Parsley is one of the most all-rounded herbs in existence. You could use it as a garnish or a spice. However, due to its light scent and fresh taste, the most common use is the latter.
Fresh parsley would be a refreshing addition to any meal as it can complement any flavor. Although it is available in two varieties, i.e., curly leaf and flat-leaf, and both are used in cooking, it is the curly leaf that you are likely to come across in most kitchens.
Now here comes the problem; chopping up the leaves can be complicated due to the sturdy stems that are always in your way.
Luckily for you, there are many ways of cutting up these leaves, but we are going to focus on the use of a food processor.
But before we get to the chopping part, let us talk more about what parsley is all about.
This plant is native to the Mediterranean region and is widely used for many different purposes. These include as a medicinal plant to deal with various conditions such as high blood pressure and inflammations.
Also, with its bright green color and mild bitter flavor, the fresh plant is widely used as a spice that blends well with many different recipes.
The extensive use of this plant should give you a hint that it possesses several benefits. So, we are going to discuss some of these aspects that make this plant useful to our health.
1. It Is Packed with Antioxidants
There are many antioxidant elements that you can find in this herb. These include carotenoids, vitamin c, and flavonoids.
In case you do not know, your body needs a perfect balance of free radicals and antioxidants, lack of which may lead to cellular damage by these radicals.
So, this plant significantly lowers your chances of contracting certain diseases.
2. Anti-Cancer Properties
Cancer is known to be brought about by oxidative stress, which is the imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals.
Therefore, the Vitamin C and Flavonoids in the plant help in lowering this stress, thereby reducing your chances of contracting cancer.
3. The Nutrients
Parsley is a very nutrient-dense-herb and has low-calorie content to reduce the risk of excessive weight gain.
The nutrients in this herb include carbohydrates, proteins, fiber, fats, Vitamins A, C and K, Potassium, and Folate.
Vitamins A and C have antioxidant qualities, while Vitamin K is crucial for blood clotting.
4. Promotes the Formation of Healthy Bones
This property is brought about by the vitamin k in the plant. This nutrient supports osteoblasts, which are the cells responsible for building bones.
On top of that, vitamin K stimulates the production of proteins, which boost the bone mineral density. A low density would make you susceptible to fractures.
5. Protects you from Heart Diseases
This benefit stems from the high folate content in the plant. This nutrient helps in lowering the amino acid homocysteine, which has been proven to alter the structure and function of the arteries.
So, high homocysteine levels would put you at greater risk of heart diseases.
6. Keeping your Eyes Healthy
To understand how parsley would help promote your healthy vision, we will discuss the carotenoids that it contains. These include zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta carotene, all of which play a part in boosting your eye health.
Beta carotene is converted into Vitamin A, which helps protect the cornea and conjunctiva for healthier eyes. Then, lutein and zeaxanthin help prevent AMD, which is an age-related disease that often leads to blindness.
7. Anti-Bacterial Properties
Studies have shown that parsley extract has some anti-bacterial properties. Therefore, it would significantly slow down the activity of elements such as molds and yeast.
It is also believed to inhibit the growth of bacteria in food.
Chopping Parsley in a Food Processor
As we mentioned earlier, there are many ways you could chop the parsley plant before mixing it with your dish. In this article, we are going to guide you on how you could do the cutting with a food processor.
I) Washing the Parsley
The first step is washing clean the bunch of parsley in front of you. Note that this is a step that should never miss with any fresh produce before you use it.
Fill a bowl with clean water and then immerse the bunch into it. Swirl it gently around the bowl before lifting it out of the water.
At this point, any dirt or sand on the plant should have settled at the bottom of the bowl.
Ideally, you should repeat this process until the water that remains after removing the parsley is totally clean.
Besides the bowl, you could also place the parsley under running water and rotate it to ensure that you do not leave out any part.
Avoid using hot water as it may bleach the plant and remove the freshness that it brings.
The next step is to dry the parsley. This process’s significance is to ensure that your parsley does not stick on the knife or processor during chopping.
It is quite simple, as you shall soon see. You may hold the plant over the sink and repeatedly shake it up and down to lose as much water as possible.
Alternatively, you may use a salad spinner or paper towels to make it entirely dry.
III) Picking the Leaves off of the Stem
The thicker stems tend to be lower down the parsley, and they would stand out in chopped parsley. So, take your time to remove the leaves from the stems, and you may start placing the leaves into the bowl of the food processor.
IV) The Mincing Part
In the final part, ensure that you have placed all the parsley leaves that you want to chop into the food processor’s bowl. Check out for it to be equipped with the sharp blade attachment.
After that, put the lid on and allow the processor to run at the highest speed. We recommend stopping the device every ten minutes to let you to scrap down the sides safely.
Repeat the process until the parsley achieves the state that you want it to be in.
Note that this method releases more moisture from the parsley than if you were using a knife for the chopping. Further, the parsley chopped using this method is more suitable for mixing with dishes rather than using it as a garnish.
Other Ways of Cutting up Parsley
You may also chop your parsley on a chopping board with a sharp knife or use herb scissors to cut the leaves as they drop into a bowl or on a chopping board.
Another method involves placing the washed and picked leaves in a glass and then using long kitchen shears or a pair of scissors to cut through the parsley. Ensure that you rotate and move them around so that you cut everything evenly.
What you may not know is that many people are clueless about the best way to cut their parsleys before mixing it with the dish at hand. Some just heap in a pile before slicing through with a knife, even before washing it.
Now that you know the best way to go about preparing this herb before the next meal, why don’t you try out everything you have learned to reap all the benefits that the plant has to offer?