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The Mediterranean coast is considered the homeland of parsley, but at the same time this aromatic and tasty seasoning is spread throughout Europe and Asia.
It is grown even in Siberia and the Far East. To be able to use this crop all year round, many housewives harvest it for the winter using drying during the summer season. In this article, we will look at how to prepare raw materials and various options for drying parsley. We will also tell you by what signs you can understand that the workpieces have deteriorated.
Why procure for future use?
Unfortunately, in our country there is no opportunity to grow greens all year round, so many garden crops are harvested for the winter. Dried parsley is very popular.
This method of preparation is good because parsley practically does not lose its taste, and its aroma becomes even more pronounced. The seasoning prepared in this way is added to the first courses, to meat, fish, salads, and sauces are made from it.
If fresh herbs are in the refrigerator for no more than a week, then dried parsley can remain edible for two years if stored correctly.
Dried parsley has a fairly high calorie content - 276 kcal per 100 g of product. But since this seasoning is added to dishes in small quantities, it does not greatly affect the energy value.
The greens and roots of this plant contain a large amount of vitamins and minerals. The chemical composition of parsley includes:
- vitamins A, C, D, P, K, E, PP, B vitamins;
- beta carotene;
Dried parsley practically does not change its composition compared to fresh. It stores the same nutrients that help support the body.
GOST and TU
As with any product, there is a state standard for dried parsley. GOST 32065-2013 “Dried vegetables. General technical conditions "apply to greens of plants, dried by heat treatment to achieve the mass fraction of moisture, ensuring their preservation.
The standard explains terms and definitions, provides a classification of products, technical requirements and characteristics, requirements for raw materials from which dried herbs are made. The rules for packaging, labeling, acceptance, storage and transportation are specified. The appendices list the nutritional value of 100 g of vegetables, conditions and shelf life. The technical specifications for dried parsley are no longer valid.
Useful properties and possible harm
Parsley is appreciated not only for its pleasant taste and pronounced aroma, but also for a large number of substances useful for the human body.
The benefits of a dried plant are as follows:
- Strengthens the immune system. In terms of vitamin C content, parsley is superior to lemon, so its regular consumption helps to strengthen the body and cope with colds and inflammatory diseases.
- It has an antiseptic effect, helps in the treatment of diseases of the respiratory system, is an expectorant for bronchitis.
- Strengthens the nervous system, fights stress and depression. The choline contained in the composition has a calming effect.
- Improves brain activity, increases attention and concentration.
- It is useful for the work of the cardiovascular system, strengthens the walls of blood vessels.
- Increases hemoglobin.
- Normalizes blood sugar.
- Restores the vitamin balance of the body.
- Used as a diuretic, relieves swelling.
- It has a choleretic effect, therefore it is useful for the liver and gallbladder.
- It removes harmful toxins from the body, improves metabolism, helps to get rid of excess weight, normalizes fat metabolism in the body, eliminates cellulite.
- Regulates the menstrual cycle, reduces the intensity of pain during menstruation.
- Useful for nursing mothers as it stimulates milk production.
- Normalizes potency in men.
Learn more about the medicinal properties of parsley here.
It is not recommended to use this spicy seasoning for pregnant women, as the substances contained in it can provoke a miscarriage in the early stages.
Parsley can harm people suffering from urolithiasis, cystitis, kidney disease, and allergy sufferers. Excessive consumption of this plant can cause headaches, nausea, indigestion, muscle pain and even cramps.
Whether parsley is good for animals is discussed in this article.
Preparation of raw materials
In order for dried parsley to retain a greater amount of nutrients and to be stored as long as possible, you should choose the right plants for harvesting. Of course, it is best to use greens grown in your own garden. Only in this case can you be fully confident in its safety and usefulness. Collect the grass in dry weather during the day when there is no dew. Fresh green twigs with delicate leaves are suitable for blanks. The collection must be carried out before flowering of the plant.
If you don't have your own plot, then you can buy parsley for harvesting in a store or on the market. In this case, the plant should be chosen especially carefully. The greens should look like they've just been picked from the garden:
- without wilted and spoiled leaves.
Quality parsley has a bright, spicy aroma. Do not take wrinkled, dried and pale greens, with an incomprehensible bloom and spots on the leaves. Sticky and glossy leaves indicate that the plant was treated with chemicals. Spoiled parsley has a distinct rotting smell.
Attention! You should never buy parsley on the side of the road, as the plant absorbs dust, exhaust fumes and other harmful emissions.
