Storing herbs in a space-saving way, dosing them finely in dishes and enjoying the aroma while eating without biting on small stems and needles: pulverizing your dried herbs is a solution to all this and it has certain advantages.
Powdering dried herbs saves space in storage and offers other advantages, such as easy dosage of herbs as a seasoning in dishes and an inconspicuous texture. The release of flavor through pulverization can be both an advantage and a disadvantage, depending on the intended further use.
Conjuring up gentle flavors with the help of herb powder
Dried herbs enjoy great popularity. They can be found in every good kitchen as a spice and offer the great advantage that they have a long shelf life. Bottled in dark jars, they retain their intense flavor and aromatic fragrance.
Excellent for drying include sage, lovage, rosemary, mint, thyme, lemon balm, bay leaf, marjoram, savory and mugwort. Somewhat less suitable for drying are parsley, borage and basil.
Now the question is how you can get dried herbs into a practical volume. Since dried shrubbery is very voluminous, it is difficult to put in cans or jars. Some herbs have large foliage that also takes up a lot of space.
For example, if you want to store the leaves of laurel or rosemary in a space-saving way, we recommend that you turn them into a powder-like state.
How to crush dried herbs?
Widely used is the mortaring of dried herbs. Grinding herbs in a blender is also a popular application. As an example, we can mention the preparation of rosehip tea. It is advisable to dry the fruits halved at about 40 degrees Celsius and then put them in the blender to obtain a rosehip powder.
For other herbs, the cradle knife, the herb mill or the herb shears are often used successfully. A quite simple measure represents the Rebeln. This can be done by machine or by hand. The herb scissors and the cradle knife are mainly used for fresh herbs.
The decisive factor for the right method of mincing should always be the result. The final product must have a consistency that can be easily processed. Depending on the purpose of the respective herbs, you should also use the appropriate crushing method.
Processing states vary from very finely prepared powder-like powder to coarse-grained powder.
Dried spice and herb powder is a useful addition and enrichment in the kitchen. The powder can be a real gourmet ingredient, as you can dose the herbs more precisely in the powdered state. In this way, you can add gentle nuances of flavor to your cooking. Spice powder is a good idea for the preparation of herbal salts, soup powder, smoothie powder or teas.
Different ways of crushing dried herbs.
Do you mortar, chop, grind, granulate, slice, grind or grate? Which type is the most useful to get the dried herbs into a powder-like state?
First of all, of course, it depends on what purpose you want your herbal powder to serve. If you want to make tea from it, your powder does not need to be very fine. In most cases, it is enough to press or grind the loose dried herbs between the palms of your hands so that they break up slightly to release their aroma into the boiling water.
The situation is different if you want to use the herbs for seasoning food. Then you should grind the dried herbs. The best way to do this is with a herb grinder. The end product, a fine powder, allows for precise dosing with the sprinkle can and dissolves excellently in soups and sauces. The following are often ground: turmeric, coriander, nutmeg, chili, rosemary, paprika, garlic, ginger, onions, cinnamon and pepper.
By grinding the dried herbs, the surface is broken. This spreads the flavors of the plants.
Rebeln of herbs
The word “rebeln” comes from viticulture. It was originally used to describe the process of detaching the grapes from the vines. When herbs are rubbed, flowers and leaves are carefully stripped from the stems. Herbs are rubbed to preserve the aroma for as long as possible. The following rubbed herbs are usually found in the spice rack: parsley, marjoram, chervil, savory, oregano, thyme, tarragon, and basil.
Cutting and granulating herbs
Rosemary and mugwort are often sold in cut form, as their long, narrow leaves and needles make them difficult to grate.
Granules consist of fine grains with a loose consistency. Garlic and onion in granulated form are very popular.
Actually, you need to know mainly one thing: The more dried herbs have been crushed, the more practical their use turns out to be. However, spices in a cut, ground or rubbed state quickly lose their aroma, so it is worthwhile to use whole spices and reach for the mortar or herb grinder yourself. Powdering herbs is easier than it sounds at first.
Effective and practical work with the herb mill.
Herb mills enjoy great popularity, as they make kitchen work easier. They are offered both by well-known brand manufacturers, and by manufacturers without a well-known brand name alike. Herb grinders can be made of quite different materials, such as wood, zinc, stainless steel, cast iron, glass, titanium, aluminum, plastic or granite.
The heart of a herb mill is the grinder. An adjustable grinder that can be set to several levels from coarse to fine is highly recommended. A grinder made of ceramic offers the advantage that the material is tasteless and not susceptible to corrosion. You should also make sure that your herb grinder is easy to clean, robust and durable. It should be easy to clean without having to completely disassemble it. To protect it from dirt and moisture, your grinder should have a cover.
The herb mill was invented by Peugeot in 1842. At that time it was actually a pepper mill. But after some time, it was also used to grind other herbs and spices.
Universal use of the herb mill and limitations
There are electric universal mills and grinders with which you can theoretically grind almost anything. Some herb lovers also use the Thermomix for this purpose. Coffee grinders or pure pepper mills can also be used to grind herbs. However, we have heard that herbs with particularly strong flavors can then release the flavor to the coffee, as it settles in the coffee grinder. Therefore, in this case, it would be advisable to disable the coffee grinder to exclusively process herbs with it. Unless you like your coffee with a subtle hint of rosemary or thyme flavor, for example.
If you are looking for a device that grinds coffee as well as herbs, we recommend an electric spice and coffee grinder. It is specially designed for these purposes. They often come with different working containers that can be removed. Very practical are rubber feet, which have an anti-slip effect.
There are numerous handy manually operated herb mills that have a crank. If you want to resort to an electric herb grinder, make sure that the grinder is suitable for the herbs you want to use. It’s best if you choose an herb grinder that can grind all types of herbs.
How finely should you grind herbs?
Pulverizing herbs or crushing herbs, as I said, is relatively easy with the right methods and tools. Now the question arises, how finely crushed the end product should actually be. If you need the powder to flavor sauces and soups, it should be very fine. If you need it to refine casseroles or to make a hearty bread dough, the herbs can be ground coarser. For making tea, you use dried herb leaves whole, which you crumble just before pouring hot water over them.
In general, you can say, the powder is more aromatic if it is made fresh. To keep the delicious herb flavor from dissipating, you should powder your herbs by crushing them at the last minute, so to speak.
If you want to store dried herbs for the winter, make sure the jars are dark and seal well. This way, the herbs can be used for about a year. They can also be kept longer, but then with losses in quality and taste.
Mediterranean herbs dry best of all varieties. If you want to dry complete bunches, make sure they are not too large or they will tend to mold. Sage, rosemary, thyme and oregano are among the classics among herbs that you can grind excellently.