Dried Chives

amprice(5)December 13, 2008

I dried chives for the first time this year by hanging them upside down for well over 2 weeks. They felt dry and were brittle (crumbled) so I put them in jars with screw tight lids. I went to use some about 6 weeks later and they smelled like Hay so I threw them out. What did I do wrong? Or is that the way they are supposed to smell when dried? Maybe I just have a too sensitive sense of smell!!!!

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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Some herbs, like parsley and chives, really can't be hung and dried. If they do dry without getting moldy (a difficult thing in my climate!), you have items that are pale comparisons to the original in taste and in color. If you are going to dry them, use a food dehydrator or a convection oven on the lowest setting. You need them to dry as quick as possible for best flavor and color.


    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 2:32PM
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I have good results with just chopping and freezing them. If you make sure that they are good and dry, they won't stick together so you can just shake what you want out of the bag. I get much better color and flavor than drying.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 4:45PM
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You did nothing wrong. That's what happens when you try to dry chives. It doesn't matter how you go about it, they just lose flavour and colour.

Chives are best frozen for storage. Freeze them in thin, flat 'pancakes' so pieces can be easily broken off as required.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 5:13PM
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i did put some up by putting them in ice cube trays and then filling with water - when they froze i popped them out and put them in a freezer bag - but are they still useable that way say for mashed potatoes or will they make my potatoes soggy? What types of recipes can i use them this way?

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 6:49PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Chives, like Cilantro are volitile as to smell and taste. The chives are usually freeze dried as opposed to plain drying, which seems to help retain a litte flavor and color. Drying ANY herbs without a good dehydrator will yield poor results. Cilantro loses almost all flavor once dried. Here, my wild onions (tiny pea sized bulbs) grow all throughout the winter months and I can harvest fresh greens from October through May. Adding excess water to potatoes will make a looser product.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 10:58AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance

My two cents: The ice cube sounds great! I put lots of herbs in water in a baggie for freezing. When I want to use them, I just let the baggie thaw, drain out the water, and then use the herbs in recipes. Your potatoes should be fine if you just drain the water off before using.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 10:34AM
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