Preserving Herbs – Oregano

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When my girls were in elementary school, they always took their lunch to school. One of their favorite things was dried fruit snacks. They were so expensive though, so I had the brilliant idea to buy a dehydrator and make my own. I purchased a dehydrator bought a big bag of apples and spent hours peeling, coring and slicing the apples. After they were dried, I put them in a ziplock bag, feeling rather smug, thinking that it was a lot of work, but still I had lunch covered for a couple of weeks. I went off and did my housewifey things, came back about 20 minutes later and the girls had polished off all of the apples. Every last one! Seriously, hours of work gone in a blink of an eye. So, the dehydrator got shoved to the back of the cabinet until I could properly explain the concept of moderation.


Finally, this week, I had a brief, but memorable epiphany. As I was describing to my husband the fancy screen system that I wanted him to build, that would allow me to dry my herbs on the back porch, I happened to remember that I had a dehydrator!


It is so easy and simple, I can’t believe I haven’t been using it for this! I cut and washed the oregano and placed in on the drying racks. Stacked them up and turned it on. This dehydrator gets pretty warm and keeps a constant flow of warm/hot air blowing over the leaves. They were dry in about 90 minutes!!!

<Dried Oregano

This will be my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Amy and Jonny at We Are Never Full

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  1. says

    Ninety minutes? It only took 90 minutes?!!! You have the best kitchen gadgets. I have a bunch of oregano that I’d love to dry, and even looked into doing it, but your way is waaay better. Beautiful oregano, by the way. Loved the story about the apples!

  2. says

    I think the dehydrator works best on herbs too. Yours must be a higher wattage than mine though – mine takes a few hours for herbs.
    I haven’t tried dried apples yet but I found the dried tomatoes took a long time – maybe I just need a newer model!
    I guess I will have to bring in what’s left in the garden. It has been going down to about freezing the last couple of nights.
    Tomorrow we are cleaning the furnace filters – winter is coming!

  3. Pam says

    Paula – I was expecting it to take lots longer, but luckily I checked it.

    Lydia – it really speeds up the drying process.

  4. says

    I’m pretty sure you have inspired me to go buy a dehyrdrator. Yours looks small enough to be manageable. Now all I have to do is wait till next spring and grow some oregano. BTW, I used your trick about cutting and re-planting basil and it’s working awesome. We still have basil indoors now because of the frost.

  5. says

    What a beautiful blog you have! Your photos are just stunning. I sure wish I had some oregano to dry. I’ll just have to grow some next year!

  6. says

    I am so glad you vouched for this technique! I always wondered if that same dehydrator that does wonders with summer tomatoes would do nicely for herbs… and here’s my answer!

    I used to hang my herbs up to dry, but I love that they don’t get dusty in the dehydrator!!

  7. says

    So the big question – how do the quality of the herbs you dry compare to something you might purchase? Is it worth buying a dehydrator and going through the effort? I bought my mother a dehydrator about 3 years ago and I don’t think she uses it anymore.

  8. says

    I could perhaps steal hers…She lives in a different city. Unfortunately, my kitchen is maxed out at the moment in terms of storage. But, maybe I’ll arrange for a herb dehydrating day some time next year.

  9. Mr D says

    Thanks for this post. Confirmed that drying my (abundant!) oregano this way will work – now I just have to borrow my mother’s dehydrator. She uses hers to dry feijoas, mmmmm.

  10. says

    Can you pick and dry oregano after it has flowers? I saw a site that said to pick before flowering. Would love to know the answer to this!

  11. Pam says

    Sammi – yes I’ve dried mine after it flowered. I saw Jamie Oliver using the dried leaves and flowers on a show and decided if he could do it, I could do it.

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