Air drying herbs, seeds, and nuts

Gin Lee

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Air drying herbs, seeds, and nuts/Gin Lee

Air drying herbs, seeds, and nuts

Air drying foods is certainly not a new concept. It's been used for decades to store food safely. It's a simple, cost efficient way of preserving food for long-term shelf life.

Air dried foods can last for well over a year when stored properly, usually from eighteen months and longer, depending on what the food items are.

Air drying is very similar to dehydrating food in a machine. But it's actually better to air dry food items when it's possible, because it minimizes the loss of nutrients such as essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins. In fact, this method of preserving food is about as close as one can get to eating a raw diet.

When I first started air drying, I used a string to tie herbs up in bunches and used the needle and thread method to string peppers and mushrooms. I then hung my food in a well-ventilated room inside my home.

Nowadays, you can purchase mesh air dehydrators with tiers of ventilated shelves. Which is what I also have and use in my greenroom for dehydrating some of my leafy herbs such as lemon balm, mints, basil, thyme, and oregano.

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Air drying herbs, seeds, and nuts/Gin Lee

What I specifically like about the mesh air dehydrators is that most have zipper enclosures, which helps keep the food safe from flies, mosquitoes and other creatures should you want to hang the air dehydrator outside. However, I normally leave mine hanging inside because the outside dust is horrible where I live.

Air drying herbs, seeds, and nuts

Air drying foods is extremely easy to do, it is energy efficient, and cost efficient. So for anyone who is interested in living a modest life, off grid or not, it's a self-sustainable way to prepare your food for the long-term without having to use electricity or fuel.

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Air drying onions/Gin Lee

The tried-and-true way to bunch herbs, onions, and garlic by string, or using rubber bands around the stems, still works perfectly. To air dry in this manner, just gather a bunch of the herbs, etc., tie string around them, and hang them upside down to dry in a warm location inside. Because onions and garlic have a strong odor, dry them separately from other herbs.

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Air drying herbs, seeds, and nuts in a hanging mesh air dehydrator/Gin Lee

Air-drying herbs, seeds, and nuts inside a hanging air dehydrator:

After hanging the air dehydrator in a dry, warm location inside, clip the sprigs off your herbs with scissors, either leave the leaves attached to their stems, or clip them off. Wash the leaves, then shake the excess water off. Place them inside the hanging mesh dehydrator. Do not overlap and make sure that there's space in between the herbs. When herbs are fully dry, their leaves will become brittle and their leaves will easily crumble. Store dried herbs in spice jars or plastic Ziploc bags.

For herbs with tiny leaves, and for drying seeds, use paper towels, tea cloth, or cheese cloth to lay them on. Even though the mesh lined shelves work well for herbs such as lemon balm, basil, and mints, the smaller leaves (such as thyme) and tiny seeds sometimes still fall through the holes in the mesh.

Air-drying unshelled nuts:

For unshelled nuts, lay them directly onto the mesh shelves. Spread the nuts out in thin layers and allow them to dry. Nuts dry best with a small fan circulating a gentle air flow on them, or out on a screened-in porch. The time it takes nuts to dry will depend on what type of nuts they are. When nuts such as pecans and walnuts are dried, you'll be able to shake the nuts and hear them move inside the shells.

Notes:

Vegetables and meats can also be air dried, sun dried, oven dried, and, of course, dehydrated in an electric dehydrator.

The key to successfully dehydrating food is keeping sufficient air flow on whatever you're dehydrating. High humidity can produce mold. Regardless of the dehydration techniques you have used, throw away any food if it has any mold forming on it.

Always store dehydrated food in airtight containers and place it in a dark pantry.

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It is within my mission to ensure that readers will receive original and valuable news content. The content will be written about a large variety of topics. I find my inspiration in the art of design, illustrations, as well as writing content for viewers like you! As an author, designer, artist, animal rescuer, food blogger, organic gardener, freelance journalist, and contributor, I strive to encourage my readers to learn about topics that they may not be fluent in, as well as share my common knowledge about important elements of interest. Because, as circumstances have it, I do live in an extraordinarily rural area, of which I'm proud to profess. Writing for NewsBreak is an enlightened and enjoyable experience. It's been a collection of milestones for me. Concurrently, you (as well as I) have touched base on so many news levels, and we have all learned from the research I've done on a variety of topics. Although this is just a small token of my appreciation to all of my readers and followers, I want to say with a happy heart, and my arms wide open- Thank you for being you! And thank you for liking, subscribing, and following me! It means more to me than mere words can say! Addressing the rudeness in the room (in a way of speaking). Rudeness and hatefulness is why I turn the comments off on the articles in which I write. The world has enough vulgarity, hatefulness, and arrogance without it having any help. Since having the simple courtesy of manners is lacking, and sharing words of kindness does not abide in a few people. Those few people ruin what's supposed to be educational and an enjoyable experience for all others. I don't have the comments turned off because I can't handle ill manners. I turn them off because I do have children and young adults that are followers. Potty mouths, vulgarity, and hate are not acceptable. Sometimes I get busy and I don't get to turn off the comment notifications until a few hours have passed. This is why sometimes a few comments squeak through. I apologize to those of you who generally are very sweet and I also apologize to my followers who have been a witness to others being rude and malicious. I hope that as my followers, you'll be understanding of the measures that I have to take. Please be kind to one another.

Hickory Ridge, AR
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