Are you like me… passionate about consuming healthy greens regularly? Then, let’s be passionate about storing them too.
Yes, storing greens is a big duty..
Several varieties of greens to be cooked, coriander, curry leaves to garnish, mint for chutney, parsley for salads come to my mind. We buy, clean, store and use them.
Buying seems to be the easiest of all isn’t it? Cleaning involves some labour, unless we buy already cleaned ones from the supermarket. But, storage is a major event, at least for me.
The ultimate goal is to preserve greens as fresh as I can, to cook, grind, garnish or add in salads. Spinach stored in plastic pouches get wet and very often slimy. Tried using cloth towels or cotton bags. This idea was better yet not the best.
Then, I started buying banana leaves in bulk for storage alone. What an amazingly clean green effect this created to my kitchen !! I gave them a special place in the refrigerator. The leaves packed in banana leaf- retained freshness for days; didn’t turn out wet and slimy; they smiled and cheered every time I opened my fridge.
I simply love the banana tree – vaazhai maram in Tamil. Botanically, it isn’t called a tree as it doesn’t possess a wooden stem, yet certain varieties grow to the height of a tree.
The leaves are used as biodegradable plates in South Indian households. The banana flower is a very healthy vegetable; the raw banana is a vegetable too. Several delicacies are cooked with the flower and raw banana. Banana as a fruit needs no explanation.
Beyond my love for the Banana Tree, I respect it for a very special quality. When the offspring is ready for its life in the field, the mother isn’t alive anymore. She has already given the world a beautiful package of her abundant goodness, in the form of the young plant.
This isn’t it. While the mother plant is cut, the outer stem is dried and made into ropes and the inner stem is again an edible vegetable – vaazhai thandu or the banana stem. What an incredible life ..!!
I took refuge in the ever so helpful banana leaf for storing my greens too.
And this is how I did it.
Murungai Keerai / Drumstick leaves
Pasalai Keerai/ Spinach
Kothumalli ilai/ Coriander leaves
Pudhina/ Mint leaves
Parsley for salad
packed with passion- with labels
Stored in the refrigerator