Grinding Herbs for Storage

Canning, Dehydrating, Freezing, Fermenting, etc.

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Grinding Herbs for Storage

Postby paulbee » Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:56 am

We are in the process of harvesting this years crops. Not a very good year for us here (hot and dry). Spent too much of the summer experimenting with new in ground planting in what was previously a gravel parking lot for 30+ years.

Have a bunch of crops I am drying (kale, collards, onions, etc.) in hopes of grinding and storing as powder or herb ground consistency.

Picked up an el cheapo electric coffee grinder at the big box store. Turns out it is grinds about enough coffee beans for a very small pot of coffee. Maybe a closed fist worth of material. Far too little.

What are other folks using to grind their dehydrated vegetation? Looking for something affordable, electric is fine as are hand cranked devices. Looking to grind quite a bit of stuff so something with a large feeder/hopper is important.

Thanks!
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Re: Grinding Herbs for Storage

Postby Lollykoko » Sat Aug 25, 2012 3:33 pm

I have never dealt with a large crop of herb of any sort, but my needs are small. I believe that the flavor starts to diminish when grinding happens, so I dry the product and store it in that state, grinding at time of use. Five year old sage leaves still have good flavor when I add them to meat dishes.
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Re: Grinding Herbs for Storage

Postby matt walker » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:47 pm

Paul, I'm with Lolly on this one. I store my dehydrated onions, garlic scapes, beet greens, herbs, etc, in large glass storage jars. I try to keep the product as whole as possible and then I do use a small coffee grinder to make onion powder or the like when I need it for a recipe. I use a small mortar and pestle for the herbs if I want a coarser grind. I do feel that the flavor suffers over time if they are powdered beforehand.
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Re: Grinding Herbs for Storage

Postby paulbee » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:25 am

Thanks for the input!

I am a newbie when it comes to storage and manning the kitchen :)

Have tons of glass jars with dried things lingering. Takes up quite a bit more space than I'd like. Grinding turns things into, well a very little bit. Went this route because had a nice big yield of green onions. Stashed most of it away after cleaning and cutting in freezer bags. Got so overwhelmed by them that filled up our freezers with green onions :)

Think I am going to hedge my bet on this and grind a starter set of common things for immediate use and stockpile the rest in jars for when needed grinding.

Are you folks just storing leaves and stems in their entirety in a plain ole glass container? No oxygen absorber or other special treatment, right?
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Re: Grinding Herbs for Storage

Postby matt walker » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:42 pm

I can for sure relate to the space issue. I am tempted to reduce them myself for the same reason. But yeah, for the most part just large dehydrated onion rings and zucchini chips and beet slices and stuff in glass jars. No absorbers. I don't dehydrate kale since it grows year round here. I did beet greens on a whim because a friend brought over a huge batch, and in the case of those leaves they did just kinda crush to almost powder on the way into the jar.
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Re: Grinding Herbs for Storage

Postby Lollykoko » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:47 pm

Paulbee, I am simply using glass jars, if I use anything at all. My sage started as a few stems that I tied together and hung on the wall. When the spray got small enough, I stuck it inside an old olive bottle to keep leaves from falling off and hitting the floor. The same thing happened with last years mint crop! I have dried (whole) peppers in open glass bowls, but the sun dried tomatoes are in a closed container since they were sliced before drying.

For the things you have chopped and frozen, what sort of process are you using? Frozen on cookie sheets, then contained? Vacuum sealed bags? Onion and peppers frozen in a small amount of water for later use in soups and stews? Something I haven't thought to try?
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