Products For Cooking With Home Grown Herbs
Anyone who buys seasoning at the grocery store knows how expensive they can be. I try to buy the stuff I can't grow in bulk to cut down the cost. However, I like the idea of cooking with my own herbs. Growing herbs in your garden or even a pot inside your house can be very easy. When you grow your own herbs, you can be certain that they are organic and not treated with any dangerous chemicals. If you grow them inside the house, be sure to find a place where they can get plenty of sunlight. This guide provides insight into some of the products I use in order to have home-grown herbs to cook with.
Great Herbs To Grow At Home
Food dehydrators are relatively inexpensive. They can be found for as little as forty dollars, but can cost much more. For herbs, an inexpensive dehydrator should be fine. The alternative to a dehydrator is to dry your herbs out in the oven on the lowest setting. Either option will require an overnight stint. Dehydrators have a fan for circulating the warm air through the drying trays. These fans can be noisy, so take that into consideration in deciding where to place your dehydrator and what time frame to use it. It will generally take half a day or more, depending on the dehydrator and the number of trays you use.
There are a variety of ways to store your herbs. They will be fine in a ziplock back that has as much excess air removed as possible. You can mark the baggie with a magic marker with the name of the herb and the date packaged. I reuse empty herb bottles for fresh herbs, when it is appropriate. The drawback is placing herbs into a bottle that housed a different herb before. Herbs can be powerful and the former herb may bleed over from a plastic container. Glass is better. You can reuse glass with less concern. You can purchase glass herb bottles as specialty stores for around a dollar and they can be reused for years.
Self-adhesive labels can be applied to reused bottle or new glass bottles to indicate the type of herb and date preserved. While you will probably be able to tell the herb by sight and smell, this makes things a lot less complicated if you are in the middle of cooking.
There is something special about cooking with your own herbs. You can segregate your herbs into indivdual bottles and even make your own combinations. If you feel like creating your own "Italian Seasoning" it only requires the mixture of a few herbs in their own bottle. You can eat herbs fresh or store them for cooking. Either way, growing your own herbs ensures that you know what chemicals were (or weren't) used in growing your herbs. If you want to grow them without pesticides, that is your perogative. Fresh herbs can spice up a sandwich or salad. Preserved herbs extend the life of your herbs for cooking year round. I use mine both ways.
I you have herb tips to share, feel free to leave a comment. If you have never grown herbs, don't be intimidated by them. They are generally very easy to grow. With a minimal amount of effort, you can enjoy fresh spices from your own garden (or pots).
Joined:Dec 3, 1999
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