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Spicy greens with a mustard-nut flavor are used as an addition to appetizers, salads, first and second courses. Harvested arugula for the winter allows you to eat green leaves all year round. If you know the rules of preparation, the greens will retain all the useful substances and will not lose their taste. In addition to freezing, there are other, equally interesting storage methods.
Why is arugula useful?
Ordinary people, it has been a custom for a long time, give all objects their own name, and arugula was no exception. Another common name for greens is mustard herb. The leaves are rich in minerals and vitamins. Due to this, it is considered a medicinal plant and is used to treat many diseases.
Regular intake of arugula will help improve metabolism and strengthen the defenses of the immune system. People who cook dishes from fragrant leaves can forget about problems with the digestive system. Greens stimulate the activity of the stomach.
It is recommended for people who are not too adapted to stressful situations.
The nutrients in arugula restore the elasticity of the blood vessels and increase the level of hemoglobin in the blood. Patients with diabetes should constantly eat arugula. It is an excellent dietary product, as it burns excess calories. Effectively combats hypertension, especially in the elderly. Under the influence of vitamin K, blood clotting accelerates, which contributes to the rapid healing of wounds.
Arugula contains phytoncides, so greens can cause an allergic reaction. It is not recommended for people with gastritis with an increased acidity level during an exacerbation.
Arugula negatively affects the human body if it has problems with the kidneys and liver. At the time of pregnancy, women should also give up fragrant arugula so as not to harm the unborn baby.
Harvesting arugula for future use is a great idea for people who do not want to exclude greens from their diet during the cold season. After harvesting a large harvest in the garden or shopping at the market, they prepare for wintering.
Do not harvest a large number of bundles, as they can deteriorate if not eaten on time. In order for the spicy greens to be stored as long as possible, it is important to adhere to the features during the harvesting process.
Shelf life of arugula
Greens retain their freshness for 10 days. At the same time, it is placed in a container and placed on the lower shelf of the refrigerator. This can be a plastic bag or a plastic container. The main thing is that the arugula does not come into contact with the air of the refrigerator.
To please the family with herbal dishes in winter, other storage methods are being considered. In this case, it is necessary to adhere to the rules so that the greens do not lose vitamins and benefit the body. The shelf life of arugula is different for each method. They can last from several days to a year.
How to save arugula for the winter - ways
There are many ways to store greens for the winter. This can be drying or freezing. They also make a blank with the addition of salt. Each method has its own characteristics. It is not necessary to choose just one of the methods, but to try all or several at once.
How to store fresh arugula
After cutting, freshly picked fragrant leaves can be put into water and left in the kitchen. This is very convenient as it allows you to have greens on hand. Under these conditions, the plant will remain fresh for up to 5 days. To prolong the period, the bundles are placed in the refrigerator together with water.
Long-term storage of arugula
Speaking of preparing greens for the winter, freezing comes to mind. Why try this method? Prolonged exposure to low temperatures does not in any way affect the taste of the greens and their structure. Drying is also worth trying as it has its advantages.
Storing arugula with salt
Every housewife is used to pickling cucumbers and tomatoes, so why not do it with arugula? The end result will definitely delight the household and guests. Great for salads and other light meals. Salting process:
- Select healthy, firm and green leaves.
- Wash in cool water until dust, debris and midges come off.
- Place on a paper towel and leave to evaporate excess moisture.
- Cut large leaves into pieces, leave small ones unchanged.
- Place the herbs in a jar and add salt. For 100 g of product there is 1 tbsp. l.
- Stir if possible and cover with lids.
After exposure to salt, the amount of trace elements and vitamins decreases. But they are still there, although not in the same amount as in fresh leaves. In this form, greens can be stored for a year. To do this, banks are placed in the refrigerator, taken out into the cellar or basement.
Another method of harvesting greens for the winter is popular among housewives. It's about drying. Excess moisture evaporates from the leaves, which allows it to be stored for a long time. You won't be able to make a fresh salad. But arugula can be used as a spice in the preparation of fish and meat dishes.
Only the best green leaves are suitable for drying. After washing and drying, they are crushed. But this is optional. You can grind after drying. Everyone chooses what he likes best.
Put the leaves on a baking sheet, spreading paper. You can use regular newspapers. If arugula juice comes into contact with metal, oxidation begins. To avoid this, it is not recommended to use a knife when chopping; it is better to tear the leaves with your hands.
The finished mass is taken out to a warm room for drying. It could also be a canopy. The main thing is that direct sunlight does not fall on the greenery. It will take at least a week to evaporate all moisture. But such a blank will be stored for at least 12 months.
In the dryer
An electric dryer is a device that is suitable for drying vegetables, fruits and herbs. After processing greens in this device, green leaves are even more saturated with useful substances. Some models of electric dryers have a "Green" mode. This makes the process easier, since all parameters are set automatically, and a person does not need to think about such trifles.
The increased temperature does not threaten to dry out or burn the product. Drying in an electric dryer takes 12 hours. A person may not cut the greens, completely place whole leaves. After processing, all moisture evaporates, and the mass of greens decreases significantly. This suggests that the device does an excellent job with the task.
