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Measurement of fresh herbs vs. dried ?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hello All;
A recipe calls for fresh sage and thyme but I only have dried. If the recipe calls for 1/4 cup of fresh sage, how much dried sage does that equate to ?

Tim
post #2 of 20
The general rule of thumb is to exchange them on a 3:1 basis. That is, if using dried herbs you substitute them at the rate of 1/3 the fresh.

In your specific case, the recipe calls for 4 tablespoons of fresh. That converts to 1 1/3 tablespoons of dried, or 4 teaspoons.
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 20
I was taught 2:1 Is there a theory behind 3:1? I dont have one. I was just told and I do
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post #4 of 20
Over the years I've heard both 2:1 and 3:1.
I think it's because different herbs have different impact.
Start with one of those, taste and adjust.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #5 of 20
I have also been told 2 and 3 .I just do it by taste, however a dried herb sitting in your pantry for a long time is not as potent. You can also see this buy the colors of the dried herbs. The newer the more vibrant.
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post #6 of 20
Oh, and I also crush the dried herbs in the palm of my hand for more potency.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #7 of 20
While herb potency does degrade over time you can delay the process.

The worst offenders, in terms of their effects on herbs, are light and heat. Yet we all tend to keep herbs out in the kitchen where we can see them readily. In short, we're exposing them to the two worst environmental factors we can.

If, on the other hand, you store them inside a cool cabinet, they'll last a lot longer. Keep them in paper bags in the fridge and you'll almost always use them up long before they turn "bad."

Best approach, really, is to buy them in small amounts often, rather than in large amounts occasionally.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #8 of 20
>Oh, and I also crush the dried herbs in the palm of my hand for more potency. <

Ya know, Jim, I do the same thing. Or crush them in a mortar, when appropriate.

But I often wonder if all we're doing is releasing some of the essential oils? This makes the herbs smell stronger. But are they really?

Obviously I have no answer, so will continue crushing on the basis of it can't hurt, and may help, so why not.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #9 of 20
I remember Graham Kerr on TV and he did this all the time. The heat generated from rubbing is supposed to make them stronger. I question the whole process because when you put them from your hand to any hot product the same thing happens, they get stronger with or without rubbing. On top of something cold I can understand it.
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post #10 of 20
My Oregano has just flowered, so i'll be cutting it soon and tying it up to dry. I dont like the idea of the oven drying method. I'll let it dry in its own time. Always impatient to use it tho. Crushed, dried flowers in a bolognese cant be beat. OH reckons i sound like a junkie when i go on about it :D
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #11 of 20
For drying I tie the herbs into bundles, then shroud them with a paper bag from the grocery. That whole thing gets hung.

The bag both blocks light, and acts as a dust shield.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #12 of 20
ooh! good call. I guess tissue paper'll work fine too. Thanks.
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #13 of 20
Could it be i've grown something other than Oregano? It looks and smells like oregano but...

I made a chilli con carne type thing for dinner tonight with loads of veg in it. tasted great. Me n number 2 son were salivating by the time the rice was ready. Then I thought, Hang on, i'll use the flowers now. (off the growing plant) So stuck a whole head of them in the pot. It was absolutely bloody awful. I mean the worst taste ever. I even gargled my red wine to try and get the nastiness out of my mouth. Now I'm disinclined to dry the plant.
I've used dried oregano flowers before and they've been good...WHAT HAPPENED?
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #14 of 20
I can offer a guess, Bughut, but no real experience.

Generally speaking, when herbs go to flower they turn bitter. There are exceptions, such as chives. And the classic case is basil---if basil is in flower the leaves are all but inedible. Keeping the flowers pinched off seems to help, though.

This is my first year growing oregano, and I've been dutiful about pinching off the flowers.

However, you say you've done this in the past successfully. So maybe the flowers=bitter doesn't apply to oregano.

>Could it be i've grown something other than Oregano?<

Where did you get the plant? Maybe they can shed some light on this?
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #15 of 20
>I guess tissue paper'll work fine too<

Worth a try, I reckon.

Normally you want the shroud to be as opaque as possible, and I'd be concerned about the amount of light the tissue lets in.

The one thing you absolutely do not want to use is plastic. Both heat and moisture are retained inside plastic bags and the like, which could lead to a mold problem.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #16 of 20
thanks for your insight KYH. I didnt know that about flowering herbs.
This is my first time too for growing oregano specifically for drying. The stuff i used before was bought at a farm shop.
Just a thought... maybe i should've picked the individual fowers... I just cut of a bunch and chopped them up. Greenery as well. Probarbly a bit of stalk in there too
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #17 of 20
Origanum vulgare subspecies hirtum - Greek Oregano, Wild Oregano.
This is a subspecies of the widespread wild oregano, and is found only in Greece, Turkey, and the islands of the Aegean Sea (it is sometimes incorrectly referred to as Origanum heracleoticum), and is the essential herb for pizza. Known as 'origini' in Greece, it is only summer flowering heads that are dried and used. The flowers are always white. The leaves are fuzzy, oval and somewhat coarse in relation to the other species. The flavor is strong, austerely and hotly aromatic, penetrating and slightly bitter. This is the strongest flavored 'oregano'. It is the species used for extraction of essential oils, the dried foliage having around 3% of oils, depending on growing conditions and seedling variability. The concentration of oils is so high that lengthy handling of large amounts of the dried product can cause irritation to sensitive skins.
--------------------

Looks like i'm growing greek stuff. I'll grow from seed next year. Not gonna bother doing anything with this crop. I'll just let it go to seed.

Thanks for the help anyway
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #18 of 20
Maybe for the drying (no experience here except for lavender) some tissue paper or kitchen paper inside a brown paper bag? Just a thought, so that the moisture gets soaked up and the sunlight is kept out.

I've got some nice flowering rosemary at the moment - its very pretty, planning to use some this weekend with lamb roast - leaves for flavour, flowers at last minute for decoration.
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #19 of 20
There's no need for both, DC. All I use are the brown paper bags.

Tie the bundles leaving excess string. Cut a small hole centered in the bottom of the bag. Pass the extra string through that hole, pull the herb bundles up into the bag, and use the excess string to hang the whole thing in an airy place.

That's just how I do it; neither better nor worse than others. The only real no-no: do not hang herbs in direct sunlight.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #20 of 20
There is Oregano then there is ornamental oregano( which I grow because it keeps bugs away and makes my back patio smell good). The ornamental herb is larger and has larger leaves. Commercially they extract oil from it. You can't use in cooking as it really gets bitter:bounce:
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