What is the best way to strip thyme leaves from the stems? Before drying? After drying? Or is it OK to include some of the stem with the crushed or ground leaves?
If I'm drying them to make some dry thyme for the spice cabinet I dry the whole stems and then strip the leaves when they are dry. I try to exclude most of the stems but a little piece here and there won't hurt.
The leaves are so tiny they are a bear to strip. Maybe I was looking for magic. Thanks.
When fresh they come off more easily if you pull down from the tip of the sprig rather than up from the base of the stem. You need to hold the tip in one hand and pull with the finger and thumb of the other. Once they are dry you can roll them around in your hands and most of the leaves will come off.
Totally understand what you are going through. I love thyme too but the reality of it is that if you want to use fresh thyme you have to take your "thyme". I too just hold it and slide my fingers down and MOST of it falls off when it is fresh. Not all. You have to do a little more work yourself. Good luck................Links
The French just tie a string around the herbs and toss it into the pot. Later discard the string with the stem.