Drying Stevia, Mint and Basil for Storage
Answered by: Koidu Sulev
Question from: William
Posted on: October 20, 2010

I have stevia, three types of basil and mint that I planted this spring in my garden. How do I harvest them for use and keep them during winter?

Stevia: Cut the plant 6-8’ from the ground. Pick any discoloured or insect bitten leaves and throw out. Strip the healthy leaves and place them in a thin layer on kitchen towel and dry in a warm dark spot until the leaves are crumbly between your fingers. You will need to turn over the layer every day. Store in a closed glass jar in a dark place. Before using, crumble the leaves into smaller pieces. Be aware that Stevia is very sweet, so use only a small amount.

Mint: Same method as for drying stevia.

Alternative method for stevia and mint: Dry cleaned branches, cut to 8-9’ (6-7) to a bunch, tie with an elastic band and hang the bunches in a warm and dry place out of the sun. Strip the leaves when crumbly and store in a closed glass jar.

Basil: Basil does not dry well - loses its flavour. Chop the cleaned leaves and place them in ice cube trays packing them tightly. Pour a small amount of water on top and freeze. Store the frozen cubes in zip lock freezer bags. Small bags are better, because each time you open the bag when using the basil, air will cause condensation and the cubes will get soggy.

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