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Storing Lettuce

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Lettuce is best when it is crisp. Storing your lettuce properly will keep it from wilting and help maintain its flavor. This is a guide about storing lettuce.
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April 17, 2012

I live alone. When I buy a bag of lettuce, I divide it up into serving sizes in quart size bags. In each bag, I place a single saltine cracker that I have wrapped in a paper towel, then press the air out. I have had a bag of lettuce stay good for two weeks. Saves me a lot of money. The cracker absorbs the moisture in the bag.

By Linda from Bloomington

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By 3 found this helpful
May 11, 2009

When chopping iceberg lettuce, it is a use it now, or lose it. This is common knowledge throughout households and the restaurant industry, because it goes brown! Or does it? Cut it with any knife at any size and store it in PVC free plastic wrap and containers or any container with the chemical free plastic wrap and it will not turn brown for a day or more. I use whole foods brand 365 plastic wrap and storage containers as well, have used both organic and non organic iceberg lettuce and it will not brown nearly what it will with regular name brands and cheap imitations. How about that?

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Source: Personal experience, tried and tested!

by Sparklejunk from Columbus, Ohio

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October 9, 20095 found this helpful

I buy romaine lettuce when it is on sale, and have found a way to keep it fresh and crisp for up to 4 weeks. Wash your romaine and core it when you get home from the supermarket. Put it in a colander to drain, then take a large plastic container and line it with enough paper towel to keep the lettuce dry. Layer lettuce and paper towel, and put a sheet of paper towel on top. Close the lid tight and this will keep like new for 4 weeks.

Open and close as often as you wish. As long as you put the top on tight, you will always have fresh romaine!

I discovered this by accident while doing an ahead of time family meal. When my family found out how long it lasted they were very eager to use the tip as well. This works equally as well for any type of grapes. Much less waste and more savings to be had!

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By Deborah from East Margaree

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February 23, 20102 found this helpful

Are you sick of your pretty head of lettuce turning brown and rotting in just a couple of days? Me too. I made a little discovery last week. I went shopping and after putting away the groceries, there was no room left for the lettuce. I cut out the core, filled the head with water to clean it, and let it drain well. I then shredded some off the bottom for a salad.

I put a couple of really wet paper towels under the cut side and one over the top. The lettuce lived on the counter for 4 days. When I checked on it, it was perfectly fresh. No rot, no brown, just perfectly preserved lettuce. It is still living on the counter after 7 days, green and crispy. I think that keeping it dry except for the moisture underneath is the key.

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Go Figure.

Soo from Oroville, CA

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By 1 found this helpful
June 2, 2010

To make your romaine lettuce last longer, rinse well, then wrap it with paper towels and put it into a food storage bag. It lasts a long time this way!

By Debbie from New Ipswich, NH

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By 0 found this helpful
May 9, 2008

Refrigerate lettuce in a sealed, opaque container, such as Tupperware, to keep it green and crisp at least twice as long. Paper bags or black and white newsprint also works, but a container seals in moisture.

By Kel from Dallas, TX

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June 11, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about cleaning and storing romaine hearts. Careful preparation of your romain lettuce can help increase its shelf life and make it easier to quickly make a delicious salad.

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December 2, 20050 found this helpful

You can often recover wilted lettuce by soaking it in ice cold water with a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar. Place it in the fridge for about an hour and it should be much more crisp.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
April 6, 2010

We just got a food saver and we want to freeze up salad mix. I want to know the best way to freeze lettuce, or if you even can. I can't find anything about freezing lettuce.

By Cathi from Vancouver, WA

Answers

April 6, 20100 found this helpful

To my knowledge, lettuce has too much water in it to freeze it. It would thaw and be a nasty slime like stuff.

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April 6, 20100 found this helpful

Yeah, I agree with Dedeswrkshop. I've had lettuce get frost on it, and it got damaged (I was able to remove the frost-damaged spots and the remainder was okay). You can try it, but I don't think it will be successful.

