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Creating Dried Herbs from Fresh? What quantities yield what?

Creating Dried Herbs from Fresh? What quantities yield what?
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  • Creating Dried Herbs from Fresh? What quantities yield what?

    Post #1 - March 7th, 2014, 3:39 pm
    Post #1 - March 7th, 2014, 3:39 pm Post #1 - March 7th, 2014, 3:39 pm
    All -

    Doing some planning for the garden this summer and just had a random thought i cannot find an answer for from a couple of quick google searches and thought some of the pros here might know the answer.

    I am trying to figure out what quantity of fresh herbs I would need to grow to dry and then be able to use all winter. Yes, this is a simple process but what I am really interested in seeing if anyone knows would be the following:

    1. If I wanted 12 ounces of dried basil - what quantity would I need in fresh?

    2. If I wanted 12 ounces of dried thyme - what quantity would I need in fresh?

    3. If I wanted 12 ounces of dried rosemary - what quantity would I need in fresh?

    4. If I wanted 12 ounces of dried oregano - what quantity would I need in fresh?

    Ideally I would like to grow enough that I could bottle some and hand out to friends as gifts. Hard to calculate exactly as yields obviously vary, but just trying to find the weight fresh to dried ratio.

    Or am I making this too complicated and should just assume its the same as the conversion you use in cooking using dried vs. fresh (3 fresh to one dried)?

    Sorry if this is the wrong forum, wasn't exactly sure where this should go.
  • Post #2 - March 7th, 2014, 4:20 pm
    Post #2 - March 7th, 2014, 4:20 pm Post #2 - March 7th, 2014, 4:20 pm
    I'd guess that you'd be able to get double that or more off of one plant of any of those, save for maybe the basil which can be more temperamental, if you have the proper growing conditions (being growing space allotted, sun/heat and water primarily). In fact, if you were going about it that deliberately, if you start cutting and drying early in the summer when your plants begin to look full, more will grow in and you can likely just stop when you reach your capacity for storing/interest. Not sure if that answers your question about quantities--I have no idea how many basil leaves are needed to fill a 3 oz jar for example--but I think you should be able to do what you are trying to do off of one or maybe two plants of each herb. I have taken to growing each herb plant in a different 1.5 gal/or so pot with great results. Good luck--definitely report back on what you do!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #3 - March 8th, 2014, 1:23 pm
    Post #3 - March 8th, 2014, 1:23 pm Post #3 - March 8th, 2014, 1:23 pm
    I found a Penn State extension service web site (extension.psu.edu) that states what seems to me to be an overly general rule that 8 oz of fresh herbs yields 1 oz of dried herbs. It seems to me that the ratio should vary with the moisture content of the fresh herb, rosemary yielding more dried per 8 oz fresh than basil, for example.

    Here is a very cool and very old (1895) publication with ratios of fresh to dried weights for many things, from hops to violet flowers (but I don't see basil or rosemary listed). I do notice the ratios are more in the 3:1 to 5:1 range than 8:1.
    Last edited by Katie on March 9th, 2014, 5:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #4 - March 8th, 2014, 6:46 pm
    Post #4 - March 8th, 2014, 6:46 pm Post #4 - March 8th, 2014, 6:46 pm
    I was reading of a chef- who takes her fresh herbs,
    and adds some water to fill ice cube trays-
    and when she needed herb-age,
    used a MicroPlane to shave some "herb-cube" into
    what she was cooking.

    Never done it- but sounded efficient to me.
  • Post #5 - March 8th, 2014, 7:07 pm
    Post #5 - March 8th, 2014, 7:07 pm Post #5 - March 8th, 2014, 7:07 pm
    Hombre de Acero wrote:Never done it- but sounded efficient to me.
    I tried it once but found that the parsley had floated up and then seemed to have been pushed even higher by some mechanical movement during freezing.
  • Post #6 - March 10th, 2014, 8:19 am
    Post #6 - March 10th, 2014, 8:19 am Post #6 - March 10th, 2014, 8:19 am
    A general rule is 3-1, fresh to dry.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #7 - March 10th, 2014, 9:25 am
    Post #7 - March 10th, 2014, 9:25 am Post #7 - March 10th, 2014, 9:25 am
    I tried drying some herbs but I found them disappointing. I went to great lengths to hang them to dry them and then store them. It seems the Illinois climate does not have the intense sun and other climate qualities to make the fragrant herbs that you can buy dried. So personally I would not grow them for drying. I do love to grow herbs and use them fresh. Of course you can try it and see what you think.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #8 - April 2nd, 2014, 9:43 am
    Post #8 - April 2nd, 2014, 9:43 am Post #8 - April 2nd, 2014, 9:43 am
    Living in the Chicago area, I too find that drying fresh herbs from our garden yields a pretty flat herb with little fragrance at the end.

    We grow all of our own and instead of drying, I have started freezing chopped fresh herbs in an ice cube tray with some chicken stock. The chicken stock is just viscous enough so that the chopped herb will not float to the top. Also, a couple tablespoons of chicken stock will not adversely affect the flavor of the dish you are working with. The cubes store indefinitely in a ziploc bag and can be dropped into virtually anything, giving me fresh herbs right from the garden any time of the year.
  • Post #9 - April 2nd, 2014, 11:00 am
    Post #9 - April 2nd, 2014, 11:00 am Post #9 - April 2nd, 2014, 11:00 am
    FoodGuru, thanks for the tip about freezing herbs in stock. I, too, did not have much luck freezing fresh herbs in water. This sounds more promising. And welcome to LTH Forum.
  • Post #10 - April 5th, 2018, 5:28 pm
    Post #10 - April 5th, 2018, 5:28 pm Post #10 - April 5th, 2018, 5:28 pm
    Hi,

    Last night I attended a cooking demo where Chef Susan Maddox, formerly of Le Titi de Paris, was making chicken dishes.

    She advocated chopping excess fresh basil with a knife, then packing them into plastic condiment containers to freeze. The passed basil was a bit dark, though the flavor was the intensity expected.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast

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