One of the best ways to preserve fresh thyme is to dry it. Thyme is one of the easiest herbs to dry and it preserves it's flavor so nicely!
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How to Preserve Herbs
Well, it's getting to be about that time of year when we start looking for ways to preserve our herbs. This has been a great summer for rain and I have lots of herbs to preserve! There are all kinds of ways to preserve your herbs and I think I've done every one of them!
You can make a simple syrup like Thyme Simple Syrup, infused a vinegar like Chive Blossom Vinegar, make a homemade pesto like Basil Pesto, and even infuse some salts DIY Herb Salts - which make great gifts, by the way!
Harvest Your Thyme
You're probably not going to believe this, but I have never dried thyme before!! I always use fresh thyme all summer long and then in the winter, I go buy jars of organic dried thyme. Hello! I have organic thyme in my backyard, waiting to be dried!! I can not believe that this is only occurring to me now!
Thyme grows best when it is regularly harvested. Depending on the rain that we've received I harvest it several times through the summer, and make smaller batches of dried thyme. Harvesting in the morning is best and if you only harvest once in the season, it is best to do it before blooming time.
Drying Thyme with a Dehydrator
I bought this dehydrator when the girls were small and I used it to dry fruits for them to take in their lunches. This was after they finished off a very expensive bag of dried apples in a matter of minutes!
I don't believe that they make this dehydrator any more, if I was going to get one now, I would probably get this Presto Dehydrator or if you are serious about dehydrating the Excalibur looks amazing and this Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook would give you lots of ideas!
How to Dry Thyme
All you do is wash your thyme and then lay them out in each tray, turn on the dehydrator and come back in about 3 hours to check on it! Mine was easily done in 3 hours. Some sites say it takes 24 hours! I don't know what kind of thyme they had or what kind of dehydrator, but that seems like way too much time for thyme (ha ha).
After 3 hours, I just took the dried thyme, rubbed it between my hands and the leaves easily came off of the stems. You can see that it takes a lot of thyme to make a little bit of dried thyme leaves!