The best time to harvest
The taste of oregano is most intense before or during flowering. If possible, cut the oregano branches on a rain-free morning, because the aroma of the herbs is not very intense in the evenings and on rainy days.
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Prepare for drying
With herbs from your own garden, which are usually neither sprayed nor fertilized regularly, you should refrain from washing them thoroughly before bundling them. The moisture remaining on the leaves would delay the drying process and the aroma of the herbs would suffer. It is sufficient to shake the branches vigorously after harvesting to free them from loosely adhering dust and garden soil.
If it is necessary to wash the oregano, pre-dry the branches on absorbent kitchen paper. Please do not shred the twigs, as the precious essential oils leak out at every break or cut.
Bundle the oregano and dry
Herbs should always be air dried:
- Gather oregano sprigs into loose bundles and tie with twine.
- Hang branches upside down in a warm, sheltered, dry place.
- Leave enough space between the individual bunches of herbs; this prevents mold growth.
- The room temperature should not rise above 30 - 35 degrees.
- Ideal places for drying are roofed and not too warm summer houses or attics.
- You can also dry the oregano in the apartment. Bundled with a pretty ribbon, the small herbal bouquets make an attractive room decoration.
After four to seven days, the oregano is completely dry and can be stored.
Dry oregano in the oven or dehydrator
Only use adjustable dehydrators that gently remove moisture from the herbs at temperatures between thirty and fifty degrees. Even with faster drying in the dehydrator, the oregano's aromatic substances are destroyed at higher temperatures. Since the dehydrators offer less space, the oregano branches have to be chopped up a bit before drying.
Dry oregano in the oven
When drying in the oven, make sure to select the lowest possible temperature. Spread the oregano sprigs loosely on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. The oven door should remain ajar during the drying process. It has proven useful to clamp a wooden spoon in the door so that it remains slightly open in the upper area.
When the herb is completely dry, the small leaves and flowers are carefully removed from the branches (rubbed). Store the herb in well-closing containers made of dark-tinted glass or ceramic. This means that no light penetrates the herbs and they are well protected from fading and loss of aroma due to oxidation.
Tips & Tricks
Make sure the oregano has seen a sunny day or two before harvest. As a result, it develops a particularly large number of aromatic substances and tastes more intense.
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How can fruit and vegetables be stored correctly so that they stay fresh as long as possible?
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