Grinding Herbs

Guest post by Amy Urquhart

Today I got around to grinding up my dried herbs. Why? Because I found a great deal on a coffee bean grinder at Loblaws…$9.99! It worked really well.

Each weekend lately I’ve been harvesting from the garden whatever edibles I can. I managed to bring in almost all of the sage I had growing, along with all of the thyme and a bunch of mint, too. I hung them up in little bundles on an old wine rack in our laundry room. Today I found they were all nice and crunchy, so I brought them upstairs to the dining room, rolled up my sleeves, and got to work separating all those mint and sage leaves from their stems. The sage leaves came off very easily with a satisfying little snap as they popped off the stem. The mint was a bit more problematic, though. I basically just had to crunch whatever I could into a bowl. The stems were much more unwieldy. This is an herb that would do better if you cut the leaves off the stems before drying.

Herbs ready to be ground.

At some point I hope to get ahold of an old window screen, so I can spread leaves out on it for drying. For now, the hanging bundle method will have to suffice.

The new grinder did a bang-up job of whizzing catnip, mint and sage. I kept the catnip and mint around the consistency of tea (since I intend to use the mint as tea) but ground the sage as finely as I could. It smelled wonderful, and I inhaled a little catnip, but found it extremely satisfying to pour the contents of the grinder into a Ziploc bag, marking the contents as I went. I feel like I’ve moved on to “Advanced Gardening” now that I’m harvesting everything!

Of course, Farley had to help, too.

He just has to get in the middle of everything!


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7 thoughts on “Grinding Herbs

  1. Is there a particular reason to grind the herbs? For cooking? (I dry things like mint for tea but stuff them whole into jar and later, teaball, but perhaps I’m missing something.)

  2. You’re right, I didn’t really need to grind the mint, but I had a new toy to play with. It also saves having to crumble the leaves later if I want to use them as a garnish for ice cream or other desserts.

    I like to use sage as a powder for making stuffing for turkey.

    Farley likes to lick up the catnip so I grind it smaller for him.

  3. I was doing the same thing last night. I also grind some herbs and not others. Depends on the herb (some crush easily between the fingers, some don’t) and how I intend to use them. i.e. I keep mint leaves intact for tea but grind basil.

  4. Ash: I was doing that just the other day and thought the same thing. I love and mortar and pestle! I am often drawn to a nice one in a store even though I don’t need more.

  5. I also grind my dried herbs in my little Black&Decker mini food processor. My favorite is a combo of sage, summer savory, chives & parsley – called ” fines herbes ” -I use it in stuffings, in omelets, on chicken. It is a wonderful mix. If I run out of chives, I substitute dried celery leaves.
    I dry my smaller herbs,e.g., mint, sage, basil, oregano, in brown paper sandwich bags. Tie the top of the bag or use an elastic or twist tie, hang them to dry and they stay very clean. I wrap my summer savory in newspaper or large brown paper grocery bags. Keeps the dust out.My organically grown dried garden herbs taste so much better than what you buy in the grocery store.

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