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Delicate sorrel leaves with a slight sourness are among the first to appear in vegetable gardens in spring. The plant is used as the main ingredient for "green borscht" and in pie fillings. Conservation methods will help you eat these wholesome greens all year round.
Sorrel, frozen or canned, remains a storehouse of organic acids and vitamins. This leafy vegetable increases the resistance of the immune system to viruses and bacteria, and has a beneficial effect on the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract and the heart system. You can list its merits for a long time. And for regular use, you need to prepare valuable greens for future use.
To preserve sorrel for a few days, you can simply place it in the vegetable compartment of your refrigerator. For long term supplies, the leaves should be pretreated. Having bought or plucked greens, it is recommended to proceed as follows:
- You should sort out the sorrel. Remove flower arrows, yellowed leaves, excess grass, cut off damaged parts.
- They are soaked in a large basin of cool water - this will help them straighten out, releasing particles of earth, which will sink to the bottom. Placing the plant in salt water gets rid of small insects that were invisible during the first stage of processing.
- Take the greens out of the liquid with a slotted spoon, lay them out on towels to dry.
- Portions are made to facilitate the subsequent preparation of dishes.
- Packaged in containers in which storage will be carried out.
Sorrel is a perishable plant. To preserve freshness, do not delay preparation. More than a dozen varieties are known, and they are all suitable for storage.
Preservation methods without refrigeration
- Drying a vegetable is an affordable way to prepare it for future use. The shelf life in this form is a year, provided that the sorrel is folded into a container that excludes the ingress of moisture. The palatability remains unchanged.
- The leaves are sorted out and washed thoroughly, and the water is allowed to drain. After that, cut, spread on a towel or parchment, cover with a napkin. Put greens in the sun to dry.
- The prepared plant is laid out in a sieve. The container is put on the balcony or in the kitchen on the closet. The greens are mixed twice a day. You can determine the readiness by assessing the fragility of the sorrel - the dried leaves should not crumble.
- Sorrel is collected in small bouquets, which are hung on the balcony, hiding from the sun's rays. After 1-1.5 weeks, the plant will acquire the necessary condition.
- Canned sorrel can be stored for about two years. Thus, an assortment of herbs is prepared by adding parsley or dill. The leaves are washed, cut and tightly folded into sterilized jars, poured over with boiling water. The container is rolled up with lids and left to cool, turned upside down. Subsequent storage temperature - no more than 25 degrees.
- The sorrel is washed and loaded into a saucepan, chopped or whole. Pour boiling water so that the leaves of the plant are a little under water. After boiling for 5 minutes, it is poured into sterilized jars, which are tightly sealed. At room temperature, the shelf life is 12 months.
The recipe can be supplemented using salt water (2 tablespoons of salt per 1 liter of boiling water). A similar method is preservation in cold water. In this case, jars with fresh sorrel are sterilized for a quarter of an hour in a saucepan of boiling water, after which they are twisted.
The convenience of these methods is that the sorrel is completely ready for use. Add as many herbs to the dish as you deem necessary.
Chilled but non-frozen harvesting methods
How to save for a week? Without a freezer at +5 degrees, properly prepared greens will last up to 2 weeks, depending on the method chosen. The best place is a drawer for vegetables and fruits.
- In containers. Salt has been used as a preservative since ancient times. Sorrel can be salted as part of an assortment or independently. To do this, it is washed, cut, moisture is removed. Put greens in a bowl and pour 3 tablespoons of salt per kilogram of product, mix. The mixture is tamped into a dry sterilized jar and stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
- Vacuum packed. The device, which removes air from packages, allows to increase the shelf life of products. Sorrel is sorted out, removing debris and rot, washed in clean water and dried. You do not need to waste time on slicing, because during compression, the greens will break naturally. Fold in a bag and turn on the vacuum. In the refrigerator, storage is guaranteed for up to two weeks.
- In cellophane. Sorrel is soaked in salted water, then washed in running water, dried. The chopped leaves are folded into a cellophane wrap, air removed by hand and tied tightly. The vegetable should be eaten within a week, after which it will begin to rot.
- In water. Washed and prepared sorrel is collected in the form of a bouquet, which should be placed in a jar of water. Only the stems of the plant should be in the liquid. On the middle shelf of the refrigerator near the wall, the greens will remain fresh for no more than a quarter of a week.
- In the towel. The washed leaves are tightly wrapped in a damp towel. The package is placed on the refrigerator shelf.
Sorrel can stay there for up to three days.
Are these methods suitable for saving for the winter?
What method is suitable for harvesting for the winter at home so that the leaves remain tasty? Not all methods boast long-term storage. To be able to eat tasty and healthy sorrel all year round, choose the following harvesting methods:
- vacuum packaging, with placement in the freezer;
- freezing whole or chopped leaves.
Contact with air accelerates decomposition processes. Therefore, storage at sub-zero temperatures or in an oxygen-free environment is considered preferable.
Sorrel will retain its properties and will last longer if the correct preliminary preparation is carried out. Do not try to cut the leaves as small as possible - because of this, all the juice will flow out, and the plant will turn into porridge. There are recommendations to wipe the greens from dirt with a cut cloth. This is fundamentally not true - sorrel leaves are tender, and from mechanical stress they will look like rags. After washing, the water is removed with shaking movements.