Friday, July 10, 2015

Harvesting and Preserving Basil

Before I was allocated my little corner spot, I had two little rows where I grew two kinds of basil (and corn, to maximize the tiny land space). One was Thai Basil, which my mutter brought from her allotment at Bah Soon Pah, and the other was Sweet Basil, which I regrew from the harvest-ready version I got from Jasons supermarket @ Ion.

Since we were all forced to uproot our plants for the reallocation of plots, I had to either harvest my plants or kill them while transplanting them. I had to admit that I didn't really take very good care of my basil plants, therefore the ugly ass stems, them poor things.

So I harvested most of the leaves to dry and took stem cuttings for transplants instead.

I researched online on how to do the preservation. I chose 2 methods, the dry naturally method and the dry by microwave method.

Btw when you do either method, after washing the stems, you have to make sure that the leaves are laid out to dry properly. I am not sure why but the sweet basil always develop really hideous black markings if they are not dried well.

I cut the basil by stems for easy collection, chucking those that were damaged by insects (like I said, I didn't really take good care, and I was into "organic gardening", i.e. no pesticides). I washed them as carefully as I could before tying bunches up for natural drying. Natural drying in my case means hanging them up by bunches on the washing line *lol*.

As for the leaves that came off some of the stems/ the larger leaves, after laying them out on paper towels for drying, I switched on the convection function in my microwave oven to a temp of 100 deg C, and dried them until they looked like this:
Then I tossed them in my good old IKEA mixing bowl and crushed them into little flakes. Note here: later I read somewhere that it was better to not crush them because I'd lose the good oils in the leaves. Ah well.
Final state

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Because Gardening makes me wanna Dance! Thanx for visiting!!!

Because Gardening makes me wanna Dance! Thanx for visiting!!!