Parsley is a flowering plant, today widely used as a culinary herb or a dried spice. It has a light scent and a fresh taste and can be used in anything from soups to meat and sauces. Parsley is extremely beneficial for your health. Why is that? Well, it contains many important nutrients, is rich in antioxidants, contains cancer-fighting substances and supports bone health. There are two kinds of parsley: flat leaf and curly leaf.
Both kinds can be used in cooking, but curly leaf parsley is more associated with decorating purposes. Usually, restaurants use the latter. One of the great things about parsley is that you can find it almost everywhere, and it isn’t expensive. It is easy to grow, and it makes for a great addition to your home garden. We can use parsley either fresh or dried. However, fresh parsley only lasts for approximately two weeks while dried parsley lasts for a much longer time.
Steps to successfully dry parsley
When it comes to drying parsley, there is more than one way to do it with different steps each. First, you can fully dry it using the oven method. The first step to do so is by washing the fresh parsley using cold water and separating the tender leaves by removing the woody parts of the stem.
After, you should blanch the parsley in boiling water for approximately 20 to 30 seconds. Next, find a baking sheet, cover it with brown paper and place the parsley across it. Make sure you put it evenly spaced. Afterward, you may put the tray in the oven and keep it there from 2 to 4 hours depending on the speed by which it dries. Keep in mind that you must use the lowest setting so you don’t burn the parsley and make sure you check it regularly.
Once you can easily crumble it with your fingers, it means that it is dry enough and you can take it out of the oven. Afterward, you can store it so it stays fresh for weeks.
The second way to dehydrate parsley is air drying. With this method, you won’t need a lot of equipment. Parsley’s most tender point is early in the morning, and that’s when you have to gather it. It should be as dry as possible. Separate the parsley in bundles and secure them with rubber bands. After, you can place the bundles in brown paper bags with cut holes or tie them and hang them in your kitchen.
The parsley will be dried enough when it can easily crumble in your fingers, which is about to happen approximately two weeks after you have placed it in the bags or hung it. Last, place your dried parsley in an air-tight container.
Sun drying is another way to dry your parsley. The only thing you’ll need is some old window screens, a baking sheet and a warm, sunny day. Cut the old screens in order for them to fit your baking sheet and put your parsley on top of the screens. We need the window screen to make sure that the air flows freely around the parsley.
Afterward, you must put the baking sheet in some sunny, warm area like your porch. The drying time will depend on how much sun you will get in the area you put your parsley. It usually takes a couple of days for the drying process to be completed. Each time the sun sets, make sure you bring the sheet in your home in order to avoid getting dew on the parsley. When it is completely dry, store it.
Store parsley by freezing it.
By storing parsley, you ensure that it stays fresh for weeks. We can freeze parsley to last for almost a year. By freezing it, the parsley keeps most of his aroma. This is the best method and frozen parsley has more aroma than the powder.
The best way to preserve your parsley is:
- First, trim a bit off the bottoms of the stem and then fill a glass or a jar with water. The next step is covering your glass or jar loosely with a plastic bag.
- Last, you put it in the fridge to freeze the parsley. Make sure you change the water when it becomes cloudy, which will happen every few days.
Extra tip: You can keep fresh most of the other herbs using the exact above way!