There are several ways to store cilantro. In addition to keeping cilantro fresh in the fridge, you can also dry and freeze it. Here are three methods for storing cilantro: crushing, freezing, and drying. Using any of these methods will ensure that your cilantro stays fresh and safe for use. These methods are also suitable for people who do not have access to a refrigerator.
What is Cilantro?
The leaves of the coriander plant are used to make the herb cilantro (Coriandrum sativum). It belongs to the parsley family and is often known as Mexican or Chinese parsley.
The young stems and soft, fragile leaves are utilised to manufacture coriander spice, as are the seeds.
It is a plant widely used in Middle Eastern, Indian, and Asian cuisines. It is most frequently used as a garnish in Indian dishes and as an ingredient in Mexican salsa, Cilantro Lime Rice, and Indian chutneys.
The green leaves of the coriander plant, or cilantro, are well known to North Americans. The herb cilantro is used to season salsa, pico de gallo, dips, and to garnish tacos and other dishes with a mexican flair.
Reference: Health Benefits of Cilantro and Cilantro Seeds
How to Store Cilantro?
Let’s consider the best way to keep fresh cilantro in the fridge. Any herb with a green leaf, such as parsley and mint, can be prepared using the same technique. Here are some of the techniques I use:
1. A Salad Spinner
Not just for rinsing greens before preparing a handmade Caesar salad or a vibrant WFH lunch, everyone’s favourite wedding registry item also serves other purposes. Food52 food editor Emma Laperruque said, “I recently washed a lot of cilantro and kept it in a salad spinner with a little water at the bottom and that worked nicely.
2. Mason Jar
You can keep cilantro fresh for a long time by storing it in an airtight jar. Ensure the jar is airtight by placing a plastic bag over the leaves. The plastic bag should be as tight as possible without crushing the leaves and placed in a jar with at least an inch of water. Once the leaves have been placed in the jar, make sure to place a lid on the jar. This keeps air out and the cilantro fresh for up to a week.
Another simple way to keep cilantro fresh is to place the stems of the herbs in a glass filled with water. The water should be about an inch deep, and you should add water every day or two. The water will help keep the cilantro fresh for a month. This method is also effective for other leafy herbs. But you must ensure that the cilantro leaves do not get too dry, as they will wilt very quickly.
Keeping cilantro fresh in a mason jar is easy. First, make sure that the jar is clean. You can use kitchen scissors to cut the cilantro leaves. The stems are edible and can be blended into salsas or other recipes. After you cut the stems, carefully place them in the jar. When ready to use the cilantro, you can wrap them in a clean paper towel.
3. Ice Cube Platters
The leaves and stems of cilantro can be frozen in ice cube trays for super-simple storage that keeps it fresh. Each part of the ice cube tray should include one teaspoon of finely chopped cilantro leaves and stems before being filled with either high-quality olive oil or water. Remove one or two cubes from the freezer and thaw in a pan before using. Although the leaves won’t look as crisp and fresh as if you had taken them just from the stem, their flavour will still be very strong.
4. Polythene Bags
When storing herbs like cilantro, it’s simple to prevent the leaves from turning brown too soon by wrapping the stems in a paper towel that has been gently dampened (try our reusable paper towels!). Then, place the bundle in a plastic Ziploc bag. To keep the herb bundle fresh, fasten the paper towel to the towel with a rubber band. Although this method isn’t the most environmentally friendly, it does take up the least amount of room, so if you have a small refrigerator, this might be your best bet.
Storing Cilantro in the Freezer
Consider freezing fresh cilantro for even longer preservation. Place stems that are clean and dry out on a prepared baking sheet and freeze. Squeeze out the air in a zip-top freezer bag before transferring, then keep for up to a month. Pennes notes that “making small cilantro ice cubes” is another efficient way to freeze cilantro.
Add the chopped leaves and stems to an ice cube tray. For up to a month, please place them in a zip-top freezer bag after freezing, topping them with water or olive oil.
According to Pennes, frozen cilantro is particularly beneficial for soups and sauces. Although cilantro loses some vibrant colour and texture when frozen, the flavour is generally unaffected. However, since it will seem like a wilted mess when used as a fresh garnish, add it to items that have already been cooked.
