How to keep lettuce fresher for longer

September 2, 2023
fresh lettuce

Lettuce is a versatile and nutritious vegetable, but its freshness can quickly deteriorate if not stored properly. To prevent wilted, slimy lettuce leaves and extend their shelf life, according to Hitchcock Farms, follow these easy tips to keep your lettuce crisp, green, and flavorful for longer.

Choose Fresh and Crisp Lettuce

Start with fresh, high-quality lettuce from your local grocery store or farmer’s market. Look for crisp leaves that are free from browning or discoloration. Avoid lettuce with wilted or damaged leaves, as they are more prone to spoilage. The fresher the lettuce, the longer it will stay crisp and delicious.

Rinse and Dry Thoroughly

Before storing lettuce, give it a gentle rinse under cold water to remove any dirt or debris. Shake off excess moisture and place the lettuce leaves on a clean kitchen towel or in a salad spinner. Ensure they are completely dry before storing, as moisture can promote rot and decay.

Store in a Perforated Bag or Container

To maintain the ideal level of humidity, place the lettuce in a perforated bag or a breathable container. These containers allow proper air circulation, preventing the buildup of excess moisture that can lead to spoilage. Alternatively, you can loosely wrap the lettuce in a paper towel before storing it in a plastic bag.

Keep Refrigerated and Isolated

Lettuce thrives in cold temperatures, so store it in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer at around 0 to 2°C. Keep lettuce away from ethylene-producing fruits, such as apples and bananas, as they can accelerate wilting. Additionally, avoid storing lettuce near foods with strong odors that can be absorbed, affecting its taste.

Cut as You Go

Instead of pre-cutting or chopping the entire head of lettuce, cut or tear the leaves only as needed. Exposed edges tend to wilt faster, so keeping the lettuce intact until use helps retain its freshness. By minimizing surface area, you can reduce oxidation and maintain the crispness of the remaining lettuce.

By following these simple tips, you can extend the freshness of your lettuce and enjoy vibrant, crisp salads for longer.

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By Kaylum Keet for BONA Magazine

Feature Image: Getty

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