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How To Store Leeks (Different States)
The state of the leeks when you are considering methods of storage is an important guideline which will enable you to select the most appropriate means of storage. In the next few minutes , you’re going to learn how to store leeks based on their state . Read on
Fresh leeks either freshly plucked out from the soil or those that you have bought from the grocery store, can be stored in the refrigerator. Freshly picked out Leeks will require sorting out to ensure that only those that have not been damaged by pests or that have withered out are stored.
They do not necessarily require washing, shake off the soil, pack them in plastic bags and place them in the refrigerator. The plastic bags ensure that you will be able to retain their moisture and they also help to avoid loss of flavor.
You also do not want varying flavors from different foods to get mixed-up in your refrigerator. When you are ready to use your leeks, trim off the top and clean the leeks in running water to remove the dirt and sand that accumulated while they were growing.
These are highly perishable and can only be stored in the refrigerator between one to two days before spoilage. They should be packed in containers and sealed with an airtight lid to avoid loss of flavor.
Leeks may also be frozen though this applies only to fresh leeks and not cooked leeks. In this case, the fresh leeks can be blanched for two to three minutes before storage.Frozen leeks can last up to one year though they will lose their desirable flavor with time.
Other methods for storing leeks
Chop the leeks into circles, as this increases their surface area, and clean them properly. Place them on a cotton cloth to allow excess water to dry off. You can use a dehydrating tray to dry them.
Alternatively, dry them using your oven at about 170 degrees celsius for 6 hours. Place the dried leeks in a sealed bag and store in a cool dry place. For use, re-hydrate the leeks by soaking them in hot water for about thirty minutes them drain them.
This method of storing leeks requires a lengthy mode of preparation of the leeks. They can be preserved in brine. This will require the use of white vinegar and canning salt in order to preserve them.
You can also use your excess leeks as a jam together with garlic. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add chopped and well-cleaned leeks and stir until they start to soften.
Sprinkle the leeks with sugar, preferably brown sugar and continue cooking until they turn brown (fifteen to twenty minutes). Mix this with garlic jam and you have yourself a lovely spread that can be used for bread and tea scones.
Can You Freeze Leeks
Yes, leeks can be preserved by freezing. You may blanch them before freezing or clean and freeze them directly either way freezing is a definite go for them.Leeks are usually available throughout the year, though, the best qualities are produced during the spring and early winter seasons.
To avoid wastage when you have bought more than what you need for one meal, you can preserve them by freezing or refrigeration. Freezing is mostly preferred for long-term use as they can last for up to one year before spoilage.
Methods To Freeze Leeks
Flash-freezing before freezing the leeks. This ensures that the moisture content is frozen and it also helps to avoid spilling of juices and liquids from the leeks.
Blanching prior to freezing. Blanching helps in destroying micro-orgasms and bacteria in the leeks. It also increases their shelf-life. Blanching should be done for two to three minutes to avoid loss of nutrients and to ensure that the micro-orgasms are destroyed.
Direct freezing. This entails cleaning the leeks thoroughly, packaging them in airtight containers and freezing them.
How To Freeze Leeks
- 1.Wash the leeks thoroughly to remove dirt and soil from their surface. Cut the leeks lengthwise about 1 1/4 inches from the base and fan the leaves or swish them in a sink with running water to remove the dirt and small insects that may be trapped between the leaves and their strain to remove the water.
- 2.Alternatively, you can chop the leeks then wash them. Place the chopped leeks in a bowl filled with water and stir them around with your hands. The sand will fall to the bottom of the bowl.This method is particularly favorable for leeks that will be used to make soups. You can use a colander to drain them during the cleaning process.
- 3.Blanch them using hot boiling water. Place them in the boiling water for two to three minutes and quickly remove them and place them in a bowl containing ice cold water. This ensures that the cooking process is stopped in order to preserve the flavor of the leeks and to retain the nutrients.
- 4.Drain the water and place them on a cotton cloth to drip off the excess water and air-dry.
- 5.Place them on a flat sheet tray, unwrapped, and flash freeze them by placing them in the freezer for about twenty minutes or so. You can place a cling-film on the tray in order to ensure that the leeks will not get stuck on the tray. This also makes it easy for you to transfer the leeks to a different container.
- 6.Package them in airtight containers and place them in the freezer. Suitable containers for packing leeks include rigid plastic containers, freezer-grade plastic bags or glass containers with tight-fitting, moisture proof lids. Heavy duty aluminium foil can also be used for packaging. If you want to freeze a lot of leeks, it is advisable to package them in separate portion-sized containers based on the amount that you usually use for cooking.
- 7.The frozen leeks should be used within a period of 10 to 12 months to avoid cases of food poisoning.
You do not need to thaw the leeks when cooking, you can just add them directly to your meals without thawing. For refrigerated leeks, you can use a cotton kitchen cloth or paper towel to dab off the excess moisture from them before cooking.