If the parsley is not harvested for the winter on the day of purchase, it can be kept fresh in the refrigerator. The bundles are placed in a jar of water and placed in a refrigerator. It is necessary to ensure that there are no strong-smelling products nearby.
- Before drying, the parsley is sorted out, the spoiled, yellowed and wilted twigs are removed.
- The lower thick stems are best trimmed. Then the grass is thoroughly washed in running water and laid out on a paper towel to glass the liquid.
- The parsley roots are washed and cleaned with a stiff brush.
- Scrape off the skin with a knife and cut into thin slices or strips.
How to dry greens at home?
There are many ways to prepare dried parsley for the winter. Each hostess chooses the most convenient for herself.
This method is the longest of all. But at the same time, the plant retains most of the nutrients and is stored for a long time. Air-dried parsley can stay cool for 2-3 years. The main thing is that the direct rays of the sun do not fall on the plant, otherwise it will turn yellow.
Greens for the winter can be dried either in the form of slices or whole branches.
- The leaves, together with the stalks, are crushed with a sharp knife and laid out on pallets, flat plates or a towel in the air.
- The area should be well ventilated but out of direct sunlight to prevent the parsley from turning yellow.
- Stir the slices periodically.
- Cover the trays with insect repellent gauze.
- Drying time is 5 to 14 days depending on weather conditions.
Finely chopped greens dry faster than twigs with leaves.
Drying parsley in bunches allows you to preserve all the variety of valuable substances in the plant. Parsley dried in this way is not inferior to fresh parsley in terms of vitamin C and folic acid content. Preparing greens takes less time as they do not need to be cut.
The washed and prepared parsley twigs are tied in small bunches and tied on a rope down with foliage in a ventilated warm place. After about a week, the dried parsley will be ready.
In the oven
Much faster and more convenient way of harvesting. In this case, there is a loss of a certain amount of useful substances, in particular, essential oils. They are destroyed by heat. The shelf life of such parsley is about two years.
- In order to dry the herbs in the oven, finely chop the parsley and spread it in a thin layer on a baking sheet.
- The workpiece is dried for about 5-6 hours with the oven door open.
- The temperature should not exceed 50 degrees.
In an electric dryer
This method is similar to oven drying. When processed, dried parsley loses a small amount of vitamins, but retains its color and aroma. It must be stored in a tightly closed glass container for two years.
- The greens are chopped with a knife or whole branches are left.
- On the dryer, set the mode "For herbs" or manually set the temperature to 40-45 degrees.
- The trays are periodically reversed so that the parsley dries evenly.
In the airfryer
Drying parsley in an airfryer is practically no different from the preparation in an electric dryer. Greens retain the maximum amount of nutrients and remains as tasty.
- The chopped grass is placed in an airfryer.
- The door is left slightly ajar to allow air to circulate.
- The temperature should not exceed 45 degrees, the power is set to the maximum value.
- It will take no more than 20 minutes to dry the plant.
In the microwave
This is the fastest way to prepare dried parsley for the winter. Thanks to this, the maximum amount of healing substances, aroma and taste are preserved in the greens. Such raw materials are stored for more than two years.
- Pre-washed parsley is chopped with a sharp knife and laid out on a flat dish.
- Keep in the microwave for two minutes at maximum power.
- If during this time the grass is not completely dry, you can put it on for another minute.
How to stock up on vegetables?
Not only parsley can be harvested for the winter, but also the roots. They are added to soups, borscht and main courses.
- To dry the parsley root in the oven, it is thoroughly washed, peeled and cut into thin slices.
- Raw materials are laid out on a baking sheet and sent to the oven for 4-5 hours at a temperature of 50-60 degrees.
- Store parsley in a tightly closed container.
Blanks for the winter can also be done in an electric dryer. The roots are cut into strips or small slices and dried at a temperature of 40-45 degrees.
Signs of damage to the workpiece
Store dried parsley in a dry, dark place away from heating appliances. Subject to all standards, the workpieces remain of high quality for more than two years.
If stored improperly, parsley can go bad. The first signs of spoilage are mold. This happens if the dried grass lies in a damp place or is periodically exposed to water. Insects, such as food moths, can breed in the grass, so stocks should be checked and aired regularly.
With proper harvesting and storage, you can get an excellent supply of dried parsley for the winter. This spice will be an excellent addition to many dishes, add flavor to them and saturate the body with useful substances.