How To Dry Basil in a Dehydrator

Everybody knows the benefits of basil leaves but do you have any idea that dried basil is also quite beneficial for our health. It not only offers a unique flavor to the dish but also provides a refreshing taste to the different foods. It is true that the drying the basil leaves make its flavor less powerful, but it can still do wonders in numerous dishes.

The best part about the dried basil is that its flavor lasts for several months even after drying in the food dehydrator machine. But keep in mind that you have to cut the plant of the basil before its blooming period. After blooming, the flavor of this herb gets changed significantly, and it might get bitter for using in the dishes. You should remove the flower buds of the basil as soon as you find them.

Do you know how to dry basil in a dehydrator?

Drying basil in the food dehydrator machine is quite an easy process. You can dehydrate a large amount of basil quickly in it and can also prepare pesto from it. So, in the below article, we will guide you about the right method of drying basil in a dehydrator in a quick, easy and more consistent way.

List of essential ingredients required for drying basil in a food dehydrator

The below are the vital things that needed for drying basil in a food dehydrator:

  • Food dehydrator
  • Basil leaves
  • Water
  • Paper towel
  • Airtight jar

Step by step instructions for drying basil in a food dehydrator

The following are the steps that you need to follow for drying basil in a food dehydrator:

Step 1: Wash the basil leaves

Firstly you have to wash the leaves of the basil thoroughly under the running water. It will eradicate the entire dirt from it.

Step 2: Eradicate the Surface Water

Now you have to dry your basil leaves so that the extra water can come out. Spread the leaves on the paper towels for an hour and pat them dry.  

Step 3: Arrange on Leaves on the dehydrator Trays

Smoothly take out the leaves of the basil from the stems and spread them over the drying trays so that there is ample space amongst them for air circulation. By eradicating the stems, the basil will dry out more uniformly and rapidly.

Step 4: Dry out Until Crumbly

Put the drying trays inside the food dehydrator and set it at the lowest temperature of 35 degrees C or 95 degrees F for drying herbs like basil. You should check the drying status of the basil after every 6 hours if the humidity levels outside and inside your home are low. But don’t get surprised if the leaves take 12 hours to 24 hours for drying entirely. After proper drying, the basil will turn crumbly and crispy. However, if the basil does not get crush into bits, then, it means they are not dehydrated perfectly.

Step 5: Store dried basil Leaves in Jar

After cooling down the basil, take out the dried basil leaves from the food dehydrator and put them in the well-sealed jars made up of glass. If you do not want to use the dried basil at the moment then, don’t crush them. The flavor of the dried basil leave will start vanishing after six months. Try to store them in the dark pantry where there is no access to light. Moreover, the container in which you store them should be airtight and dry. If you have also dehydrated the flowers and stems along with the leaves then, remove them immediately.

What are the uses of the dried basil leaves?

You can use the dried basil in any tomato dish. Adding them in the early cooking process of the recipes helps in rehydrating the basil and releasing the original flavor. For example, while preparing the spaghetti sauce, you can add the basil just before including the tomato sauce so that it can fry up the basils with the onions a bit to discharge their fragrance. The dried basil can also be added to the homemade seasonings mixtures such as Italian Herb Seasoning.

The usage of the basil also linked to our history in the form of herbal medicine.  Few ancient physicians consider touted basil as a medication for scorpion bites, but this problem was not so common at that time. The health benefits of the dried basil comprise of a remedy for gas, stomach upset, Flatulence, gas, anxiety, insomnia, etc. You can use it as a healing herb by adding it in the green smoothies, salads, and soups.

Important things to know before drying basil in a food dehydrator

There are few things that you should know before drying basil in a food dehydrator, like:

  • The basil leaves get bruise quite quickly. So, you should handle it gently.
  • The water drops on the basil leaves can result in the brown spots. Thus, before drying you should eradicate the surface moisture from the basil leaves.
  • There is a high content of oil in the basil leaves. So, it will have a long time to dehydrate and also needs lots of air flow.
  • After drying in the food dehydrator, the basil leaves can turn into the rusty color. So, don’t get surprised after discoloration as it is a normal thing in the case of basil. But if the basil turns into black color or gets black spots then, it might be a sign of mildew or mold which is not right.
  • You should dehydrate the basil correctly with adequate air circulation to prevent the mold.
  • Do not let the leaves of the basil to bud as it can impact the flavor. Before the budding phase, there is the maximum amount of oil in the basil leaves. So, reap them before the budding.
  • To prevent the problem of mold in the basil, the air should circulate from both sides to avoid molding.
  • Do not overlay the basil in the food dehydrator. There must be ample spaces in the middle of the leaves.
  • If you have a large amount of basil harvest then, you can store them in the fridge for later drying purpose.
  • The dried basil leaves can last easily for one year. You can use them afterward also, but they can lose their fragrance and flavor after some time.
  • There is richness in the flavor of the dried basil leaves. So, when you dry out them, the flavor and the oil remain after the water leaves.
  • You should not crumble the dried basil leaves if you desire to use them in the tonics or teas. Its oil has a very good aroma that enhances the overall flavor of the food.

Final word

Basil is a popular herb that you can find in any country. It is quickly grown in the garden too during the summer season. But the basil plant begins to die as soon as the temperature starts cooling. So, to get the benefit of this herb in all the seasons, you can quickly dehydrate them in the food dehydrator and use it in the pesto sauce, sandwiches, salads, and many other recipes.

After reading the above information in the article, we hope that now dehydrating basil seems to be a simple method for you. You can save its leaves for the winter season too. It helps in keeping the flavor of the herb intact for lengthier times. Moreover, it offers a very strong flavor to the dishes in the colder winters. Drying the basil leaves made it handy when it is out of season. 

Have you already dehydrated the basil leaves in a dehydrator? Is there any step in the above article that you are not able to understand? If yes then, please share your queries and experiences with us in the below comment box. We will get back to you soon!

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Hi there, I’m Linda, chief editor at Dehydrator Blog. We believe in Health is wealth. After struggling to buy healthy organic food for my family, I decided that’s not the right way to do. Still today many of them not aware of food dehydrators and uses of dehydrated food. That’s why my team and I want to solve this problem. That’s how Dehydrator Blog was born.. Our mission is simple. Trying to spread awareness of dehydrator to all. Join our hands if you believe in our mission.