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Cilantro leaves are delicate and can be bruised easily during harvest. The leaves will also oxidize when exposed to air, turning brownish-yellow in color and losing their flavor over time.
To keep cilantro fresh for as long as possible, you must take care of how you store it.
Here in this post, I will give you exact steps on how to store cilantro so that it lasts a longer period of time.
What is Cilantro:
Cilantro is one of the most popular herbs in the world and is often used as a garnish or in cooking.
It’s also known as coriander and Chinese parsley. Cilantro leaves have a unique, fresh flavor that pairs well with citrus, lime, and lemon juice.
Are Coriander and Cilantro the Same Thing?
Coriander and cilantro are actually parts of the same plant. In the US we refer to the leafy parts of the plant as cilantro and the seeds are called coriander seeds.
In other parts of the world, the whole plant is called coriander and the seeds are referred to as coriander seeds.
parsley vs cilantro:
Parsley and cilantro are not the same. Cilantro has a more pungent taste than parsley and is often used in Mexican and Asian cuisines.
Although both parsley and cilantro look quite similar they are actually different plants. Here is how you can easily distinguish between the two herbs.
How to Buy cilantro:
It is best to grow cilantro at your house, they are very easy to grow and don’t need much maintenance.
Here you will find everything related to growing cilantro so you don’t need to worry.
But if you mainly want to use store-bought Cilantro for storing purposes, here are some important things you should look at before buying cilantro:
- Look at the leaves. It should be smooth and bright green, with no signs of yellowing.
- You should be able to hold the stems easily in your hand.
- And finally, notice the smell. Ideally, it should smell fresh and slightly citrusy.
How to Clean Cilantro?
Cilantro is a very delicate herb, and it can lose flavor quickly if not handled properly. To get the most from your cilantro, you should always wash it just before using it.
You can clean cilantro by rinsing it under cold running water. However, the best way to clean cilantro I found is to submerge it in a bowl of cold water and gently swish it around with your fingers. Then rinse off any dirt or debris with cold water again.
How to Dry Cilantro?
Because cilantro contains so much water, it’s possible for the leaves to become moldy if they aren’t dried quickly after washing.
After cleaning the leaves pat dry with paper towels or use a vegetable spinner to remove excess water. You can also use a large sieve and shake off the excess water.
Now use air-drying method to dry the leaves. Air drying is easy because all you have to do is lay out the washed leaves on paper towels or clean dish towels in a single layer until they’re completely dry (about one hour).
This method works best if you have just picked up your homegrown cilantro or bought the freshly produced at the market.
Can You Freeze Cilantro?
You can freeze cilantro if you want to keep it for a long period of time. Simply wash off the dirt, pat dry with paper towels, and then chop the leaves into small pieces.
Place the pieces into a freezer bag or container and store them in the freezer for up to six months.
However, it is best not to put cilantro in a freezer, Cilantro has a ton of nutrients that you will lose once it is in the freezer.
How to Cut Cilantro?
To cut cilantro, first, remove all stems from the bunch (you can chop them separately). Then cut the leaves into small pieces using a gentle rocking motion with a knife and place them on top of each other before chopping again so that you don’t waste any of your precious herbs!
Nutritional benefits of cilantro:
Cilantro has many health benefits that make it worth growing in your house. It contains antioxidants that are known to fight disease and help prevent cancer; these antioxidants also help promote better digestion and improve brain function.
Cilantro helps to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Cilantro also contains vitamin K which helps prevent bone loss. Additionally, cilantro contains calcium which helps strengthen bones and teeth as well as magnesium which helps increase energy production within the body.
Vitamin A found in cilantro helps maintain healthy skin tissue while vitamin C aids iron absorption from plant foods making it beneficial for the immune system during cold and flu season.
Tips on How to Keep Cilantro Fresh:
Here are some tips for storing cilantro so your herbs last longer:
- Store cilantro whole rather than chopped. Chopped herbs tend to lose their flavor more quickly than whole herbs.
- Before storing always dry the cilantro thoroughly. Excess moisture can make the leaves rot very quickly.
- Sort through the cilantro and remove yellow or wilted leaves and trim off any brown edges. The rotting leaves will actually make the cilantro rot even faster.
- Store cilantro with a paper towel. Paper towels absorb excess moisture far better than plastic bags and prevents the cilantro from becoming moldy or slimy.
- Change out the paper towel after 10-14 days. This keeps the remaining cilantro as fresh as when you brought it home. Check again for wilted leaves and discard those too.
Can you eat cilantro stems?
Yes, you can definitely eat cilantro stems just leave out the part that is too woodsy and bitter. The stems of cilantro have a stronger flavor than the leaves, so they may overpower the dish you’re cooking.
You can use the stems in soups or stews, but leave them out of salads and other dishes to avoid any unpleasant texture.
Do I have to wash cilantro before storing it?
It is perfectly okay to store unwashed cilantro for a few days if you are short on time. Just gently shake off any dirt or debris and wrap it loosely in paper towels before placing it inside a plastic bag or container.
How to Refresh Cilantro?
Refreshing wilted cilantro is easy! Just place your wilted leaves into a bowl with cold water for about 15 minutes, then pat dry with paper towels and use immediately!
Hopefully, with this post, you now have a better understanding of how to store cilantro properly.
Cilantro tends to wilt easily, so you need to store it correctly in order for the leaves to stay crisp. With proper storage, cilantro can last for up to 7 days in your refrigerator. This can give you time to use it in your favorite recipes, like our delicious cilantro-lime rice!
If you found this post helpful share it with others. If you know someone who has a love of cilantro, this can make for a very welcome gift.
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