In the oven
Drying with this kitchen appliance has its advantages. The time for drying, in comparison with an electric dryer, is reduced by 2 times. Before the drying procedure, the greens undergo standard preparation. It includes washing and, if necessary, cutting leaves.
The choice of temperature depends on the size of the leaves and their number. The selection is carried out on a case-by-case basis. The maximum mark is +40 ° С, and in no case should it be exceeded. It is also not recommended to dry at very low temperatures.
In order for the drying process to be uniform and the leaves to be processed in the same way, it is necessary to spread them on a baking sheet in one layer.
In pure form
This method is suitable if the greens need to be eaten within the next 4-5 days. After washing, the leaves are torn into equal pieces. Then they are left to dry to get rid of the excess water droplets that remain on the greens after washing. To do this, they are laid out on a towel in one layer.
After that, the greens are packed in bags and hermetically sealed. This is an important condition that must be observed. Other containers are also suitable for this. They are placed in the refrigerator and the right amount is taken each time.
Each method of drying arugula is unique and has its fans. In this case, you can use various kitchen tools or do without them. But the storage of greenery does not end there. For the process to be of high quality and lengthy, you need to keep the spice in closed jars and other containers. A small bag filled with salt will absorb moisture and help keep condensation out.
Harvesting arugula in jars
It is a kind of storage method that is easy to prepare. Arugula prepared in jars will fit in the kitchen of every housewife. It is stored on a shelf along with other seasonings and spices, or sent to the refrigerator. It all depends on whether the herbs are dried or salted.
Freezing is one of the most common storage methods. Modern refrigerators and freezers are equipped with separate containers for storing greens. Low temperatures do not deprive greens of nutrients.
The only drawback of the method is the color change. Bright green leaves become less attractive, but that's okay.
Freezing is always fast, affordable and convenient. Arugula leaves can be stored neat, mixed with other herbs, or oil can be used. For convenience, it is cut into small pieces or left intact. The blank is also always at hand and can be used to prepare those dishes in which fresh arugula is used.
Herbs in oil
This method of making arugula is very interesting, as it uses simple, but important ingredients, without which no dish can do. This is oil. You can take creamy, olive or sunflower seeds. Arugula and oil are a great combination. During storage, the ingredients will only complement each other and become even more delicious.
- Finely chop the greens. If the leaves are small, they are left unchanged.
- Fold into ice cube trays.
- Pour the selected oil on top and send it to freeze.
The finished cubes can be left in the mold or removed and distributed in portioned sachets. Instead of molds, plastic trays are also used. The mass is laid out in containers and also left to solidify. After that, remove and cut with a knife into the desired pieces.
Together with arugula, you can also harvest other greens. This will add zest to the oil. Ready-made cubes are used to prepare various dishes. Their compact size allows them to be stored in the freezer without any problems and removed when needed. In this form, arugula in oil is stored for about 1 year.
How to store arugula in the refrigerator
Greens are stocked up for a while in order to feast on as long as possible. If the amount is enough for 4-5 days, the green bundles are sent to the refrigerator. The temperature is not too low, but it keeps the leaves fresh and juicy. Greens should be placed in the refrigerator in such a way that they do not have direct contact with air.
The main condition for storing arugula is tightness. The method involves the use of such materials:
- foil, plastic bags or cling film;
- vacuum container or regular tray;
- a bowl or any other container of water.
In the first case, the package is pressed so that as little air masses as possible remain inside. The plant will stay fresh for 3-5 days. In the second case, greens keep freshness from 6 days to 2 weeks. In this case, it is imperative to remove the air.
The third method is the most common and not so long in terms of storage. The herb is placed in a bowl and sprinkled with plenty of water. If it is a special container, you can cover it with a lid. For a regular bowl, you can use cling film.
The spice plant is placed on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, which is intended for vegetables and fruits. But it is not recommended that greens be stored with other products for a long time, as this will speed up their spoilage. Ideally, store the amount of greens you can eat in 3 days. The rest is sent to the freezer or dried.
How to store arugula in the freezer
Just like on a refrigerator shelf, the grass should not be exposed in the freezer. It is pre-wrapped in bags or placed in trays. This is also necessary so that the greens do not absorb third-party odors. The same goes for the rest of the products.
The arugula must dry after washing before freezing. Excess moisture will disrupt the structure of the greenery, change color and negatively affect the shelf life.
Arugula storage tips
Fresh arugula, which is in the refrigerator, is recommended to be eaten 3-4 days in advance. Periodically inspect the dried product for the presence of pests. If the herbs are from the freezer, after defrosting, do not re-exposure to low temperatures. Such a herb will no longer be suitable for consumption, and there is a risk that it will turn into a homogeneous gruel.
Storing arugula is a process that every housewife can master. You do not need to have special knowledge for this. To prepare a plant, you need to follow the advice and follow the steps of each method. After spending several hours creating blanks, you can delight loved ones with your favorite salads, soups, snacks and hot arugula dishes.