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How basil can be stored is a challenge for many gardeners. This spicy plant is actively consumed in food. It goes well with tomatoes, fish and seafood. Basil contains rutin, sugar, vitamins (B, PP, A, C, carotene), phytoncides. It is used as a medicine. It is effective for colds, coughs, and helps to normalize the digestive tract.
Gardeners want to have a healthy seasoning grown on their own on the table all year round. To do this, you should learn how to properly harvest and store greens.
Collection and preparation for storage
Only properly harvested basil will be stored for a long time with minimal loss of vitamins. Greenery harvesting rules:
- Cutting should only be done in dry weather. The optimal time is in the morning. It is recommended to wait until the dew dries.
- Collect greens from those bushes where flowers have not blossomed. In this case, the basil is tender and tasty.
- It is recommended to cut branches about 15 cm long: the juicy leaves are on them.
- It is recommended to cut it regularly (once every two weeks): so the bushes become more luxuriant.
The collected basil is washed in plenty of cold water, allowed to drain and dried on folded paper towels.
Gardeners know several ways to store greenery. Everyone can choose a suitable one.
In the fridge
The most common way. The greens are placed in a perforated plastic bag and placed in the fruit compartment. Basil will keep fresh for 5-7 days.
The industry offers special plastic containers for greenery. They should be placed on the lowest shelf.
At room temperature
You can keep basil fresh without a refrigerator. It is recommended to put a bunch of greens on a table or windowsill in a glass of water. The liquid must be topped up as it evaporates. The plant will be fresh for 3-5 days.
Gardeners want to provide themselves with a grown crop for the winter. To do this, you need to apply other methods.
This method requires free space in the freezer. Prepared greens should be cut, folded into a container or plastic bag, and sealed tightly. Place in a freezer in “quick freeze” mode, after 30 minutes return to normal mode.
Gardeners freeze lemon basil differently. The plant is crushed, placed in an ice container, filled with water. After freezing, the ice cubes are stored in a plastic bag. They are added to drinks.
The method does not require special storage conditions. But with this method of harvesting, most of the nutrients are lost.
The leaves should be separated from the stems and cut. Then spread in a thin layer on a paper towel in a dry, ventilated place. Twice a day stir up the slices. Basil is done when the leaf bends and breaks rather than crumbles. Keep the workpiece in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. The aroma lasts for about 3 months.
The industry produces electric dryers. The device blows the raw material with 30-40 degrees Celsius air. Drying time - up to 2 hours. The advantage of this treatment: the plant does not dry out, nutrients are preserved as much as possible.
Some gardeners use an oven to get winter seasoning. Modern stoves have a "drying" mode. The mechanism resembles an electric dryer. There is a possibility of sound control. This makes the task easier.
In simple stoves, basil should be dried with the door open at minimum power. Cover the baking sheet with baking paper. Raw materials should be regularly agitated. Readiness is manually determined.
For this type of canned food, only leaves are used. Sequencing:
- sterilize banks;
- fill them with sheets of paper to the top;
- prepare the marinade: 1 liter of water, 1 tablespoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of grape or apple cider vinegar;
- pour the contents with boiling marinade;
After cooling, store the canned food in the refrigerator.
Basil prepared in this way is an exquisite addition to fish and meat dishes. How to proceed:
- sterilize a glass jar;
- Lay the leaves in layers in a jar;
- Sprinkle each layer with sea salt;
- tamp until juice appears;
- close the lid.
Canned food should be kept in the refrigerator. Care should be taken to ensure that the juice covers the contents of the can. If not, add cold boiled water with salt (1 teaspoon per glass of water).
Some gardeners pour the contents of the jar with unrefined olive oil. It should cover the leaves.
It is a common winter seasoning. Basil sprigs are mashed in a blender with salt and olive oil. Salt is a preservative and is used in excess. The oil determines the consistency of the puree. Garlic is sometimes added. The prepared pasta is either frozen or placed in sterile jars and stored in the refrigerator.
How much to store
Properly cooked and preserved basil is a delicious seasoning and medicine... It is recommended to store frozen herbs for no more than a year. Dried basil should be consumed within 3 months. In the refrigerator, greens are suitable for use for 5-7 days. At room temperature, the plant looks fresh for up to 5 days.