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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Zone 5b (Detroit, MI)
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