If you have fresh Spices but they are starting to go bad, or if you want to make your own spices, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we share our best “DIY” spice tips for preserving your spices.
1. Dry spices in spice bouquets
You can easily create spice bouquets by cutting off the entire twigs with the leaves remaining (so do not loosen the leaves). Then tie the twigs tightly into a slightly loose and airy bouquet.
If the knot is not hard enough, the twigs can loosen once they have started to dry and the pulp decreases, and if they are too tightly bound there is a risk that the spices will mold instead of drying. Hang the bouquets somewhere cool and dry. After about two weeks, after making sure that they are properly dry, loosen the leaves.
2. Dry spices in the microwave
This is by far the fastest way to dry spices, it takes minutes. It is a bit tricky though – drying time varies depending on the spice and the effect of your microwave, so this method requires a little extra attention. Spread a handful of detached leaves on a plate or tray between two sheets of paper towel. If you need to rinse the leaves before, make sure all the excess water is gone, otherwise, you will boil the leaves instead of drying them.
Run on high heat for one minute and then see if the leaves have become dry and brittle. If not, run another 30 seconds at a time until they are. Make sure to have full supervision throughout the drying, if they get too dry they can catch fire. Then you have not only wasted the spices but probably also need to invest in a new micro.
Oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, mint, dragon, lemon balm, and nettle are examples of herbs that are great for drying. After drying, the spices are best stored in a dark and tightly sealed jar. You can advantageously have a little paper towel in the bottom or top that absorbs excess moisture.
3. Freeze the spices in ice cubes
Chop, or put whole leaves in a box for ice cubes. Fill with water, rapeseed oil, olive oil, or broth. This way of preserving spices is excellent when you want nice ice cubes with flavor to the drink or as a base directly in sauces and sauces when cooking. When the cubes are frozen, you can move them to a plastic bag or similar.
4. Freeze the spices as they are
Some herbs lose taste when dried, and are therefore better to freeze. You can choose to harvest the whole twigs or just the leaves. Rinse if necessary and then allow excess water to dry. Lay out on a plate or mold, not too dense but rather airy, and place in the freezer. After a day or two when frozen, move them over to boxes or bags.
Dill, parsley, chives, and basil are examples of herbs that are good for freezing.
5. Dry spices in oven
To dry spices in the oven, you need to loosen the leaves from the twig itself first. You then spread out the sheets on a sheet, you can use baking sheet paper but it is not necessary. Put the oven between 20 and 30 degrees, never again, and keep the oven door open with the help of a wooden spoon or similar in the gap.
How long it takes depends partly on the amount of spices you dry at one and the same time, and partly on what spice it is, so it is good to have some control over them now and then. When the spices are dry and brittle and you can easily crumble the leaves between your fingers, they are clear.
6. Dry spices on the net or daily newspaper
In order to dry spices on a net or a daily newspaper, you also need to first remove the leaves from the twig. Spreading them out online, mosquito nets, or other fine nets work well, or the daily newspaper.
If you use a daily newspaper, it may be good to place it on a grid to get as much air as possible. If you use a network, the same applies, that is, not only over the air but also under the network. Then store in a dark and dry place, it can be cool but should not be cold. Look every now and then and move around a bit. After just over a week, you can check if the spices are brittle and easily break – then they are ready.