Grown and used since ancient Roman times, arugula was first used as a medicinal herb and aphrodisiac. This leafy green is now popular in Italian cuisine and is grown and eaten around the world. Arugula is usually eaten raw as a salad green but can also be added to a variety of dishes. Since it is commonly used, people store arugula in their kitchen so that they can have it whenever they want. The best way to store arugula is through this technique.
The best to store arugula leaves is in the refrigerator. Make sure to keep the leaves cold and moist. Place them in a resealable plastic bag and using a damp paper towel to provide moisture and prevent the arugula from drying out. Fresh arugula can stay in the fridge for up to 5 days.
However, it is recommended to consume arugula as soon after its harvest as possible to maximize its nutritional value and flavor.
Of course, this is not always possible. When storing arugula, you need to consider its flavor because that is one of the key characteristics that set it apart from other green leafy veggies. If you are wondering how to store arugula, consider the tips below.
How To Store Fresh Arugula
Start by washing it
It is a good idea to wash all leafy veggies, whether you will use them right away.
If you want to store them for an extended period, it is essential. Washing leafy veggies will help in removing any bacteria on the surfaces of the leaves. This means that you are less likely to see brown spots showing up quickly as you would with unwashed leaves.
For greater antibacterial protection, you should use a vinegar solution to wash the arugula. To do this, rinse the leaves in water with a small amount of vinegar and then let them dry before storing.
How to store arugula in the fridge?
Just like other fresh herbs, the best way to store arugula leaves is in the refrigerator.
Because the temperature in the refrigerator is cold and moist, make sure not to get them too cold and too moist. The best way to store them in a resealable plastic bag is the incorporation of damp, not wet paper towels.
Using damp paper towels can provide moisture to keep the arugula from drying out. Wrap the bunches of arugula with the paper towels and place them in the bags.
With this method, you can keep the arugula fresh for up to five days. You can poke the holes in the plastic bag as an additional measure to prevent excessive condensation.
How to store arugula in the freezer?
Freezing arugula is not as simple as other herbs.
With spinach and other greens, all you have to do is blanch the leaves and freeze them in bags. You can do the same with arugula, but don’t expect that the results will be the same. Arugula that has been frozen and then thawed does not taste like a fresh herb.
Hence, you can improve the taste by placing arugula leaves in olive oil before freezing them. Using olive oil helps in retaining the flavor of arugula.
To do this, place the arugula in a shallow container, then submerge it in olive oil. Once it is frozen solid, take the arugula out of the container, then break it into smaller pieces. You can place these broken pieces into freezer bags, and you can store them indefinitely.
You can use frozen arugula in the same way you use fresh arugula, including in raw recipes like salads; however, it works best when you reserve it for cooked dishes like pasta or pizza.
If you have the whole arugula plant with the roots still attached, you can place them upright in a container of water or mason jar. Cover the container with a plastic bag for added protection. With the use of this method, you can keep this fresh for at least a week.
How To Clean And Store Arugula Roots
Although it is gross, a slug or garden spider holding into your produce will not kill you.
However, if you are practicing organic gardening and proper sanitation of the home garden, fungi, bacteria, and other microbes may adhere to the freshly picked produce. Fresh veggies and fruits produced from non-organic gardens may have amounts of chemicals like pesticides.
All of these have the potential in making you and your family sick; therefore, cleaning harvested and veggies are very crucial before meal preparation. The question is how to clean arugula roots?
A clean, sanitized preparation area is the key to reducing food-borne contaminants and diseases. Always start by washing your hand with soap before preparing the produce.
Clean the cutting boards, skinks, utensils, and countertops with hot soapy water before prepping the product. Clean between the peeling and cutting of different fruits and veggies since the bacteria from the outside can be transferred to another produce.
If you are not using your own harvested produce, consider buying locals from the farmers’ market. Buy only what you need and be sure that the leafy greens have been store in excellent packaging.
Change the variety of produce you eat, especially if you are purchasing food that you have not grown. It is nutritionally sensible but also limits potential exposure to any one variety of pesticides or dangerous microorganisms.
Once it is home, wash it first before using it. Prior washing, then storage promotes bacterial growth that can speed up spoilage.
Before you store the produce (either purchased or harvested from the garden), remove the outer tops of the arugula because it contains more dirt and pesticide residue than the interior leaves.
Tips For Washing Arugula
Here are some tips on how to wash arugula and other green leafy veggies:
- Always start with clean hands. Wash your hands for 20 seconds or more with soap and warm water.
- Remove any damaged areas on the leaves or stems before preparing or eating the greens. If something seems rotten, discard it. Avoid cross-contamination by using a clean knife to chop or shred the green after they have been washed and dried.
- If leafy greens are not labeled as “pre-washed” or “ready-to-eat”, wash them under running water before chopping, cooking, or easting. It will help in reducing the presence of microorganisms. Keep in mind that if you wash leafy greens before storing them, it can promote bacterial growth and enhance spoilage.
- When you have loose leaves that can’t be easily held under cold running water, use a salad spinner. Toss them under the running water and repeat. Using a sink filled with water to wash is not highly recommended.
- Do not wash leafy greens with soap, detergent, and bleach, because it can leave residues that are not meant to be consumed.
- If you bought the produce and are labeled as “pre-washed” or “ready-to-eat”, washing them is not necessary.
- After washing fresh greens, pat them dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel to remove excess liquid.
To keep arugula fresh, you should keep it cool and moist and used within one to two days of purchase. It will stay longer if the roots are first wrapped in damp paper towels, then the bunch is placed in a plastic bag.
On the other hand, arugula, with its roots attached, can be put upright in a glass of water (as one would do with a bunch of flowers) that is covered with a plastic bag, and then place in the refrigerator.
If the roots have been removed, the best way to keep arugula’s crispness is to wash the leaves, spin them dry in a salad spinner, then wipe dry the outer bowl of the salad spinner.
Replace the inner bowl containing the arugula and then store them in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, you can rinse the leaves, layer them in the leaves in clean paper towels, then place them in a plastic bag, and refrigerate them in the crisper drawer until serving time.
Keep arugula and other greens away from apples, bananas, pears, and other fruits because as they ripen, these fruits give off ethylene gas, causing the leaves to develop brown spots, a sign of decay.