Do you know what's the most disgusting thing to eat? No, it's not a salad. They can actually be quite delicious if you know how to make them. And if they have fresh and crispy lettuce! Because no one likes half-dead lettuce that stinks up your whole salad and soaks through your sandwich.
Lettuce by nature is a very fragile veggie. Don't pay attention to them enough and you'll end up with a stack of soggy lettuce leaves. And nobody has time to buy lettuce on a daily basis for their recipes. So what do we do then? Why learn how to keep lettuce fresh of course!
- Wash your Lettuce!
- But coming back to the question, why wash lettuce to keep them fresh?
- What about the pre-washed Lettuce Leaves?
- Storing your Lettuce
- So how do we store Lettuce properly?
- What is the longest way to store lettuce?
- Can't I just freeze lettuce to preserve them longer?
- Some concluding tips to keep your Lettuce fresh!
To keep lettuce fresh all you need to know is the basics of vegetable caring and how to store them. With a tiny bit of effort on your part and some small investment in extra kitchen items, you will end up saving a lot in the long run by not having to throw out rotten lettuce. So what are we waiting for? Lettuce (Sorry, but we just had to do it!) get started on this guide to keeping your lettuce fresh!
Wash your Lettuce!
First of all, you should wash all your vegetables before storing them away. That is just basic hygiene and common sense. Vegetables, and especially the leafy kinds like lettuce can come from the market with all kinds of bugs, dust, and what, not on them. Properly washing them is the key to eating healthy and clean, especially when lettuce is eaten in the raw form most times, and not cooked. In fact, we suggest you go the extra mile and buy disinfectants that come for vegetables especially, to make sure that your lettuce will be really clean.
But coming back to the question, why wash lettuce to keep them fresh?
A bacteria and bug-free lettuce mean it will not get spoiled fast. It will also keep them smelling fresh longer. But you also have to make sure to dry the lettuce thoroughly after you wash it. Use dry paper towels or a salad spinner to get all the water out. This will make sure that your lettuce will not go rotten any sooner because moisture accelerates that process. For an added measure,
remove any lettuce leave that seems wilted, soggy, or spoiled. It will make the healthy lettuce leaves go bad too.
What about the pre-washed Lettuce Leaves?
Yes, pre-washed and cut lettuce is a thing, no matter how much we recommend you don't get it as it's nothing like the fresh lettuce straight out of the farmer's market. Still, if you are planning to get the pre-packaged lettuce them we suggest you thoroughly wash and dry them as well. In fact, disinfect them for good measure as these packaged lettuce are known to carry E-Coli. Or, just go the better road and don't buy the packaged lettuce! Why do you want packaged stuff and fresh lettuce is available in your nearby farmer's market? And yes, this lettuce will definitely last longer than the packaged ones!
Storing your Lettuce
Any person who takes vegetables seriously will tell you that the real secret behind fresh veggies is proper storage. If you are one of those laid-back people who just keep your vegetables in the fridge until the kingdom comes, then of course you are going to end up with soggy and wilted lettuce after a few days.
So how do we store Lettuce properly?
Lettuce is that sensitive kind of leafy vegetable that needs a decent amount of moisture and air to stay fresh and crisp, but if you give them too much of that, they will wilt and get soggy. Ultimately, you'll end up with a pile of rotten lettuce. So you need to make sure lettuce is stored in optimum conditions that will keep them preserved.
If you want to store lettuce separately in individual leaves, then wash them, dry them thoroughly using spin-dry or paper towels and keep them in a lettuce keeper in your fridge. What's a lettuce keeper you might ask? It's a special container that comes specifically to sore lettuce.
It will keep your lettuce with enough moisture and airflow that it will stay crisp and fresh, and not let them wilt and go soggy for a long while. Alternatively, you can use a plastic ziplock bag to store lettuce.
Just make sure to keep it a tiny bit open to allow airflow to go through. Or if don't have a lettuce keeper or a zip lock back, then just keep them wrapped up in paper towels inside the fridge. Make sure to replace the towels periodically when they get wet and soggy from all the moisture.
If you want to keep a whole head of lettuce, then simply put a wet paper towel around it and keep it in a plastic bag inside your fridge. This method is way simple and easier then the previous one, although you'd not have the ease of getting individual leaves from straight go for your salads or sandwiches.
What is the longest way to store lettuce?
While both ways of storing lettuce, that is storing them as individual leaves or storing the whole head of lettuce are effective, the latter definitely lasts longer compared to the first one. Just for comparison: a whole head of lettuce will last one to three weeks if stored properly. While loose leaves of lettuce will last just ten days at most despite ball precautions in storing.
Can't I just freeze lettuce to preserve them longer?
Actually, you can do that! Freezing lettuce is totally an option! If you want frozen lettuce, then we recommend a thicker variety of lettuce for it, like butterhead or romaine. You should also keep in mind that freezing lettuce will lose its crispiness and flavor, so you cannot use frozen lettuce for salads or sandwiches. If you ever wondered why fast food burgers have bad lettuce, this is the reason. They use frozen lettuce. You wouldn't want that!
Still, frozen lettuce is perfectly found for recipes like smoothies or soups. Just take your individual lettuce leaves, wash and squeeze all water out of them. Then store it in an air-tight bag and store it in the freezer. Alternatively, you can puree your lettuce and freeze then in cubes which you can use in your healthy green smoothies. The biggest advantage of this freezing method is that it will last for a very long time. Frozen lettuce can last up to six months!
Some concluding tips to keep your Lettuce fresh!
- Store your lettuce in the crisper drawer in your fridge. Yes, it's there in every fridge!
- If you are using paper towels to store lettuce then replace them from time to time. This will prevent your lettuce going slimy.
- Check your lettuce every two days for any bad leaf. If you find a wilted or soiled leaf then immediately remove it from the bunch. This will keep the rest of the lettuce from going bad.
- Don't keep your lettuce in the back of your fridge. Lettuce is a delicate leafy vegetable and needs its own dedicated space to prevent any damage to its leaves. So make sure your lettuce doesn't get squished.
- Romaine lettuce is the best lettuce variety when it comes to how long they last.
We don't need to tell you that green leafy vegetables like lettuce is healthy for you. And not only is it healthy, but it's also a vital part of our most day to day recipes. We don't think there's any salad where lettuce is not included, or any sandwich or burger where lettuce is not added! So we hope that this guide will help you keep your lettuce fresh and crispy enough for all your recipes!