Lettuce is an very good source of source of dietary fiber and vitamins. An issue we all face is how to keep lettuce fresh, preserve nutrients, and be ready to be used when we want to eat it. Ideas for storing lettuce can be particularly confusing as it is not a commonly discussed subject. No one likes to open their refrigerator only to find the food has gone bad the day they are ready to use it. Crisp and fresh leaves are what is wanted when purchased but unfortunately it is often brown and wilted by the time it is gotten to. Below are tips on the best way to store lettuce. We will discuss ways of storing lettuce that will prolong the amount of time you have to use it.
The first step to storing it occurs in the store, as you choose the one you would like – be it iceberg lettuce, romaine or leaf lettuce from a garden. It is very important to choose one that looks fresh. By doing this, you are making sure that it has the longest possible time to be stored. If it is not fresh when purchased it is likely that it will not stay good for long in your refrigerator.
For cleaning lettuce leaves, unless you’re dealing with pre-washed lettuce, washing it before storing is an option that many people choose to utilize. Even washed it can be stored perfectly well for a week or two, read more on that later. Wash the leaves to remove any sand, dirt or particles from it and make it easier to use it when you are ready. Just remember to pat it dry, optionally use salad spinner, and wrap it in paper towels before storing it – towels absorb the moisture.
Tips for storing any salad greens in the refrigerator: it is a good idea to wrap it in extra absorbent paper towels. Once this is done, put it back into its bag, bowl or storage container, and place into the refrigerator. This will help remove some of the moisture – if lettuce is too wet it may cause it to spoil.
Make sure that you give it adequate space in the place it is stored in your refrigerator, which is not always easy if you use veggie crisper fridge drawer. This is very important as it can be easily bruised when crammed in with other fruits and vegetables. By making sure that there is nothing touching it, you can easily avoid this problem. Make sure that fruits are kept away from the stored lettuce. The ethylene gas emitted from some fruits can cause it to spoil quickly when stored closely together. Make sure to store your fruits in a separate area of the refrigerator, it will help lettuce last longer. Tupperware lettuce bowls or lettuce crisper are another options to maintain proper humidity and keep it apart from other veggies.
If you notice any water building up in the bag it is stored in, you will want to drain it out and change the paper towels that it is wrapped in. Napkin or paper towel will do. If this happens, you may have your humidity settings set too high. Make sure to check and make adjustments if needed.
Can you freeze lettuce is a popular question from people who will not be able to use it quickly. As with storing leafy greens in general, the answer, unfortunately, is no. It contains a great deal of water making it impossible to store in the freezer. When thawed it is limp and uninviting. Regular refrigerator, where it lasts a long time, is better way for keeping lettuce fresh.
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