Easily dry your fresh basil clippings with this simple recipe. Whether you use a dehydrator or you use your oven. Either one works out completely fine.
A Bunch of Basil of any size or quantity
- Gather and Harvest Basil:
Gathering basil is incredibly easy and most likely you are doing it far less than you actually could. Basil loves a good clip often to produce really well. You want to clip to a place where you see two leaves on either side of the stem and clip there. Doing this often will encourage your plants to bush and become larger.
- De-stem Basil and Rinse:
Once you have gathered the basil you will want to remove the stems and wash it really well. This is very easy to do and you really just want to keep the large leaves of the basil. Once you have the leaves all separated from the stems you will want to wash them in lukewarm water so you don’t shock the basil and turn it brown. Too cold isn’t good and neither is too hot.
- Fully Dry Basil:
Before you begin drying the basil make sure the leaves are fully dry. Layout a clean kitchen towel and lay the leaves in a single layer. Roll the basil in the towel gently to help it dry evenly and really well.
- Spread Basil on Baking Sheets or Your Dehydrator Racks:
Once you have the basil fully dry you can lay the leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet or on the dehydrator racks. Keep them well spaced and not overlapping so they dry evenly.
If you are using an oven you will want to preheat the oven to the lowest temp you can get to. This should be about 170-180 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Dry the Basil:
If you are using a dehydrator set your temp on a low setting around 120 or even 115 if you can. You can turn it on. Depending on your dehydrator this can take anywhere from 4-10 hours of dehydration to work so keep an eye on the leaves every hour or so to see where they are.If using the oven place them on the racks in the middle section of the oven. If your oven only goes to 200 or 180 make sure to crack the door to ensure you are not burning the basil leaves. Keep a close eye on them. They will be done far quicker than in the dehydrator. The time the basil takes to dry out in the oven will be about 1.5 hours. Check it at this point. If it is still not crumbly to the touch return for another half hour till it finally is crumbly. Remove any leaves which are crumbly till all are crumbly.
- Process and store:
To process for storage place all the leaves in a mortar and pestle or in a bowl. You can then process them by either using the pestle to crush them or you can use your hands to do it.Once crumbled up can place them with a funnel into air-tight jars such as these spice jars that I suggest in my Kitchen Essentials post. Make sure to label them well with variety and year of drying.