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How to keep Cilantro Fresh, Freeze, and Dry Cilantro


What is Cilantro?

Cilantro is the leaves and stems of the coriander plant, also known as Chinese Parsley. 

Cilantro is the most widely used, aromatic, leafy herb in the world.

Cilantro is a dominant ingredient in cuisines around the globe including Indian, Chinese, Mexican, and Mediterranean.




How to Use Cilantro :

  • Cilantro for Salsas like Pico de Gallo, Tomatillo Verde
  • A topping for soups like Pozole, Menudo, Albondigas
  • Great for salads, burritos, and tacos

I hate wasting cilantro, I love using it in my Mexican stews, salsas, tacos...almost everything.  Finding mushy cilantro in my fridge, just as I was craving pico de gallo and chips...Yikes! Well, I found some great tips on Cilantro storage and tried different methods, here they are.

I use three different methods for Cilantro storage:

Refrigerator
Freezing
Drying






How to Store Cilantro in the Refrigerator:

How To Store Cilantro


Refrigerator: Place cilantro in a glass of water and cover it loosely with a plastic storage bag. Place the stem ends of the herbs into the water in the jar, I use a  large mason jar. 



How long can you keep Cilantro in the refrigerator?

You can keep fresh cilantro ready to use in your refrigerator for about two weeks or longer, change the water every few days. Snip off what you need from the cilantro bunch and recover the jar.





Can I  freeze Cilantro for longer storage? Yup! Here are 2 ways to freeze Cilantro

  1. Freeze cilantro sprigs in freezer bags: To freeze, wash and drain whole sprigs, then pat dry with paper towels. Place a few sprigs at a time into small plastic freezer bags and freeze. Date and label bags.
  2. Cilantro/Olive oil puree cubes:  Place cilantro and olive oil (adjust oil as needed) in a blender...puree, then place in an ice cube tray. Freeze overnight, then transfer cubes to a large freezer bag. Use cubes as needed. Date and label bag.
Cilantro will last in the freezer for up to six months for sprigs and cubes.

Tip: Squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing the bag








How to dry Cilantro: Three easy ways to dry Cilantro

Oven Drying:
  •  Wash cilantro thoroughly from any dirt or debris.
  • Set your oven at 250°F,  prepare cilantro on the baking dish.
  • Coat baking sheet with baking spray,
  • Strip leaves off stem and place on a sprayed baking sheet.
  • Spread leaves out evenly on the baking sheet in a single layer. 
  • Let the leaves dry out in the oven for 20-30 minutes. 
  • Remove baking sheet from oven, allowed to cool. Scrape leaves from the baking sheet.
  • Store the dried cilantro leaves in an airtight container. 
  • Dried cilantro can be stored for up to 3 years in a sealed, airtight container.


    Hang Drying:
  • After you pat the cilantro dry, gather the bunch together and use a piece of string or twine to tie the ends together securely so they can be hung to dry. 
  • Tie a knot about 1 inch away from the end of the bunch so the stems will stay bound together as the plant dries. The knot needs to be tight enough to hold the bunch even after the stems shrink during the drying process


    It is optional to tie a brown paper bag around the herbs to catch any cilantro leaves that may dry and fall off as it dries.




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