Topping of fresh herbs makes all our meals instantly better. Coriander, basil, parsley, cilantro, mint - there is quite a variety of bright green herbs that can amp up our food. We all love to toss these green, tiny leaves in our salad, pasta, sabzis and even beverages. The fact that they are used uncooked is what imparts their fresh flavour and colour to our meal. But not cooking them also eliminates the 'kill-step' that gets rid of bacteria present in them. Have you ever worried about consuming bacteria along with those refreshing herbs? If not, read this -
US Food And Drugs Administration (FDA) carried surveys, and from 1995 to 2015, reported nine outbreaks linked to basil, parsley and cilantro, which resulted in 2,699 illnesses and 84 hospitalisations. Four of the outbreaks were linked to basil, three to cilantro, and two to parsley. Unclean herbs pose threat of contamination with harmful bacteria like salmonella and E. coli.
How to protect yourself from these bacteria and consume your favourite herbs safely? Follow these steps to ensure your herbs are clean and safe to be added to your food.
Step-By-Step Method To Clean And Store Your Herbs:
Step 1 - Firstly, scan the entire bunch of herbs - spread them on a flat surface and pick out any wilted, yellow-coloured leaves. Take them out along with their stem.
Step 2 - Run the bunch of herbs under cold water.
Step 3- Then lightly separate the stems and immerse in a bowl full of cold water. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes. The dirt should settle down at the bottom of the bowl.
Step 4 - Pick out the herbs and discard the water. Fill the bowl with water again, add a few drops of vinegar, and dip the herbs in it. After a few minutes, rinse the herbs again. Rinse again, if needed. You may even use a salad spinner, and may also add chemical-free fruit and vegetable wash liquid to thoroughly clean them.
Step 5 - Now spread the herbs on a thick paper towel or absorbent cloth and let it dry.
Step 6 - Cut the stems of the herbs and place the leaves on a dry paper towel. Roll up the towel and place it in a zip lock bag. This is a great way to store herbs. The leaves will stay for fresh almost a week.
Follow these steps every time you get those fresh minty greens at home and eat them raw without worrying about falling sick.
About Neha GroverLove for reading roused her writing instincts. Neha is guilty of having a deep-set fixation with anything caffeinated. When she is not pouring out her nest of thoughts onto the screen, you can see her reading while sipping on coffee.