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Because I live alone, it's less expensive to buy a whole head of lettuce or leafy green vegetable than in a plastic bag all by itself. When I get the head of lettuce home, I cut the core end off and remove any leaves that are bad. I wring a small terry cloth towel out with cold water and wrap the head of lettuce in it. I then put the head of lettuce with the towel in a plastic shopping bag, press out the excess air, twist the top of the bag and fasten with a clothes pin or twistie. I put this in the refrigerator.
About every second day, I unwrap the lettuce and cut off any brown that may have appeared. I have kept lettuce for up to three weeks that are fresh and good. When you remove leaves, do not cut off with a knife. Just pull off or cut off with kitchen shears.
By Clara from Roswell, GA
I live alone and also have a problems with lettuce and celery going bad before I finish using them. I have used foil to wrap lettuce and celery for several years and seems to work well for me. Also, I never use a knife on lettuce either. I pinch off the brown parts when needed and to easily remove the core just turn the head upside down and bang the core on the counter then twist it out of the head. Great way to also get out your frustration! :)
When preparing a head of lettuce, never use a metal knife. Always use a plastic blade. This will keep it from rusting (turning brown), so it looks and tastes so good. Works for me every time.
By dottie46 from USA
I have found that the Greens (lettuce, etc.) in plastic boxes much superior to the bagged product. I live alone and one of the smaller boxes will keep for an entire week of salads & sandwiches.
My green and red leaf lettuce keeps for about two weeks. I wrap it in a paper towel, and then put in into a plastic grocery sack. I then store it in the crisper of my refrigerator.
By Laura from Golden, CO
I have found that lettuce will keep up to 2 weeks if I start with a head of lettuce. I pull off the amount of leaves I need from the outside of the head and leave the hard center intact.
I keep lettuce and celery in aluminum foil. That works for me.
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I worked in a small deli for a few years, about 1970. They had a solution, that sliced lettuce that had rust on the cut edges was soaked in and it removed almost all the rust. Anyone know or heard what this solution could be?
Times have changed in the food & restaurant business; what worked then is almost definitely not allowed now.
The rust color forms on lettuce surfaces with exposure and reaction to elthelyne gas-most often from storing it with fruit in the fridge. The problem may be reduced by storing lettuce at the coldest temperatures in the fridge, away from any fruit and wrapping securely in plastic bags.
Ascorbic acid. Dissolve it in water and it also helps cut vegetables remain fresh for longer periods. Check Google: it's a natural substance.
I never use a metal knife on lettuce, I tear it. I'm told a plastic cutter avoids the rust too but have never tried it. Worth a go.
Marg from England.
Generally speaking, I slice off a fine layer of the cut side to use it again. It doesn't waste that much.
How can I keep lettuce form rotting in fridge? The veggie bags with little holes are no longer on the market and I find the lettuce gets too wet in the veggie drawer.
Miriam from Southbury, CT
Put a piece of burnt toast in the plastic bag with the lettuce. I saw this idea on a talk show.
I always remove the lettuce from the plastic, and wrap the lettuce in a moist cotton tea towel.. be sure to remove any excess water from the towel prior to wrapping.. This is also a good way to store left over salad..Just cover it with a damp tea towel, and place in the fridge.
Another tip to prolong the freshness of lettuce is to remove the core (the hard thing at the end) before storing it. It is best not to wash greens until you are ready to use them.
For years I have used the same process and foil trick that Mary Lou described and also do the same with celery. I find it works great since I live alone and don't use either of them very fast. I also never cut lettuce with a knife and just pinch off brown parts as needed. Turning the head upside-down and banging the core on the counter then twisting it out not only keeps form having to use a knife to remove it, which causes brown spots, but it also helps to get out your frustrations (knives and frustration are not a good combination). :)
How do you keep lettuce from "rusting" in the frig and for how long?
By Pamela M
The rust is caused by an interaction between the knife and the lettuce. I use a plastic knife I found at Macy's but you can find them in lots of kitchen stores. It doesn't prevent the rust but delays it for several days.
What works for me is to place the cut lettuce in a storage container that is lined with a paper towel and then place a paper towel on top before putting the lid on. Doing this soaks up the excess moisture that makes the lettuce go bad more quickly. It takes about a week before the edges begin to turn brown and stays crisp for that long too.
Here's some scientific info about cutting vs tearing - Seems it really doesn't make a difference how you do it:
This is a tip I got from a recipe newsletter, maybe this one. I live alone so I take a bag of my cut up lettuce (I use Romaine), And divide it so I have 2 ounces each in quart freezer bags. Then wrap a saltine in paper towel and put in with the lettuce. I have used lettuce that was 2 weeks old and it was fine.
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My tip is a way to save money and food with lettuce. I am a senior who lives alone. I buy the bagged lettuce because it is hard for me to cut up lettuce. If I didn't eat the bag of lettuce quick enough, I still ended up wasting some of it. I knew this was because of the natural moisture in the bag. One day an idea popped into my head. Moisture can be wiped up with paper towels. So I put a folded sheet of paper towel in the bag before I folded down the top and put a clip on the bag. I cannot eat a lot of lettuce at one time for medical reasons, so only eat a small salad every other day or so. If I notice the towel is getting moist, I put a fresh (dry) piece in the bag. I have had a bag of lettuce last me almost two weeks. Saves money and food. Try it.
