The Ratio of Dry and Fresh Herbs

Herbs are expensive to buy, but because they take so little space, they are also really easy to grow your own. It is incredibly satisfying to grow an array of herbs in containers on a deck or front step or even inside during the winter. We chose to make use of every corner of our property by planting perennial herbs in the landscaping. Chives and basil are always featured in our vegetable garden. Herbs also grace our deck and lawn sitting areas along with our potted flowers. When we have harvested all we need to store for the winter, we let the herbs flower and they do attract a lot of bees and butterflies!
The grocery store supplies fresh herbs either in tiny flat plastic boxes, or in small bunches, at quite a hefty price. When we get home though, we often find that the recipe only calls for a Tbsp. of that herb. Of course we can extend the life of any fresh cut herb by wrapping the stems in a damp paper towel and place the entire bunch inside a bag for refrigeration. To deal with the excess before it goes bad, we can chop, add a little oil and freeze 1 tsp. or 1 Tbsp. blobs on a sheet, then bag for use later.
To dry herbs, after washing and removing leaves from the stem, simply place on a paper towel over a cooling rack, or use a dehydrator tray. Place where the air is warm and there is less light (sunlight will reduce the essential oils). Once dry, store in repurposed clean jars in a dark cupboard. If you are drying large amounts, keep the bulk of it in whole leaf form and only lightly grind the amount meant for storage in the kitchen cupboard.
Dry herbs and fresh herbs are easily exchanged for one another in any recipe. Advice varies and it can be confusing - there are reasons for this varied advice.
Typically the ratio of replacing dry herbs with fresh herbs goes like this:
1 tsp. dry herb = 1 Tbsp. fresh herb
However - if the dry herbs are older than 2 years, increase the ratio to:
2 tsp. dry herb = 1 Tbsp. fresh herb
Some herbs like bay leaf, parsley and cilantro, become quite mild after dehydrating and therefore cooks often double the amount:
1 leaf = 2 leaves
1 tsp. = 2 tsp.
If the herbs have accidentally been ground into a powder, this fine flour is now more concentrated and the amount used should represent that:
1 tsp. fine ground dry herb = 1 Tbsp. dry herb
Lillian and her husband Dave are the team behind Brummet Media Group, high-fiving cheerfully as they pass each other on the way from checking off one item or other from their long to-do list. Their business includes Dave's music studio and percussion accessory products and graphic design work as well as numerous award-winning non-fiction books and popular blogs. Today we help them celebrate their latest book release - From One Small Garden, with over 300 delicious, nutritious recipes! (Now available at Amazon! ) Visit the Brummets @:
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