Drying Sage

Drying sage and other herbs is the perfect way to store your summer harvest for use throughout the year. Although nothing beats the taste of fresh sage, it can be awfully hard to find in the dead of winter and dried sage is a great alternative.

Drying Sage From Your Garden

Air drying sage is a simple way to extend the harvest of your summer herb garden. By slowly removing the moisture from sage leaves, you retain the essential oils (and flavor) of the plant. Here's how to create perfect dried sage from your herb garden:

  • Early and often. Sage, like other herbs, benefit from frequent harvesting. Gathering sage often promotes the growth of young, flavorful leaves and overall plant health. Also, remove any flower buds as they appear, as flowering will reduce the flavor in sage leaves.
  • Out to sea. To clean your sage leaves and remove insects, plunge them in cool salted water for a full minute. Rinse the leaves under clear water and dry them with paper towel or a salad spinner.
  • Hanging around. Gather sage leaves by their stems and tie them into bunches with string. Hang the bunches in a cool dry place for about three weeks. After your sage is dry, remove the leaves from the stem. Store the leaves in an airtight container and discard the stems.
  • Got gas? If you have a gas oven and won't be using it for a while, you can place sage bunches on the center rack of the oven for four days. The heat of the pilot light will help accelerate the drying process, leaving your sage dry, bright green and full of flavor.
  • A cold alternative. If you don't have the time for drying sage, freezing is a good option. Clean and dry the sage as normal and then layer them in a tightly sealed plastic container. Frozen sage may be kept for up to four months and it will retain its color and flavor.
Related Life123 Articles

Common sage is a semi-hardy perennial that grows to 2 feet high, depending on variety, and has purplish blue flowers. Numerous varieties include broadleaf, clary and pineapple.

Guide to Growing Sage. You'd be wise to add sage to your garden. Sage is one of the most ancient medicinal and culinary herbs known, sacred to the Romans, revered by the Chinese and said to cure almost anything that ailed you, improve your brain function and bring you immortality.

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