Cayenne pepper plants are in full swing in the garden right now, so there is no better time to start figuring out how to preserve them!
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Over the years I have become more and more interested in herbal medicine, and last winter we needed it more than ever! We had a few things that we had made and had on hand but a tincture we really could of used and did not have, needed cayenne pepper! We looked everywhere for cayenne pepper and could not find any when we needed it the most.
On top of that, if you know anything about tinctures, you know that it takes many weeks for them to be ready for use. By the time we found some or could make the tincture, we were already better after months of off and on illness.
Not this year! We decided we were going to plant our own cayenne pepper plants in the garden and be prepared for anything coming our way this fall and winter! Now that they are producing like crazy, it is time to dry them so we can make tinctures and other herbal remedies with them!
Not only are they good for herbal medicine, but so many other things as well! You can eat them and cook with them fresh, or preserve them for later use. I will also be turning them into cayenne powder and flakes after they are completely dry and ready.
What you need to string peppers for drying
- Needle – You don’t need this, but it makes it easy. Alternatively you can knot each stem as you string.
- Thread or fishing wire – if you are planning to do a big heavy group then make sure your string can handle it, but if you are like me and only stringing a few everyday as you bring them in, then sewing thread will work fine.
- A hook or place – to hang your peppers
- Cayenne Peppers – I am using my homegrown organic peppers from my garden, but you can use store bought as well
How to String Dry your Fresh Cayenne Peppers
Pick ripe and ready Cayenne peppers of your plant
Wash your peppers with cold water and a splash of vinegar then rinse
Lay out to dry and pat them with a towel to get the excess water off
Prepare a needle and a string and tie off with a knot
Grab one Cayenne pepper and string it threw the stem
Wrap the string a couple times and tie it off on the first cayenne pepper
Then, one by one string a cayenne pepper threw their stems. You do not need to knot off each one after the first.
Once you put as many as you want on the string make a loop at the top of the string for hanging
Hang your string of peppers, this could take a few weeks to a few months
Periodically check them and make sure they do not start to mold
The Cayenne pepper string is ready when you can crush the peppers easily and they crumble
- Some people say to avoid mildew, you can make a slit in the peppers for more air flow or cut them in half.
- In hot dry weather this process should go quickly
- Check your peppers often for mildew
- There’s many ways to use these peppers, check back on the blog for future posts on what I’m using mine for!