Green Kitchen Tip: Use Citrus Bags for Herb Washing

Keep those yellow, green and red mesh bags that lemons and limes come in.  They are perfect for washing herbs and, more importantly, spinning them dry.  Surely you’ve attempted to chop washed herbs that haven’t been spun dry.  The waterlogged mass turns into a mess of green slush.

Of course if you are on top of things, you wash the herbs the night or morning before they’re needed, in which case they’re nicely dried.  Chopping them is easy and the end result is a fluffy halo of green garnish on a finished dish.

But in case there’s a day when you’re not exactly on top of things, here’s a pretty good option: Use a saved citrus bag as a makeshift spinner.  Cut off any tags, then close one end with a bag closer or simple knot.  Pop the herbs inside, then:

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Step 1: Wash herbs under spraying water, separating and shaking to loosen dirt.

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Step 2. Head outside and, holding the open end tightly, fling the bag up an down several times.

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In the End: Herbs that are washed but dry and perfect for chopping.

I got this idea from the Veggie Scrub, reviewed in yesterday’s post.  This handy invention does a great job scrubbing vegetables and can also be used as an herb washer/spinner–for small amounts.  however, when I’m washing large bunches (e.g., for pestos, pistous and salsas), a large citrus bag does a more effective job of both washing and drying.

While you likely need only a couple citrus bags for herb washing, you needn’t pitch all the others that find their way into you kitchen.  They are perfect for bagging onions, garlic, potatoes and fruit at the grocery store, sparing the earth a couple more plastic bags.  (FYI:  Each year, 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide.  Each American uses between 300 and 700 plastic bags each year.  This tip can reduce that annual figure to  just 299, or 298 or 297 . . . .)

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