Do you have a bunch of parsley at home and don’t know how long it will last ? No worries, we’ve got you covered.
Parsley is a very common garnishing herb, but it’s also full of flavor so you’re going to find it in cooked foods as well.
As great as parsley is, it doesn’t have the best shelf life. So let’s talk about how long parsley lasts, and how to store it so it lasts even longer.
So how long does parsley last ?
Parsley has a very short shelf life when raw. It wilts within a few hours after picking, but it keeps for 5-7 days if kept in a plastic bag, in the fridge.
You can also freeze chopped parsley for up to a year, or you can grind and dry your own parsley, which will also keep for a couple of years.
In short, parsley can be kept in many ways and how you store it determines how long its shelf life will be.
A refresher on parsley
Parsley is a herb that is grown annually. It initially originated in the Mediterranean but is now cultivated all over the world.
The herb consists of an erect stem along with leaves that are bright green. Its shelf life is based on a number of factors that include its behavior and exposure to the environment it is kept in.
If you decide to grind and store it, it can last between 2 to 3 years. Dried parsley has a long shelf life, but must be kept in a cool, dark place and and in an airtight container. Any moisture will grow mold on it.
Fresh parsley on the other hand has a very short shelf life that is between 5 to 7 days. Keep in mind that you must seal it in a plastic bag, otherwise it will wilt.
If you forgot your parsley on the counter, it will wilt within 2-3 hours but will still be edible. It may not look amazing, but there’s nothing wrong with it. Still, it may be best to not leave it at room temp, at all, since it simply won’t last long.
And finally, if you decide to freeze parsley keep in mind that it will keep pretty much indefinitely. That is, the flavor will keep for a long time but after about 3 years it may be best to throw it out anyway.
A good tip would be to keep some chopped fresh parsley in a small container in the freezer, and use that to flavor dishes. Don’t use it to garnish since it will thaw soft.
Parsley – Shelf Life Summary:
- Fresh Parsley (in the fridge, plastic bag) – 5 to 7 days
- Stored Parsley (in the freezer) – 2 to 3 years
- Ground Parsley – between 2 to 3 years
- Dried Parsley – between 2 to 3 years
What to know when buying parsley
This is an important factor than can have an impact on the overall shelf life. Depending on the place from where you are purchasing and what form of parsley you are purchasing, its shelf life varies.
Parsley is a herb that is very popular for its strong and peculiar flavor that it adds. It is available in both fresh and dried variants in markets all over the world.
For obvious reasons, if you are purchasing parsley that is locally grown and wish to store it in the fridge, you will get a better shelf life since it’s the freshest you can find.
Also, fresh parsley is better than dried parsley in terms of flavor. Even if you wish to use dried parsley, it is better to buy fresh parsley and then dry and grind it yourself.
While buying parsley ensure that it’s free from any dark spots, molds, yellowing. Good and healthy parsley should be stark dark green and feel fresh.
Getting dried parsley from an organic farm is the best idea as crops grown in such farms are free from harmful insecticides and pesticides and are grown organically.
Parsley – Purchasing Do’s and Don’ts
- Purchase locally grown parsley for better shelf life
- Fresh parsley is better than dried parsley – purchase a fresh bunch.
- Buy parsley that is free from yellow and dark spots and molds.
- Check the color – it should be a dark and vibrant green.
- Go organic – buy dried or fresh parsley from organic farms.
Parsley most often than not is used and stored again in the refrigerator or freezer for future usage. The same is true for ground or dried parsley – all forms of parsley need to be handled properly so that you get the required shelf life.
When you purchase the parsley, make sure it is washed properly to remove any traces of dirt, sand, or pesticide residue. Trim off any old and damaged leaves and run the leaves under a stream of running tap water.
You can also rub the leaves with both your hands to shed off any dirt or bacteria sticking to it. When garnishing or working with meat, ensure that the raw meat is kept separate from the parsley.
Parsley – Handling Do’s and Don’ts
- Only take out as much as you need.
- Wash it properly under running tap water, only before chopping it.
- Trim and get rid of damaged leaves.
- Keep raw meat and other raw products separate from it.
- Store it properly after use.
- Store in small containers if freezing.
Special care needs to be taken when storing parsley. The best way to store dry parsley leaves is to keep them in a tightly sealed container in a cold, dark, and dry place. This can increase their shelf life for many months.
However, when it comes to storing fresh parsley, you can do it by filling a glass of water, placing the stems in the water and keeping this in the fridge.
You can then cover the top of the jar with a plastic wrap by securing the rim with a rubber band. You can keep this jar in the refrigerator and keep changing the water as it changes color. Fresh parsley stored this way can stay for a couple of weeks.
This is probably the best way to store parsley, since this way it’s fresh and you have it on hand for a few weeks.
Parsley – Storing Do’s and Don’ts
- Store dry leaves in an airtight container in a cool, dry, and dark place.
- Store fresh parsley in a water-filled jar in the refrigerator
- Keep parsley leaves in the freezer for longer shelf life
- Dry leaves can be ground and used as parsley powder
- Avoid storing parsley leaves in hot and humid conditions.
So, how long does parsley really last? It all depends on how you wish to use it and store it and can vary from 5 to 7 days to 2 to 3 years. Use this comprehensive piece on parsley shelf life and relevant Do’s and Don’ts as a ready reference whenever you need it.
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