Sunday, December 8, 2013

Harvesting my dried Basil from the Garage :-))

Today I looked in the garage and realized that it's been a while since I had my hubby hang the various basil plants inverted with string from the rafters in the garage. Figured it was time to take them down and deal with them before I forgot

Believe it or not this used to be 4 full grown plants when they were hung initially. I have 3 basil plants that when about 2 feet tall I cut at the base of the plant. I then hang them in the garage inverted to dry out. While they are drying I continue to nurture and feed the roots and  stems with small leaves that are left in the pots. These keep growing. So when they get about 2 feet tall I again cut them back and dry more.You have to be  careful though to not cut too close to where they will not grow back. (I have done this before :-(..)
Sorry about the's pretty bright out there..

So after pulling the dried plants down I untie the strings that hung them and take them to the kitchen and pull all the dried leaves off the plants. I put them into a aluminum disposable baking dish.

I got 6 measured dry cups before grinding.

About grinding. I use my husband's personal blender instead of my food processor. It works MUCH better and grinds it perfectly. I have found that it takes way too long with a food processor and it really doesn't grind it fine enough for me. Also I have the ability to pick it up while it is chopping and shaking it up and down to ensure that every leaf is getting cut as fine as I desire. 
This is his blender...shhh! 

I put in approximately a cup or so at a time and then poor the basil that is done in a plastic container

I used an old Cous Cous container but a clean dry bowl will work just fine.

I then measured it all with dry measuring cups. Out of 6 cups of leaves I ended up with 1 2/3 cups of ground basil. I put a full cup into a sandwich zip bag and labled it to give to my neighbor. I didn't put a date because I assume my neighbor knows what date it  Also, I use basil so often for sauces and cooking that I always use mine within a year or so. If you feel you would take years to use yours you can date it if you wish but I never have. 
Dried basil in a sandwich bag. I know what it looks I swear it's just basil!!!

I then took the remaining 3/4 cup and put it in the container that I store my basil in. I keep the grated cheese containers and use those for my dried herbs.
my basil container. I just keep adding to it when i dry more basil. 

This whole process took approximately 30 mins. I really recommend using a personal blender to get the results you are looking for. It is super fast and efficient. The longest waiting period is waiting for the basil or other herb you are using to dry. I always forget about mine though but no worries, if you forget it won't go anywhere as long as you keep it in a dry place while hanging. I used to try and store it flat to dry but found that if I didn't turn it frequently while drying it would sometimes mold if I had a big batch. It's super easy to just tie string around the bottom stems and hang it pretty much anywhere upside down to dry. I have the best results doing it this way. I realize that a lot of you probably already know how to do this but if there is anyone that has never tried it maybe this post will be helpful. Have a wonderful day!!


  1. Interesting. I've never tried drying basil but it seems simple enough. I'll have to give it a go this year!

  2. I really had ought to try drying herbs but I'm not sure our climate is dry enough to succeed