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How to Dry Your Own Spices

Plant Based Recipes

Last Updated on January 23, 2024

Herbs and Spices are magical. They’re like fairy dust for your food. They have medicinal properties, add depths of flavor, contain loads of vitamins, and can invoke memories of time or place.

Nutmeg smells like Christmas, basil smells like Italy, and parsley reminds me of my Austrian house mom.  

I have tried to plant an herb garden several times. I’m determined to succeed, but so far I’ve killed it twice! I prefer to pick mine on walks around the neighborhood or get them package free at the farmers market or the supermarket.

 Occasionally they’ll come with twist ties. I used four twist ties from my trash jar to “string” up the herbs. 

I tied them to the handles of my cabinet. The sun hits that spot indirectly in the afternoon.  

I dried lemon verbena which can be used to repel mosquitoes or brewed in a tea can help with indigestion, any type of stomach troubles, joint pain, insomnia, colds, fever, and asthma.

I also dried parsley. Parsley is rich in many vital vitamins such as A, C and K.

I let them hang for about two weeks. A couple of leaves fell off and I could tell they were sufficiently dry.

I pulled my blender under them and plucked the leaves. This helped keep the mess to a minimum.

I pulsed the leaves in the blender till they turned into small familiar looking pieces. Their color and aroma is so much more potent than what I’ve bought in store.

Organic parsley is selling at $3.63 for .26 oz and just made almost 3oz for $1.00. 

 I grinded them almost a week ago. Look at that color.  

I grinded them almost a week ago. Look at that color.  

This has been so easy! And, I can’t believe I didn’t think of this sooner!? Nothing but positives here.

 It’s way cheaper than store bought, better quality, better for you, and so easy. I highly encourage you to try it.

 Have you tried it? What herbs have you used?

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  1. I’ve recently started drying chamomile for my boyfriend’s tea. We have them at the university garden, where they just grow and nobody takes much notice. I dried them and they’re ridiculously strong (one flower will easily do for a mug of tea!). My boyfriend was all like: ‘What, you dry them and that’s it? Don’t you have to do something else with them?’ Nope. It’s so simple it’s laughable!

    1. I feel so dumb for not doing this earlier. Isn’t it amazing how people can sell us the simplest thing at such a huge mark-up? We’ve become so accustomed to it – we don’t even realize how easy it is!!

  2. Kathryn, Do you always prepare spices at home or buy any of it from the bulk stores? It’s been a challenge to buy spices (esp from Whole foods) from the bulk bins as I couldn’t figure out what containers do I use to refill them in. Because of the weight of the mason jars i couldn’t use them for spices? Do you have any suggestions/ideas on what to use to refill the spices from bulk bins? Thanks -Dilip

    1. I’m not sure I understand this question. Why couldn’t you use a spice jar? Is it because your store didn’t tare? You can read my "Ultimate Guide to ZW Shopping," if they do! It has all the details on how to use a jar for shopping. If they don’t tare, you could always use small cloth bags.

  3. If you do decide to buy spices or extremely lightweight products, do you typically use jars, or bags since they are lighter? It just seems like it could cause issue using a jar that weighs so much for something so extremely weightless.

    1. You should check out the blog post ultimate guide to zero waste grocery shopping. The cashier will subtract the weight of the jar leaving only the weight of what’s inside. Or you could use a very lightweight cloth bag. I have the ones I use pictured under my FAQ page under the contact tab.