A few weeks ago, I was searching for how to dry basil leaves because I have so many leaves left at my house, and many of them have started rotting. My friend told me that drying basil is a great idea because you can use basils in the off-season as well!
Check how to dry basil for preservation and later use. When the drying is done, the color will change and become-
- Olive green
How to Dry Basil
The basic method for drying basil leaves is to use a microwave. Cook the leaves in the microwave in quick bursts to dry them completely. For drying basils, I-
- Use three bursts (high) comparatively
- Place the leaves on a plate and cover the plate up and down with two towels
- Cook it in 3 steps- the time duration should be 45 seconds, 30 seconds, and 30 seconds
- Provide 10 seconds of rest between each step if you want
- Then, side it to cool down to room temperature
How to Dry Fresh Basil
- Cut the basils from the plants carefully.
- Clean the basil by soaking it in iced water.
- Dry the leaves, placing them in a kitchen towel, making a single layer, or using a salad spinner.
- Hang the basils upside-down for air drying. Choose a place near the window where the leaves can receive both sunlight and airflow, and they will help to dry these leaves faster.
- Alternatively, use an oven to dry fresh basil. But for getting the best result, air fry the basil leaves for a few days before drying them in the oven and keep the temperature (of the oven) 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
- You can also place the basil in a food dehydrator to dry. It will take 12-24 hours to dry.
How to Dry Basil in Air Fryer
- Preheat the air fryer to 360 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Wash the basils in tap water.
- Dry them using a salad spinner.
- Use a paper towel to remove the moisture.
- Pluck the stems.
- Place the basil leaves in the air fryer basket.
How to Dry Basil in the Oven
Usually, it takes about 45-60 minutes for basil leaves to dry in the oven. Do you want to dry your leftover basils in the oven?
Follow these steps-
- First, wash the basil plants in cold water and then keep them overnight in a towel to absorb the extra water.
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the leaves in a single layer on the tray using parchment paper or a baking sheet.
- Bake them for 45 mins to 1 hour until the leaves dry completely.
- After baking, remove the tray from the oven.
- After being cold, crumble and crush the dry leaves using a food processor, mortar, or pestle.
- Store them in a jar, and it will last for 1 year at normal temperature
I recommend checking the leaves after 30-40 mins in the oven. And be careful so that they don’t get burned.
How to Dry Basil Leaves in the Microwave
- Wash the basils and remove the leaves.
- Place it in a kitchen towel and leave it overnight.
- Transfer the leaves to a tray and make a single layer using baking paper.
- Then bake it for 30 seconds.
- Remove it and wait for 1 minute.
- Then again, repeat the process.
- Do it 3- 4 times until the leaves become dry.
- Leave the basils to cool down and then crumble them.
- And finally, store the basil leaves in a jar, and it will be fine for 1 year to use.
Dehydrating Basil in a Food Dehydrator
To dehydrate basils,
Place the trays in a food dehydrator and set the temperature around 35°C or 95°F. If the outside humidity is low, check the leaves after 6 hours. But normally, it takes 12-24 hours for basil leaves to dry completely.
Can I Hang Dry Fresh Basil?
Yes, you can hang dry fresh basil. The best way to hang your fresh basils is to wash them and dry them with a towel and then use stems to tie them up. Then hang the leaves in a cool, dry place. It is better to choose a place near the windows. It will take 4-5 weeks to dry completely.
How to Hang Dry Basil
Separate the basil leaves into small bunches and tie them up with 6-inch (15 c.m.) long stems. Take a paper bag and make holes in it and place it around the basil bundles. For hanging basils, choose a darkroom with low humidity and warm temperature.
How Long Should Basil Hang to Dry?
Air-drying is a simple and effective idea for basils to dry. For air drying, the leaves should be hung near windows where air can pass easily, and sunlight can come inside. The basils should be hung for 4 weeks to dry.
When to Harvest Basil for Drying
You should harvest basil for drying in the morning.
To harvest basils, cut off the top pair of leaves from any branch. Don’t take growers for harvesting. Cut two-thirds of any branch from a bigger plant.
How to Preserve Basil
Basils can be preserved in three ways.
The necessary ingredients are-
- Fresh basil
- Oil, butter, or salt (depending on your choice)
- Parchment paper
- Plastic bag or freezer-safe container
1. Using Oil
- Remove the fresh basils from the stem, and wash and fully dry them.
- Make basil puree, add olive oil and then blend it in a food processor.
- Place the puree in an ice cube tray and freeze it.
- Lastly, bring out the frozen cubes and transfer them either to a freezer bag or to a container
2. Using Butter
- Take a bowl and mix the butter and basil.
- Wrap the mixture with parchment paper.
- Freeze them.
3. Using Salt
- First, clean and dry the basils and then chop them.
- Then make a paste using a blender or food processor.
- Then store the paste in a freezer bag, and it will last up to 6 months.
Basils in Skincare
We already know basil is a nutrient-rich herb. But did you know it has many properties that are good for our skin? If not, then let’s know them.
1. Herbal Acne Treatment
Though raw basil can’t cure acne, according to some research, basil oil may be able to reduce this skin issue.
2. Plant-Based Moisturizer
Some studies indicate that facial creams with basil oil or extract may help to overcome dry, rough skin.
3. Wrinkle Reducer
According to researchers, basils may have the potential properties to reduce wrinkles. They say, when a facial skin cream is infused with a concentrated extract of basil leaves and flowers, it can reduce wrinkles.
4. Sun Shield
Basil essential oil may offer some protection as a potential sunscreen active ingredient, according to research published in the International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. However, it isn’t clinically proven yet.
5. Fungus Fighter
Some studies suggest that the basil plant’s essential oil might have antifungal properties. It can be true, but not against every type of fungi.
Drying up basil leaves and storing them is a great way to avoid wastage, and use basil leaves in recipes to enhance the flavors even when basil leaves aren’t available in the market. So I hope you have learned how to dry basil, and next time whenever you will have many basil leaves, you will dry them to use whenever you need them.