Source: My own idea.
By knitter from Bloomington, Illinois
With iceberg lettuce: 1) Core lettuce (slam the bottom on counter, and pull out stump) 2) Rinse lettuce, and rip in half so water drains out well. Dry if necessary, 3) Place lettuce in a large tupperware/zip plastic bag, with a paper towel (to wick extra water away), change paper towel if it gets really damp. 4) Never put in the back of the fridge, could freeze.
Another option: switch to romaine lettuce: filled with nutrients and easily outlasts iceberg lettuce. (04/10/2007)
I made veggie bags out of old terry cloth towels. I wash the lettuce, let dry, wrap in paper toweling and store in terry bags. Lasts much longer for me this way. (04/10/2007)
I do not wash my lettuce until I need it. I wrap the head in heavy duty foil and it keeps fairly well. I find if I wash it, it gets more rust. I agree with Starchild in VT romaine lettuce has more nutrients(because it is darker green than iceberg) and keeps much better. (04/10/2007)
I just got a salad spinner and love it. As soon as I get my lettuce home, I break up and wash it. Then spin it completely dry. DRY is the key. Then put it in a zip lock or tupperware and it will last you about 3 weeks or more, but dry it. If it's wet, it will get brown and slimy. (04/10/2007)
For Iceberg lettuce, do not wash until ready to use. Wrap in dry paper towel and keep in a plastic bag. It will stay nice for a couple weeks. (04/10/2007)
Keep it in a large bowl in the fridge that has some water and a few ice cubes in it. Change the water and cubes every day until the lettuce is used up. Not a lot of ice cubes just about 3 or 4 and about 1 cup of cold water. (04/10/2007)
Put the lettuce in a large ziploc and put a paper towel in it to absorb wetness, also there is a website that tells you how to preserve veges, it is under the national center for food preservation. (04/10/2007)
I wrap it in 1 or 2 paper towels and just keep it in the bag from the grocery store. It lasts a couple of weeks for me this way. (04/10/2007)
I found out on another site similar to this one that wrapping lettuce, celery, carrots or peppers in foil will let you keep it for weeks. I presently have celery in foil for the last 3 weeks and it looks just like it did when I bought it. My bibb and iceberg and romaine lettuce is just as fresh as it was 2 weeks ago. There is just my husband and me and we don't use these veggies very fast. I used to throw away more than I used or bought just enough from the salad bar ($$$$) for a meal. Thank the foil folks for saving me mega bucks. (04/10/2007)
When we went into food service, the owner of another restaurant told me to keep sliced or chopped lettuce in icy cold water. It lasts at least 5 days at home, but I never let it go that long in our food service concession, just in case. (04/10/2007)
The traditional Tupperware lettuce container worked well. From that, most have learned, as described below, to keep it in a plastic bag with a paper towel.
I use romaine lettuce, because it is healthier. We just leave it in the original plastic bag. It stays in the veggie drawer. We only wash it when we remove a leaf.
Not only that, but I chop this lettuce for salads, including celery and other greens, and store it in a sealed plastic container. It lasts all week. When I want a salad, I put one or two handsful into a bowl, then add freshly chopped tomato and anything else that appeals to me. (04/10/2007)
By the Oracle
Romaine lettuce is stays fresh longer. (04/11/2007)
Romaine lettuce stays fresh longer. (04/11/2007)
Store it washed, (and spun in a salad spinner if you have one) in a paper towel lined bowl, and then cover the bowl. It will stay amazingly fresh for a couple of weeks. The lettuce needs moisture, but not directly on it, which is why storing it in plastic bags usually winds up with it slimy. Paper towels keep the moisture in the bowl (or bag) without making it too wet. (04/12/2007)
Nice duck photo!
After washing and drying it, wrap lettuce in a paper towel and further wrap cellophane wrap or a plastic grocery bag. It works. I also do this for fresh parsley and other fresh herbs, and they last in my fridge for an amazing amount of time. (04/12/2007)
I am the person who originally asked about keeping lettuce. I want to thank everyone for the great response. I'm on a mission to try everyone's suggestions. Thanks again! (04/12/2007)
By Marjorie from Michigan
Wash and dry and seal in Food Saver Canister. Lasts forever if you reseal it each time you open it. (04/12/2007)
If you use a nylon knife instead of metal to cut it and then put what you don't use in a zip lock bag in the fridge, it will stay fresh (04/13/2007)
"The Willen Sisters" say to put burnt toast with lettuce. In other veggies, I add 1 or 2 sponges, it absorbs the moisture and keeps a long time in regular plastic bags. (04/15/2007)
Tupperware lettuce keeper has worked for me for years same thing my mom used. (04/15/2007)
That sounds like a good idea. Don't know why I haven't thought of that myself. I put paper towels in with green onions in a ziplock bag and they stay fresh longer. I'm going to put one in the salad and give it a try. A friend of mine that works in a restaurant with a salad bar said they keep the lettuce already broken up in a big pan of water in the refrigerator and fill the salad bar as needed. (10/28/2008)
Thank you for this great tip! We live in rural Saskatchewan and it seems that when we feel like eating salad, the lettuce we bought on the last trip to the city is always rotten! Have a great day and thanks again! Nallorey (10/29/2008)