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April 6, 20100 found this helpful

Yeah, think about how soft frozen and thawed strawberries are. The freezing break the cell walls of the plant and it will loose its "crispness". If you are going to add it to soup or something, it should be fine. But it won't make a good salad.

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April 6, 20100 found this helpful

Why don't you make and freeze some lettuce soup. Try the following website and see if there are some lettuce soup recipes.

http://www.recipezaar.com

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April 7, 20100 found this helpful

If you intend the lettuce for salad STOP it cannot be done.

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April 8, 20100 found this helpful

How about if you vacuum seal it and keep it in the fridge, one week's worth at a time. Just make sure to cut the opening in an even line, or the sealer won't seal when you re-seal it.

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September 22, 20120 found this helpful

I have frozen romaine hearts for use in green Smoothies by first blending the leaves with just a little water in my Vitamix blender, then freezing in ice cube trays. Then I add the frozen cubes to green Smoothies in whatever amount desired.

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June 25, 20170 found this helpful

I too have a food saver and have found that if you want to store for salad, unfortunately you can't really freeze it - it comes out rubbery. However, I DO mix all my garden veg together and seal in the food saver system. Eliminate as much moisture as possible - add croutons (discard after opening saved food as they absorb excess moisture) and a couple drops of lemon juice and it can hold for a month in the fridge

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June 25, 20170 found this helpful

I too have a food saver and have found that if you want to store for salad, unfortunately you can't really freeze it - it comes out rubbery. However, I DO mix all my garden veg together and seal in the food saver system. Eliminate as much moisture as possible - add croutons (discard after opening saved food as they absorb excess moisture) and a couple drops of lemon juice and it can hold for a month in the fridge

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By 0 found this helpful
March 3, 2010

What setting should I put my crisper on for storing lettuce?

By Sheila from Burlington, NJ

Answers

March 3, 20100 found this helpful

You have a "humidity level" setting? Open about half but the one thing you should never do to lettuce: cut it with a metal utensil. Alwyas plastic cutting tools or tear it apart by hand. The lettuce lasts longer that way. (Chemical reaction to metal caused it to go brown)

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March 4, 20100 found this helpful

Thank you

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March 5, 20100 found this helpful

Just a tip - our crisper has a meat or vegetable setting. It kept sliding over to meat (kids?) and the produce would freeze, ruining any with a high water content like lettuce. Once you find a setting you like, a little masking tape on either side of the knob will keep it from sliding and save your produce and money.

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April 11, 2012

Anybody have a best way to store lettuce once you "open" the head? I don't like plastic bags, bowls take up too much room, and I've been using the cereal box wax liner with a paper towel to absorb moisture. Any better ideas would be welcome!

By BonnieAlice

Answers

May 7, 20120 found this helpful

I am presuming you mean head lettuce. To reduce size, cut in half and remove the core; then cut in quarters. Any kind of container will work and this smaller size may be a help to you.

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Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

June 2, 20100 found this helpful

Storing Lettuce

Tips and ideas for storing lettuce. Post yours below!

Paper Towels

Do you find that fresh spinach or lettuce goes bad before you can get it eaten? Try wrapping the item in a dry paper towel and then put it in a plastic ziploc bag before storing in the refrigerator. I've been using this method for years and it really does keep things from spoiling a lot longer. My Grandmother taught me this, years ago. I have used it to preserve fresh vegetables and fruits longer in the fridge.

By Josie from Homer, AK

Direct contact with plastic produce bags causes lettuce and parsley to go bad quickly. To preserve the life of leaf lettuce or parsley, try wrapping them in paper towels, then place them back into plastic bags and put them in the crisper.

By Nancy from Madison, WI

Tupperware

I put my lettuce into one of those tupperware lettuce bowls, then always put a fresh napkin or paper towel on top before sealing. Works really good.

