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Dried blackcurrant leaf: we keep a pantry of vitamins at home

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With a black currant, few berries can be compared in terms of the content of nutrients and the amount of vitamins. And it has excellent taste. Mostly use currant berries, although the twigs and leaves of this plant contain no less useful substances. They are used to combat colds and to improve immunity. Currants are used in cooking, as well as in cosmetology. Nutritious creams made on the basis of the leaves of this berry, effectively affect the skin, because it contains a large amount of vitamins. To use them all year round, you need to know how to store currant leaves. We will tell about it further.

From this article you will learn:

How to collect and dry the leaves of currants

Currant sprouts retain almost all their nutrients throughout the year. In the summer they are used fresh, and in the winter they can be dried or frozen. In the period when the currant begins to bloom, its crown contains the maximum amount of vitamins and trace elements needed by the human body. Therefore, it is desirable to harvest raw materials during this period. Gather the leaves when the weather is dry and there is no dew on the grass. It is best to use young shoots for harvesting, they should not have signs of damage from harmful insects and diseases.

Do not wash harvested raw materials before drying! This will greatly complicate the process. Wipe the dirtiest leaves with a damp cloth, and for the rest of the raw materials, you can use a dry cloth.

  • For drying, take a baking sheet or cardboard box. Any smooth surface that can be carried.
  • Cover the surface with paper. Do not use newspapers or paper on which something is printed.
  • Spread the raw material in a thin layer on a baking sheet.
  • To dry should be in a place protected from sunlight, which is well ventilated for 5-10 days.
  • Watch the moisture level, with high humidity the leaves will dry much longer.
  • Be sure to bring the raw material into the room at night to avoid the appearance of morning dew on it.
  • Turn the raw material once a day for even drying.

If there is no time or a convenient place for drying in natural conditions, you can give preference to the oven.

  • To do this, prepare the raw materials. When using the oven shoots can be washed, then put on a paper towel and dry well.
  • While the oven warms up, spread the leaves in a thin layer on a baking sheet.
  • If you want to get fragrant tea from currants, you should roll the leaves into a tube, using 2-3 pieces at a time. Next, put the raw materials in a convenient container and cover with a damp cloth. Put the load on top and leave it in this form all night. In the morning, the future tea should be finely chopped and sent to the oven in this form.

It is not necessary to dry the leaves of currants at high temperatures in the oven. 60-80 ° C will be quite enough.

  • To let the moisture that evaporates from the leaves go anywhere, turn on air recirculation in the oven or open the door slightly.
  • To speed up the process, you can turn on the air convection mode in the oven.
  • On average, the drying will take about 4 hours, after which the raw materials should be completely dry.
  • If you feel that the currant shoots are still a bit wet, leave them in the oven for another hour.

Storage of dried currant leaves

After the shoots are completely dry, they are put in glass jars and covered with lids. Also for long-term storage, you can use paper bags or bags of natural fabric. The blank can be broken into pieces, it will not affect its quality in any way. It is important that the can in which you place the dried raw material is completely dry. If after it is washed, there will be a little bit of moisture in it, the whole billet can deteriorate. Most likely that it will develop mold fungus.

Bags or jars with dried leaves are stored in a dark, dry place at room temperature. This may be a shelf in the kitchen cupboard or pantry. It is very important not to keep the billet next to products or spices that have a pronounced smell. Also, do not keep currant leaves above the stove, where moisture evaporation often occurs. In this case, the workpiece may become damp and deteriorate.

In the dried form, currant leaves can be stored for 2 - 3 years. During this period of time they will save all their beneficial properties and flavor. But still it is better to update the billet annually.

Note! With long-term storage in the blanks can get different kinds of midges or bugs. Check dried shoots once a month for insects that may settle there.

How to freeze the leaves of currants

Another option for storing leaves of currants is freezing. This method will help to save almost all the benefits of this plant, but its aroma will not be as bright as that of dried leaves.

Before freezing, the greens are cut into pieces and put in plastic bags. It is important to release the air from the bags with the raw materials, and even better create a vacuum.

Repeated freezing deprives currants of nutrients. Therefore, the raw materials need to be packaged in such portions so that you can use everything without residue at a time.

Some people give the leaves in the package a flat shape and freeze them in this form. After you can break off any desired amount without defrosting the entire layer. And the remains send back to the freezer.

Now you know how to properly store the leaves of currants. As it turned out, it is not difficult at all, and everyone can follow the recommendations given above in order to be able to brew flavored tea with the taste of summer in winter.

By the same principle, raspberry and strawberry leaves can be preserved for the winter.

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