How to Keep Lettuce Crisp in the Fridge


Fresh Crisp Lettuce

Lettuce is the bane of the busy lifestyle.  It goes bad so quickly, and makes frequent trips to the grocery necessary to get enough of it in the family diet.  There are tricks to make it more portable and longer lasting, without breaking a budget.  It is so much more versatile and economical than what can be purchased at a restaurant, that these tips are worth their weight, perhaps in gold.

Moisture is both enemy and friend to salad greens of all kinds, and the moisture of condensation inside containers causes the lettuce to stick to the sides of a bag or container, or to itself, causing it to begin to rot.  This is the process that ruins most lettuce so quickly.  Lettuce becomes wilted if it is allowed to dry out.  Striking the perfect balance between the two is the trick to keeping lettuce in the house.

For delicate baby greens and spinach, greens should be rinsed, and either spun dry in a salad spinner type device, or drained in a colander and patted with paper towels to remove excess moisture.  They should be then either tucked into a paper towel and into a zippered storage bag, or into a plastic storage container, lined top and bottom with a paper towel.  The environment and budget conscious can use the plastic storage container and purchase a package of cloth baby diapers, which can be washed and reused.

Romaine and red leaf lettuce heads naturally last longer, and are a very economical way to do food prep for an entire week and have salads for lunches and dinners without doing prep every day.  In fact, in less than 15 minutes, a big bowl of salad can be prepared for dinners at home, or individual packages can be made for lunches.  These lettuces can be cut in half, or in thirds for large leaves, with a sharp knife and wrapped in a paper towel as above. For the big bowl for dinner time salads, a paper towel (or diaper as mentioned above) just needs to be laid on top of the bowl.

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