losing its traditional aromas and oils.
How To Harvest
Rosemary plant stems are woody at the bottom and green at the top part, so you should harvest the green part of the stem to stimulate regrowth. If you slightly trim above two leaves, the rosemary herb will develop two new shoots as well, which will promote a fuller, bushier shape. Cutting back will also help you to harvest the rosemary herb many times during its growing season.
Prior to drying rosemary, you need to harvest it. You should harvest rosemary in the morning but the dew should dry out first. The best time to cut the rosemary with its best flavor and fragrance is in summer, before the plant’s blossoming time. You should use shears to prune two-thirds of the stems and remember to disinfect the tools before using them.
After harvesting rosemary, you need to preserve it for use during the winter season when the plant is dormant. This means that you should dry the rosemary to avoid a shortage of this wonderful herb in your kitchen throughout the year!
How To Store Fresh Rosemary
Rosemary can be kept in its original state and consumed for a short period of time by storing the sprigs in the refrigerator. You can do this if you want to enjoy the taste of fresh rosemary.
Cut the stems, clean them, and dry them. Place each sprig on a baking sheet and put it in the freezer for some hours. Once the sprigs are frozen, remove them and put them in a freezer bag, where they can now stay in the freezer until you want to use them. You can take a single stem at a time and use it, unlike if you freeze all the leaves at once in the same plastic bag.
You can also use an ice tray for this purpose by putting your leaves in the slots and adding some water or olive oil. Freeze the mixture for a couple of hours and remove it when frozen. Put the iced rosemary without trays in a plastic bag and store it in the freezer. The frozen rosemary can be used for less than a year.
Other Useful Information
Here are the answers to some of your questions about the rosemary plant.
– What Is the Rosemary Herb?
The rosemary plant is scientifically known as Rosmarinus officinalis, and the herb is originally from the Mediterranean region. The plant has needle-like leaves and it produces flowers that are purple in color.
The incredible herb grows well in hot climatic conditions, reaching the height and width of at least four feet. Rosemary is not a cold-hardy plant, which is why it should not be grown in areas with freezing temperatures unless you are growing it indoors.
Rosemary is widely known as a seasoning herb, but the plant can be used differently for medicinal, cosmetic, detoxifying and air freshening purposes. The sprigs can also be used for decoration. You can also grow a rosemary plant accompanied with carrots so that it will assist in repelling carrot flies.
Rosemary oil can be extracted from the herb and it is used for relieving pain and promoting hair growth, among other purposes. This oil is considered to be the most effective based on its medicinal effects compared with the other parts of the plant.
– How Do You Propagate Rosemary Herb?
Rosemary is easily propagated using cuttings or seeds, but it will take some time for the herb to be ready for harvesting when seeds are used to propagate it.
The cuttings are also best as they will be exact clones of the mother plant. Your new plant will inherit the same characteristics that the mother rosemary has like resistance to diseases, vigorous growth and flavor.
– Propagating Using Cuttings
Consider using three or four cuttings to reduce the risk of failure. Your cuttings should be around six inches long, counting from the top. You should cut new, fresh and healthy stems of the rosemary for propagation and remove two inches of the stem’s lower leaves.
If you want the cuttings from your rosemary plant, do remember to sterilize and sharpen your tools before snipping them off.
Now place your cuttings in a glass of water and place it away from direct sunlight. You should change the water frequently to prevent the cuttings from rotting and to provide them with dissolved oxygen.
Four to six plant roots will develop within four to eight weeks and you should transfer the cutting into a pot when these roots are about two inches long. Irrigate your new plant regularly to keep the potting mix moist until the cuttings develop new growth.
– What Problems Does the Rosemary Plant Have?
The common pests and diseases for rosemary are whiteflies, aphids, spider mites and fungal infections. Rosemary grown in the garden is rarely attacked by pests. You grow rosemary mainly for consumption, so natural methods of controlling pests are best. Ladybugs can be introduced to control aphids.
Fungal infections are difficult to control, so prevention is the way to go. Avoid overwatering the Rosemary plant and also use a well-draining potting mix. The pot should also have holes to drain excess water.
Once your rosemary plant is highly infected, it will eventually die. Make sure you use healthy seeds and cuttings when propagating rosemary to reduce the chances of disease infections.
Preserving plants can be so challenging, but the information that you gathered from this article is enough to give you the confidence that you need in drying your rosemary.
Below is just a rundown of the important points that you should take note of:
- Dry rosemary herbs using air, oven, microwave or a dehydrator and store it in a cool, dry place.
- The rosemary should be harvested before it flowers. That’s when the plant is very nutritious and its freshness will be at its peak.
- Dried rosemary can last two or three years and you need to throw it away when it has expired.
- You can also store your dried rosemary in powdered form. Fresh rosemary can also be refrigerated as a way of preserving it, but this can only be used for a shorter period than the dried version.
It’s now time to implement what you learned from this article. Dry your rosemary properly and enjoy delicious meals on the daily!