Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Tips on how to keep Lettuce from going bad?

09-19-2005, 10:07 PM
What do you do in keeping the lettuce nice and fresh? I've wanted to buy my lettuce in bulk (I shop at Sams Club) but I did this once and by 4 days, it all went bad. The bag was had holes for the lettuce to breath...not sure what went wrong? I like to eat salads for lunch but I don't want to keep having to go to the grocery store every day for lettuce. :shrug:

Thanks for your help! :)

09-20-2005, 11:44 AM
when i buy lettuce or greens of any kind i immediately wash and chop it up and stick it in a zip-lock bag (not the kind that's 'specially engineered' for veggies or anything) with a damp paper towel. i have a bag of spring mix that's just turned two weeks old and is fresh as a daisy. i don't know what it is, but any kind of greens left to their own accord in my fridge wilt up in seconds otherwise. hope this works for you-

09-20-2005, 12:43 PM
I find the bagged mixes wilt faster than whole head/bunch greens. One important thing about bagged greens is to check the sell-by date. You'll rarely find bags that are dated more than a week out, but try not to get one with a sell-by that's the next day or two. I've also find that they wilt faster once you've opened them. The biggest enemy of fresh greens is excess moisture, so if you get condensation on the inside of the bag, that can be a big culprit.

Buying whole greens is cheaper, and here's a great method for keeping them fresh for a maximum amount of time. This technique comes from the great food scientist Shirley Corrhier:

Break the head of lettuce (or whatever green you are working with) into separate leaves. Don't chop, just remove the core (if any) and pull the leaves apart. Wash thoroughly; the easiest way is to fill a very large bowl or tub or even a clean kitchen sink with water, swish the leaves around, and let the dirt settle. Remove the leaves and drain and rinse the bowl/tub. Then, fill the bowl with cold water and a good amount of ICE. Put the greens in the ice water and push them down to submerge as much as possible. Let them soak in the ice water for 30 minutes, stirring gently occasionally. Remove the greens and DRY THOROUGHLY using a salad spinner and/or by laying flat on a large clean towel, rolling up, and squeezing gently. Put the dry leaves in a dry ziploc bag (gallon size is good). Seal the bag, squeezing out as much air as possible.

It sounds like a lot of work but there's really only about 5 minutes of effort involved. I've had greens last for WEEKS using this method, it really works.

09-22-2005, 11:42 AM
Thanks so much!

09-22-2005, 11:54 AM
I'm a bit lazy, but this works too.... I buy Romaine hearts and baby spinach from Sam's

I DON'T wash....I chop off the end of the hearts and wrap each one in a DRY paper-towel....when it gets wet, I change it.

for baby spinach, I line each side of the bag with a dry paper-towel to absorb excess moisture which leads to rotting vegetables.

Suzanne 3FC
09-23-2005, 12:45 PM
I bought some evert fresh bags, which are supposed to extend the life of your produce, and they really do work! I normally buy the bagged salad greens, but can't stock up because they will start to turn before I eat them all. I recently bought a few bags and emptied them into an evert fresh bag and they stayed fresh at least twice as long. They are also great for bananas and apples and a lot of vegetables. I didn't notice a difference when I tried to store fruits such as peaches and plums, but that was just my experience.

Google evert fresh to find where to get them. They aren't cheap, but you can reuse them quite a few times.

09-27-2005, 12:06 PM
Awesome info. here! Thanks funniegirl for directing me here! I am going to try all ways and see which lasts longer here. :)