Do you know how to dry basil?
Basil - a unique plant that has the mostwide application in medicine and cooking. Excellent taste and many useful components - these are its main characteristics. Do you know how to dry basil to preserve its basic properties? There are several interesting techniques that will certainly be very useful for housekeeping.
Useful properties of basil
Before you talk about how to dry basil,Let's define, what for it generally to do? What are the properties of this useful plant and what is it most often used for in everyday life? So, this miracle of nature includes such components as:
- malic and ascorbic acids;
- vitamins A, B, C, P;
- essential oils.
There are different varieties of basil,slightly different from each other for a number of properties (ordinary, anise, small-leaved, bush, violet, etc.). In general, they can be described as plants, which help relieve pain and spasms, reduce seizures and gas formation in the stomach, improve mood, promote tone. This herb is also successfully taken with cough. Useful properties of basil can be listed for a long time, this spicy plant is truly unique and has been used successfully in folk medicine for many years.
Why use basil?
Equally widespread was theplant and in the world of cooking. Most often it can be found as an additive to a salad or soup. Immediately it is worth mentioning that basil can be consumed both in fresh and dried form, and the latter option is no less popular. Seasoning is often used in the preparation of meat dishes, marinades and various preparations for the winter. In addition, basil is added to alcoholic beverages. On its basis make broths that help with colds, and essential oil is used in cosmetology and aromatherapy. Most often, basil is used as a spice. It has a sweet, memorable taste and a very pleasant, tender fragrance.
The two easiest ways to dry
So, how to dry basil? The first way, which we'll talk about, is the simplest. It will be enough to select the twigs of this plant with a small number of leaves (about 6), tie several pieces into a bundle and hang it on a rope. This technique will allow you to keep the fragrance in, so to speak, pristine condition. To obtain a qualitative result, a number of conditions will be required. So, drying should be done in a dry, cool and dark place. On average, this procedure takes two to three weeks. Remember that for the preparation of spices only the leaves of basil will do. After the plant has dried, dump them and store them in a tightly closed container.
If you do not want to wait for the specified intervaltime, then there is a faster way to dry the basil. It takes no more than 72 hours (2-3 days). Gently tear off the leaves from the branches, cut the largest specimens in half. Place them on paper or newspaper in one layer and leave in a dark place. Remember that for the drying period it will be necessary to provide shade and excellent ventilation of the air in the room. It is generally accepted that a spice prepared in this way is less aromatic.
Sush basil in the oven
How correctly to dry a basil? Are there any other effective options? You can use for this purpose an ordinary oven. Cut off the basil leaves, rinse them and blot to remove excess moisture. Spread them on a baking sheet and send to dry (at a temperature of about 40 degrees) for 2 hours. In the process, the basil needs to be thoroughly mixed. Please note: Do not close the oven door tightly, leave a small slot for air circulation. At the end of this time, the dried basil is left in the off oven for at least 12 hours. After that, the leaves are ground and stored in a tightly closed jar of glass.
Do not want to dry? Let's freeze!
Basil for the winter can not only dry, but alsoto freeze. Many consider this method to be the most optimal, since in the plant all the useful substances, including essential oils, are retained to the maximum. Collect fresh leaves from the plant, do not subject them to any processing, it will be enough just to finely chop them. Spread the basil on a tray in one layer and send it to the freezer for 4 hours. Then the finished product can be poured into a plastic bag, gently tied and sent to long-term storage until use.
How to grow basil in your garden?
Basil, photo, which is given above, it is possible withsuccess to grow on own garden. You can use seeds for this, but you do not have to have a big crop in this case. Grass sown in this way, as a rule, is characterized by a slight growth and a small number of leaves. The ideal solution is to plant seedlings in the garden. For this purpose, the seeds are pre-germinated in the ground in room conditions, the shoots are dived (as necessary) and at the end of spring, when the temperature reaches comfortable marks, they are planted in the open ground. Most often this occurs in the month of May. To collect a good harvest, you must not forget about regular care. To do this, the soil must be carefully loosened and watered.