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The colloquial Maggikraut and convinces with a fine-spicy taste. Lovage is easy to dry and retains its intense aroma if done correctly.

In a nutshell

  • Maggi herb can be stored dry for a long time
  • Harvest before flowering
  • Drying process either in the air or in the oven possible
  • then store in an airtight container in a dark place
  • only chop or grind for the preparation of food

harvest

Lovage is a fast-growing and robust perennial, so the leaves can be harvested continuously and used for cooking. Even before the bushy plant starts flowering, it contains its aromatic ingredients such as various essential oils. Due to the lush growth, however, an excess amount of the spicy plant quickly accumulates, which can be preserved for a long time by various drying processes. The ideal time to harvest is from late spring to early summer. After that, the proportion of bitter substances increases and the lovage no longer tastes quite as aromatic. However, the seeds, stalks and roots also have a strong flavor and are suitable for seasoning and drying.

  • Harvest leaves between May and June, before flowering
  • The ideal time is late in the morning
  • Pick only on warm and dry days
  • Do not proceed in the blazing midday sun
  • The essential oils evaporate when exposed to heat
  • Cut shoots with a sharp and disinfected knife
  • Make the cut just above the ground
  • Alternatively, use strong kitchen scissors

Tip: If you harvest the maggi herb regularly, significantly more new shoots with aromatic leaves will grow back.

preparation

If the lovage is not eaten immediately after harvesting, the herb will lose its typical flavor if stored for too long. Therefore, it should be prepared for drying quite soon. Do not wash the leaves with water when cleaning, as this will lead to the loss of aroma.

  • Gently shake off dirt and dust
  • Wipe off other dirt residues with a slightly damp cloth
  • Remove individual withered leaves
  • Pin shoots together to form small bouquets
  • Tie with twine made from natural materials

air dry

Air drying is a particularly gentle method of preserving the herb. In contrast to freezing, the lovage loses only a little of its spicy aroma when it is dried. However, a slight change in taste is to be expected, and the color of the leaves will also change.

  • A dark and dry place is ideal
  • Hang bouquets upside down
  • Protect from direct sunlight
  • Ensure good ventilation and freedom from dust
  • Temperature values between 20° and 30° Celsius are ideal
  • The drying process takes between 2-5 days
  • Don't let it hang too long, cabbage can crumble

Drying in the oven

If it needs to be done quickly or there is no space for air drying, the lovage can also be dried in the oven. The leaves can also be laid out on a tray next to other herbs if the individual quantities are not particularly large. The temperatures in the oven must not be too hot, otherwise the herb will burn and lose its spicy flavor. The leaves and stalks must then cool down well before being stored in containers.

  • Oven temperature should be below 50° Celsius
  • It is best to set it to the lowest level
  • Line the baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Distribute the shoots loosely and at a distance from each other
  • Open the oven door a little, wedge a wooden spoon in between
  • This allows excess moisture to escape unhindered
  • Drying process takes a few hours
  • Depends on the thickness and size of the sheets

storage

After the drying process, the herb should be placed in suitable containers so that it retains its aromatic taste for a long time. Otherwise the lovage quickly becomes inedible and bitter.

  • Store in opaque cans or jars
  • Seal containers airtight, vacuum-packed is ideal
  • Store in a dark, dry and cool place
  • In this way, the herb can be kept for many months
  • Freshly chop the leaves and stalks for cooking
  • Alternatively, grind finely in a mortar

Notice: After drying, do not immediately grind the lovage into a powder, as this will quickly oxidize the spice and then lose its aroma.

frequently asked Questions

Is it also possible to use a dehydrator for maggi herb?

The herb can also be preserved very well with a dehydrator. Good temperature values for this are between 30° and 45° Celsius, the duration is about 1 to 2 days. Lay the shoots well distributed on the dryer sieves of the device and rotate them in between if there are several tiers. This will speed up the drying process a bit.

What is the procedure for the seeds and roots?

The seeds and roots of the lovage are much stronger and more concentrated in taste and are reminiscent of celery. Therefore, they should only be used sparingly. Harvest seeds in late summer, after flowering, when they turn brown. When drying, hang upside down over a paper bag to catch seeds that fall from the shoots. Roots can be cut off from older specimens from autumn until new shoots appear in spring. Then carry out the drying process as with the leaves.

What can dried lovage be used for in the kitchen?

The herb is ideal for seasoning stews, soups, salads and fish and meat dishes. It gives the dishes an intense flavor that is reminiscent of the spice Maggi. You can also use it to prepare a tea that, among other things, provides a beneficial remedy for the gastrointestinal tract in the event of heartburn and a feeling of fullness.

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