Dried fresh basil leaves are very useful. They have a great taste and they provide good nutrition for your body. However, dried fresh basil leaves can become moldy if not stored properly. If you want to preserve them, then you need to use different methods of drying them. Here are some tips on how to dry fresh basil leaves.
1) Use A Microwave Drying Method For Fresh Basil Leaves
The best way to dry fresh basil leaves is using a microwave method. You just need to place the dried leaves into a glass jar with a lid and leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes or until completely cool before storing it in the refrigerator. The reason why you need to do this is because heat will kill any bacteria which may grow on the leaves.
2) Air Dry Fresh Basil Leaves In An Oven Or A Refrigerator
You can also dry fresh basil leaves in an oven or a refrigerator. Just put the dried leaves in a plastic bag and place it inside a larger one filled with water (or milk). Then, place it in the fridge overnight or even longer. To dry basil leaves in the oven, follow the steps above but use an oven instead of a refrigerator.
3) Use A Dehydrator To Dry Fresh Basil Leaves
You can use a dehydrator as an alternative for the microwave and oven methods. Just put the leaves on the trays (without oiling or seasoning them). Turn it on and set it to at least 125F (or 52C). Let it run overnight or at least 5 hours.
Check if the dried basil leaves are ready by crushing one between your fingers. If it crumbles readily, then it is ready. Package it in airtight containers and keep it in a dark and cool place.
Tips For Storing Dried Fresh Basil Leaves
1) Store It In A Dry And Dark Place
Store dried fresh basil leaves in an airtight container. Make sure that it is in a dry and dark place to avoid the leaves from getting damaged due to water or sunlight.
2) Keep The Storage Container Right Side Up
Make sure to keep the container right side up because the leaves have a tendency to settle at the bottom and may get crushed if stored upside down.
How To Rehydrate Dried Fresh Basil Leaves
You can rehydrate dried fresh basil leaves by placing them in a bowl and covering it with boiling water. Let it steep for about 20 minutes. You can also add some olive oil (1 tablespoon per 1/4 cup of dried leaves) and salt (1/4 teaspoon per 1/4 cup of dried leaves). Then, drain the water and add the leaves to your favorite recipes.
How To Store Fresh Basil Leaves
Proper storage of fresh basil is the key to maintain its freshness, flavor, and nutrients. Here are some tips on storing it:
1) Keep It In The Fridge
Fresh basil can be stored for about 5 days in the fridge if placed in a plastic container with a little air (don’t overcrowd it).
2) Place It In Water
Another way of storing it is by placing the stems in a glass filled with water like a flower. Change the water every 2 days to keep it fresh.
3) Use A Plastic Bag With A Paper Towel
Yet another way of storing the basil is by placing it in a plastic bag with a paper towel (to keep it from getting wet). Place the basil in the bag stem side down. Place the bag in the refrigerator. Change the paper towel every 2 days.
4) Use A Mason Jar With A Plastic Bag
You can also try this method: Cut off the top of a mason jar and place it in a plastic bag, along with the bottom part of the mason jar (this will prevent water from seeping in). Place the basil leaves in it and cover with water (add a few ice cubes to keep it cold). You can change the water every 2 days.
5) Use A Paper Towel In A Glass Of Water
You can wrap a paper towel around the basil (don’t wrap it too tight or it will rot) and place it in a glass of water like flowers. Keep the glass in a cool place but not in the fridge. Change the water every 2 days.
6) Place It In A Plastic Bag
You can also place it in a ziplock bag and keep the bag in your refrigerator’s vegetable drawer. Make sure there is a bit of air in the bag. Don’t overcrowd it because this might cause the leaves to turn black.
Sources & references used in this article:
Effect of pretreatments and drying conditions on drying rate and colour retention of basil (Ocimum basilicum) by T Rocha, A Lebert, C Marty-Audouin – LWT-Food Science and Technology, 1993 – Elsevier
Effect of drying methods on nutrient quality of Basil (Ocimum viride) leaves cultivated in Ghana by E Danso-Boateng – International Food Research Journal, 2013 – ifrj.upm.edu.my
Chicoric acid levels in commercial basil (Ocimum basilicum) and Echinacea purpurea products by J Lee, CF Scagel – Journal of functional foods, 2010 – Elsevier
Thin-layer and vibrofluidized drying of basil leaves (Ocimum basilicum L.): analysis of drying homogeneity and influence of drying conditions on the composition of … by RAB Lima-Corrêa, M dos Santos Andrade… – … of applied research on …, 2017 – Elsevier
Infraspecific taxonomy and essential oil chemotypes in sweet basil, Ocimum basilicum by RJ Grayer, GC Kite, FJ Goldstone, SE Bryan, A Paton… – Phytochemistry, 1996 – Elsevier