By Dede

If you have a Tupperware bowl or storage container with a top. Wash your head lettuce under ht water, core it, drain it, and put in on a paper towel in the container. It remains crisp and fresh, not so sure if this works with leaf lettuce.

By Mary D.

I found out if I wrap my lettuce in paper towels in a Tupperware type bowl it will last a long time. The paper towels absorb the moisture. I live alone and have kept lettuce for 2 or more weeks.

By Brenda from Alabama

Foodsaver Lettuce Canister

I have a foodsaver and love the canister for lettuce. I can keep a head of lettuce for a month in it.

By John

Evert-Fresh Bags

I wrap stalk type lettuce (red leaf, romaine) in a couple of paper towels and store in an Evert-Fresh bag in the veggie crisper fridge drawer. http://www.evertfresh.com

If the lettuce is too wet, I change the paper towels later. I buy the bags in the produce section of the grocery. First saw them at Whole Foods Market, and later on at other grocery stores. If you get some, get a larger bag rather than smaller, as some lettuces can be quite large. I use the large size bag. Been using these bags for quite a few years. Am happy with the results. As the bag is a light green, it makes it easier to spot the lettuce in a hurry. The Evert-Fresh bag lasts a long time. And the directions say to change it with each new head of lettuce, I don't. I just keep reusing the bag until it needs to be discarded. I wash the leaves right before using. I used to close the bag with a twist tie, but now I just place the paper towel wrapped lettuce in the bag, tuck under the open ends and place it in the crisper.

By Holly

Get Rid of Excess Moisture

When I buy romaine or leaf lettuce, I always take extra bags from the produce section of the grocery store. Since the lettuce is constantly getting sprayed throughout the day, when I get home, I take the lettuce (and I do this with everything that gets sprayed with water throughout the day,) I put it in colanders to drain off all the water. When I am sure that the stuff it dry, I put it in the plastic bags, and put it in the crisper of the refrigerator.

Alternatively, I sometimes use Tupperware Fridgesmart containers. These have buttons at the front which allow you to control the air flow into the containers. When I purchased these containers on E-bay, I was sent a chart that tells me what setting I need for various products. It works wonderfully, and keeps the produce for quite a long time, however, the draw back of these containers is that they do take up a lot of space in the refrigerator.

It's important to make sure that whenever storing produce, that you have made sure to get rid of all of the excess moisture and water. Failure to do so will result in rotting very quickly. I would also advise that people not wash the produce prior to storing, but rather that they wash it prior to using. It stays fresher that way. And if you wash it just prior to use, sometimes the cold water helps to freshen the stuff too.

By skbeal

Store lettuce with a paper towel and it will last longer. The paper towel will absorb moisture. If you are storing lettuce in a container, line the bottom of the container with a layer of paper towels.

I'm single, so I can't eat an entire bag of precut lettuce salad. After my first serving, I place two non-printed, white papertowels (don't want colored ink running into my salad) inside the bag. Then I store it upside down in the fridge so the towels are on the bottom. The next time I reach for salad, those two towels are wet and the lettuce leaves are pretty dry and rust free.

By ann

Don't Cut Lettuce with a Knife

Never cut lettuce with a knife and when you go to store it, place it in a airtight container, it will last longer that way.

By Sunshine

Use A Cloth Bag

Put the lettuce in damp paper towels and then a cloth bag. I bought a cloth bag specifically for keeping lettuce and it says to have the bag completely wet -- I don't do that, just be the towels are damp. My lettuce has stayed fresh up to ten days with great taste. If it is wilted, soak in cold or ice water for 10 minutes and you'll have "new" lettuce.

Ziplock Bags

I wash leaf lettuce in cold water, drain well, then store in a ziplock bag with a paper towel. Keeps the lettuce fresh for days.

By Brandy

Wash your lettuce and dry it on a towel. Once thoroughly dry, seal in a Ziplock bag. Do not store near apples, pears or bananas as the ethylene gas these fruits emit will help speed the ripening (and decay) process.

