Easily Dry Your Homegrown Herbs With One Laundry Room Essential

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Whether your harvest season is coming to a close, you have an overactive rosemary herb plant taking over your garden, or you over-shopped at the grocery store, you may be overwhelmed by a ton of herbs. There are only so many herb butters and pestos you can make, but nobody wants to waste food, especially if you've lovingly grown it in your own garden or kitchen. That's where drying comes in, which can be an excellent way to preserve herbs without adding extra ingredients. And it's easy enough with one household accessory: a mesh garment bag. 

You may have had these bags included with the purchase of a delicate garment like tights, lacy lingerie, or silk items, but you can snag a set online for very little money, like this three-pack from Amazon. They are intended to keep items safe from damage while washing, but they are also excellent tools that can help hold delicate herbs while they naturally dry out. The typical weave of the bags allows air and moisture to escape but is tight-knit enough to keep contaminants out, making them ideal for herbal air drying. These bags are an easy, affordable way to dry up your herb inventory. 

Using a garment bag to dry herbs

Perhaps the biggest advantage of using a garment bag for harvesting and storing herbs is that you won't have to worry so much about fallout, which you might be concerned with if you hung them from twine or just let them dry on the table. Gently placing them in the bag means that even if an herb leaf crumbles during the drying process, it won't just be thrown into the wind. You can also put quite a few herbs in each bag because they tend to have low moisture content anyways. This means that, as long as air can easily flow through the bag, you don't have to worry about spreading them out. 

What type of herb you're hoping to preserve will dictate how you package it in the mesh bag. For instance, cilantro and parsley have edible stems, so you may as well store them whole. While thyme and rosemary stems aren't super tasty, you may still want to keep them attached because it will be easier to separate and store them after drying. However, it's best to remove basil leaves from their stems before drying in a garment bag. Keep herbs separated when possible for ease of sorting afterward. Hang the bags from a wall hook, hanger, or rod so that air can reach each side of the bag. After a few days, when fully dry, remove them from the bags and place them in airtight compartments to preserve their flavor.