Fresh Vs. Dried Herbs: Choosing the Right Option for Your Infused Oils
Posted on June 27 2022
Infused oils can make use of substances derived from plants, and their properties make them well suited for making tinctures, poultices, salves and lotions. However, do you know whether fresh or dried herbs are more suitable for infusing oils?
Understanding Fresh Herbs
Fresh herbs come in two forms, which can be either soft or hard. Thyme and rosemary are examples of hard herbs, which are hardly consumed raw because of their high potency. On the other hand, soft herbs such as parsley and basil come with a lighter flavor and can be consumed as they are. Many fresh herbs are simple to grow and are available to purchase in supermarkets.
The plants and roots of fresh herbs may be used to create infused oil for culinary purposes, but it is recommended to use them fresh instead of placing them in long term storage. The reason for this is because bacterial growth can occur within storage jars, giving rise to possible safety concerns when consumed. However, it is possible to store infused culinary oils in a dehydrated or sundried manner.
As implied by their name, dried herbs have been intentionally dried to maximize their shelf life while preserving flavor. These herbs tend to have a stronger flavor, which means that just a small quantity can achieve desirable results. One thing you should keep in mind is that the longer dried herbs have been on the shelf, the weaker their flavor and quality. When stored in room temperature under dark and dry conditions, dried herbs can keep for up to twelve months.
Making Your Own Infused Oil from Fresh or Dried Herbs
Both fresh and dried herbs can be used to make infused oil. If you are using fresh herbs, you should wilt them for approximately twelve hours to ensure that all moisture is removed before starting the infusion process.
Below is a list of ingredients you will need:
- Fresh or dried herbs of your choice
- Sunflower or olive oil
- A botanical infuser
- Dishwasher-safe, nylon mesh bags for straining oil
A Step-by-Step Guide to Producing Infused Oils
After you have filled up your botanical infuser with the desired quantity of herbs, follow the below steps:
- Pour the Oil Over Your Herbs
Pour the sunflower or olive oil over the herbs you have already placed into your infuser. Using a bland knife or chopstick to circulate the herbs, ensure that every air pocket is oil filled. You should add enough oil to fully submerge the herbs, ensuring that the liquid reaches the brim of your infuser.
- Select the 1-hour Oil Setting
You no longer need to wait several weeks for the contents to infuse. Simply select the 1-hour setting on your botanical infuser to get the job done quickly!
- Strain the Oil
Once the hour is up, it’s time to strain your oil with the help of dishwasher-safe mesh bags. Squeeze the herbs thoroughly so that no drop is wasted.
- Cork and Label the Bottles