Additional Guidelines for Keeping Cilantro Fresh
- Remove any cilantro that has yellow or wilted leaves after sorting it. The cilantro will decay even more quickly due to the rotting leaves.
- Cleanly dry the cilantro. The leaves may quickly wilt and decay if exposed to too much water.
- Chopped cilantro should not be kept in storage. The whole cilantro that has been washed and dried will keep for a few weeks longer than the cilantro that has been cut.
- With a paper towel, store. As a result, the cilantro doesn’t get slimy or mouldy or absorb moisture.
- After 10 to 14 days, throw away the paper towel. This preserves the cilantro that is left in its original condition. Look again for wilting leaves, and get rid of those as well.
How Long is it Possible to Use Fresh Cilantro?
How long is cilantro good for? If improperly preserved, it will only stay fresh for a few days before wilting. Cilantro and other fresh herbs can be kept for weeks if stored properly in the refrigerator. And kept for months in the freezer.
Fresh cilantro may often be kept in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days if properly stored.
Cilantro’s Health Benefits
Cilantro has numerous health advantages, including the following, according to Healthline:
- It possesses a high concentration of antioxidants, which guard against oxidative stress and benefit the immune system.
- It possesses anti-inflammatory qualities that promote brain health.
- Reduces cholesterol and blood pressure, which is beneficial for heart health.
- It has antibacterial properties that can help fight infections and remove heavy metals from the body.
- Resolves gastrointestinal problems and fosters gut health
Which is Better, Freezing or Drying Cilantro?
The frequently bountiful yield from this biennial herb can be preserved by freezing it. As opposed to drying, which robs the herb of its distinctive flavour, its flavour endures some time in the cold fairly well.
If you are in a time crunch and need a large supply of cilantro for a recipe, you can dry it in the oven. Use a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread the cilantro in one layer and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until it loses its vibrant green colour. Remove from the oven and break up any pieces with the edge of a spatula. Once dried, store in an airtight container. It will keep for up to three years.
One method of storing cilantro is freezing itCilantroro loses its vibrant color and textu when frozenre, but the flavor stays intact. In addition, frozen cilantro can be used in cooking instead of garnish. Just make sure to label and date your cubes. The first step is to wash the cilantro thoroughly. Next, place the herb in an oven and dry it for twenty to thirty minutes. Once dried, place the cubes in an airtight container and store them in the freezer.
Once chopped, cilantro leaves should be spread out on clean paper towels. Be careful not to smush the leaves down. Next, wrap the stems with two pieces of paper towels. Then, could you place them in an airtight container? After a week, change the paper towels. Remove any leaves that have wilted or are bruised.
Are Cilantro’s Stems Safe to Consume?
Most significantly, cilantro stems are edible. They are soft, flavorful, and appealing. To add them to dishes or whip them, as in this one, chop them up together with the leaves. The greatest time to serve this green cilantro sauce is at cookouts and whatever else you’re putting on the grill.
How can the Quality of Cilantro be Determined?
Never buy cilantro unless the leaves are brilliant green and show no signs of wilting. You should be able to smell it before purchasing because it should have its distinctive citrus, almost soapy scent. Remove the herbs from any plastic or rubber band wrappings. They can hasten deterioration.
Should I Wash the Cilantro Before Storing it?
If you wash the cilantro before keeping it, it will survive a few weeks longer. Having said that, if you are pressed for time, you can store unwashed cilantro for a few days.
Since fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, and parsley are frequently used in cooking, consuming them could potentially expose you to dangerous pathogens like salmonella and E. coli.
Cilantro can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, so pick it up early. Buying cilantro from a farmer’s market or grocery store is the best way to ensure freshness. If you find your cilantro is pale, slimy, or has any mould on its stems, throw it out.
After washing the cilantro, remove any yellow leaves and stems. Store it in an airtight container for a few days, or you can freeze it for longer storage. The best option depends on how you plan to use the cilantro. If you don’t want to use it immediately, you can always throw it in the compost bin, or you can store unused produce in the fridge.