By Jennifer

Store In Cold Water

I read here once that you should wash your lettuce then place it in a bowl of cold water with a tight fitting lid. Keep it in the ice box. Your lettuce will stay crisp. When you use it, just take out what you want drain on a paper towel. Drain off water off of unused lettuce. And replace with fresh water. This holds true for other greens and salad fixings except tomatoes.

By madeline

Reuse Folgers Container For Lettuce

The large red plastic Folger's coffee cans make excellent storage for lettuce. They are good for other things too. Be sure to label the container. I especially love the handle on the container!

By Syd from Dunkirk, MD

Advice From Experts

You know it all depends on where the produce is coming from and how long it's spent in transit before we even buy it. My brother in law is a produce manager and he definitely said that wrapping veggies in paper towels does help keep it fresh longer. I do this with celery and it lasts a lot longer. I do not wash any veggies before they go in the fridge and you should never refrigerate tomatoes or wash them until serving.

By Debbie52

I have spent the last 30 years working in the food service industry and had the opportunity to witness repeatedly the effects of different methods of storing all types of produce. Lettuce is very sensitive to repeated small changes in temperature. Keeping it in a tupperware or the crisper drawer will help avoid the 2 or 3 degree changes that occurs when opening and closing your walk-in cooler or home refrigerator. I have used a insulated produce locker in my walk-in for years. I'm sold on it.

By Chef Lawrence

Answers:

Storing Lettuce

I store my lettuce in foil and just take it as I need it. I use iceberg lettuce whole. I don't know if it works on other types. To restore limp lettuce and celery, place in cold water with ice. I do this in the sink which is stainless steel. (04/03/2007)

By lisa

Storing Lettuce

I soak a dishtowel in cold water and wrap my lettuce in it. Then I put the whole thing into a plastic grocery bag. I close it with a knot and put it in the veggie drawer in my fridge. Lettuce keeps close to 3 weeks (10/13/2008)

By Marie

Storing Lettuce

Excellent suggestions, I'll try the paper towel ones. (01/14/2009)

By Doris G.

Storing Lettuce

I use the paper towel idea with strawberries, as soon as i bring them home from the store I put a folded paper towel in the box on top of the berries, it gives you a couple extra days out them. (01/14/2009)

By melmarr

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October 3, 20060 found this helpful

Does anyone know a way to keep lettuce and salad fresher, longer. I've tried the paper towel wrapping, but it doesn't seem to help.

Thank you in advance,

Jule61 from Zanesville, Ohio

Answers:

Storing Lettuce

Put the lettuce in damp paper towels and then a cloth bag. I bought a cloth bag specifically for keeping lettuce and it says to have the bag completely wet -- I don't do that, just be the towels are damp. My lettuce has stayed fresh up to ten days with great taste. If it is wilted, soak in cold or ice water for 10 minutes and you'll have "new" lettuce. (06/05/2006)

By

Storing Lettuce

I read here once that you should wash your lettuce then place it in a bowl of cold water with a tight fitting lid. Keep it in the ice box. Your lettuce will stay crisp. When you use it, just take out what you want drain on a paper towel. Drain off water off of unused lettuce. And replace with fresh water. This holds true for other greens and salad fixens except tomatoes. (06/06/2006)

By madeline

Storing Lettuce

I heard to just rinse the lettuce the day you use it then store it between paper towels then wrap with plastic wrap (06/15/2006)

By miraclelady50

Storing Lettuce

Well, it seems that just about everything has been suggested already. I can tell you that for myself, I put my lettuce (head or loose) in an air tight bowl with just maybe a tablespoon of water in the bottom. On head lettuce I take the core out and make sure the open part is next to the water. The bowl I have had a plastic disc that I put in the bottom so the lettuce isn't sitting directly in the water. On loose lettuce I put a damp paper towel in. It works for me!!! (07/31/2006)

By TonyaG

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May 11, 20060 found this helpful
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May 11, 20060 found this helpful
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July 20, 20050 found this helpful
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