Parsley flakes are dried and crushed parsley leaves and are commonly used in cooking. It is a versatile herb that is suitable for many dishes, such as meat and potatoes, soups, and many sauces. Although fresh leaves are often preferred, parsley flakes nonetheless serve as a great alternative. Both fresh parsley and parsley flakes are available year round at most grocery stores. The leaves are high in vitamin K and also contain significant amounts of vitamins A and C.
There are several types of parsley, known as curly leaf parsley and flat leaf or Italian parsley. They are hardy plants and can be grown as an annual or biennial herb. Growing herbs, such as parsley, does not take much work, and they can be grown both indoors and outdoors.
Fresh parsley from the garden or grocery store can easily be dried at home for fresh parsley flakes. One way to dry the parsley is to make small bundles and hang them up in a warm, dark room until they have fully dried. They can also be dried in a dehydrator, which speeds up the drying process and helps the parsley flakes to retain a rich, green color. Once the parsley is completely dried, the leaves can be removed from the stems and lightly crushed. Crushing the leaves causes the aroma and flavor to evaporate quicker; therefore, leaving them whole can help to prolong the shelf life.
Its versatility makes cooking with parsley very easy. The flakes go well in meat sauces, marinades, and salad dressings. They can also be combined with many other herbs in soups, casseroles, and meat dishes. Dried parsley flakes can be substituted for fresh parsley at a ratio of about one to three dried parsley to fresh parsley. The flakes should be stored out of sunlight in a cool and dry place.
In addition to the many culinary uses, parsley flakes can also help to promote good health. The herb is said to be good for the kidneys and helps to reduce high blood pressure. It is also beneficial for helping the body to absorb more manganese, especially when it is consumed with foods that are high in copper and zinc. Despite the benefits, parsley should be consumed in moderate amounts because it contains oxalic acid, which can cause the formation of kidney stones. Pregnant women should take extra care not to consume large quantities as it can have a uterotonic affect.