Drying Basil

I'm starting to dry my plants by hanging them upside down, outside in a semi shaded area. Many of the plants have gone to seed, at least have flowers etc on them. Any reason I shouldn't crush up the flower stems (tops) as well as the leaves? I'll pass on the regular stems/stalks as they are pretty hardy and look like they'll be hard to crush and to eat later. TIA
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John DeBoo wrote:

Keep anything that isn't 'woody'. Just leave it to dry, I wouldn't crush up anything until you were ready to cook with it this winter. After it dries, put it into a sealed zip bag into the freezer, it will last longer than hanging in the air.
Dawn
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wrote:

Do you eat many foods with basil flower stems in them? No, I wouldn't save stems of any sort. Fresh stems of cilantro and parsley are reasonably flavorful for use in stews or stocks, but it's the leaves of most herbs that are used for cooking.
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I don't see many recipes calling for stems, but I do use them when I'm creating a stock. I take all the stems from things like oregano, thyme, etc. and put them in a plastic bag in my freezer. When I boil up stock I then take all those stems and toss them in, it makes a richer stock.
Philip

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wrote:

Yuck, seeds and stems!!!! *VBG*
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Tom Jaszewski wrote:

What I was trying to figure out is if anything other than the leaf was worth saving. So far its 1-all, 3-leaves. I think I'm getting the message<G>.
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John DeBoo wrote:

Put me down for an "all". I strip the leaves and flowers from the stems, pass the stems back through the compost pile. I then dry the flowers & leaves and save in an airtight jar.
If I had a culinary need for the stems, I would save them too. As things are, I have a surplus just from the leaves / flowerets.
Bill
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