Barb Hodgens
Barb Hodgens

Barb Hodgens loves to cook with alternative, healthy whole food ingredients, with a focus on gut health. Barb has overcome her own gut health issues through healthy eating. Share your ideas, comments and photos at the end of this post :)

how to dehydrate herbs

Imagine the satisfaction you’ll feel when you add your own home dried herbs to your cooking!

If you are growing your own herbs, you can easily end up with more than you can use. Dehydrating your bounty in the Breeze food dehydrator is an easy and cost-effective way to preserve the medicinal value and flavour of fresh herbs and prevent waste. When dried and stored properly you can have dried herbs for cooking or making tea, all year round.

Historically, herbs were hung up to dry out in small bundles around the home. The drying process can take weeks if the conditions aren’t right. Sun, humidity, mould, dust and bugs are a few factors that can possibly sabotage the natural drying process. Fresh herbs require very little preparation and with the Breeze food dehydrator, you can dry all of your herbs in just three to five hours.

A low temperature protects and retains the colour, flavour integrity, and essential oils of herbs. Note: the enzymes in dried herbs are concentrated and become about three times as strong. As a rule of thumb, if a recipe calls for one tablespoon of fresh herbs, substitute one teaspoon dried.

dehydrating herbs

Follow these tips for successfully drying fresh herbs.

  • Whether from the garden or the store, make sure you use the freshest herbs.
  • Choose to dry the plant when it’s at its prime - so before flowering and before it has gone to seed. Once the plant has flowers all the energy and oils go into the flowers and the leaves lose their potency.
  • Pick the leaves in the morning or avoid the heat of the day. Many herbs wilt soon after picking them.
  • You do not need to strip the leaves from the stems. If the stalks are generally edible, such as with parsley or coriander, keep the plant whole or chop into shorter pieces. Cut or pick large leaves off inedible or woody stems. Removing thick stems (such as sage, basil and mint) will help shorten the drying time. Herbs with tiny leaves such as thyme are best dehydrated with the stems attached. Once dried, you can gently run your fingers down the fine brittle stem and catch the leaves in a bowl.

dehydrating herbs

  • Remove excess moisture by gently patting the leaves with a clean tea towel or paper towel. Don't rub them dry, as this may bruise the leaves.
  • Leaves will dry out to a fraction of the size fresh. For small leaves we recommend using silicon mesh liners.
  • Be sure to keep track of which herbs are in each tray. Labelling the trays may help, as it can be difficult to tell the herbs apart once they are dried. Their aroma will be distinct, so smell them if you are unsure.
  • You can dry any combination of herbs at one time as the flavours will not blend. Some herbs have a higher moisture content than other, so do not combine different varieties on one tray.
  • To ensure the dried herbs stay flavourful, store the dried leaves whole, and then crumble or grind them as you need them.
  • If the leaves are destined for tea, crumble the leaves in your fingers and place into a tea infuser.

how to dehydrate herbs


Fresh herbs of your choice


1.   Remove any long stems and damaged or bruised leaves. 
2.   If your herbs have come from your garden and are clean, washing is not required.

3.   Otherwise, fill the sink with cool water and submerge the leaves. Lightly rinse to remove dirt, chemicals, and small insects, but don’t let the leaves spend too much time in the water.
4.   Scoop out the leaves with your hands (or use a colander or sieve) and shake them to remove as much water as possible.

dehydrating herbs

 Place the leaves on a clean paper- or kitchen towel and gently pat dry to remove the moisture.

6.   Place the leaves in a single layer on the Breeze dehydrator trays. For small herbs, you may want to use silicon mesh liners to prevent them from falling through.

dehydrating herbs

 The drying time can vary depending upon the type of herbs, the moisture content, humidity, and spacing between the herbs. Fine herbs like mint will dry more quickly than moisture-filled or oilier herbs.

8.    Start with 2 hours and then check on the progress every hour. If you are drying a variety of herbs. Remove the tray when they are done.

dehydrating herbs

The herbs are dry when the leaves crumble and the stems break when bent.  

10.  Allow the herbs to cool for an hour on the trays to avoid condensation forming in your storage jars. Mould will develop if moisture is present.
11.   Store in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight. Dried herbs have a shelf-life of at least a year. After that, they are edible but tend to lose flavour.

If you dehydrated herbs, be sure to share with us - leave us a comment, or tag a photo using #luvelelife on Instagram.


How to dehydrate fresh herbs

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