You may be wondering about how to keep shredded lettuce fresh longer.
Perhaps you made an excessive amount of shredded lettuce for your salad. But then again, you realized that you are unable to use it all up.
And so, you want to know how to keep lettuce from turning brown, so you can use it again for your future recipes.
If you are looking for tips on how to keep lettuce from turning brown, and you want to keep your lettuce fresher longer, then keep reading for effective advice you need to know!
How To Keep Lettuce From Turning Brown
Salads are not only nutritious but they are very easy to make, too.
This is why they deserve to be a staple in one’s diet. But the only challenging part is knowing how to keep them fresh longer.
Lettuce wilts fast when not stored properly. The last thing you want is to have wilted shredded lettuce in your salad.
So what’s the best way to keep them fresh?
You need to store your lettuce in a clean and dry crisper drawer in the fridge. Make sure the lettuce is dry and wrap it in paper towels. Then, place it in an airtight container or bag. It needs to be away from warm or humid spots.
When stored this way, your lettuce should stay fresh and without any brown spots for a week.
Read more: How To Reheat A Bloomin Onion Properly
How To Keep Shredded Lettuce Fresh
Now that you know the best way to store lettuce, your next question may be – what about if it’s already shredded?
When you made an excess amount of shredded lettuce for your salad, and you want to keep it fresh longer, here are some steps to do:
1. Wash Well
Be sure that your shredded lettuce is cleaned well. If you shred it before washing, then you need to give it a rinse to remove pesticide or excess dirt in it. Wash your lettuce under the tap and gently rinse with cold water.
The worst thing you can do is to store moist lettuce in the fridge. So, after rinsing, be sure to dry it well. Do your best to remove as much moisture as you can by patting it dry with paper towels.
If you have a salad spinner, you can also use that tool for drying the lettuce. This helps in removing excess water off the lettuce. The most important thing is that you get the moisture out as much as possible.
3. Prepare The Container
Now that you have clean and dry lettuce, you can now prepare your container for storing it. Wrap the lettuce in paper towels to absorb excess moisture. Then, get an airtight container or bag and place the lettuce inside.
But be sure not to overstuff the bag or container. You should divide the lettuce into a serving each for the bag. This will make it easier for you to pull it out when you are ready to prepare and serve your salad. Press on your resealable bag once more to remove extra air before zipping it up.
With the lettuce now in the container, you can place it in the fridge. The crisper drawer is the best place to store it but be sure it is clean and dry. There should be no odors or residues on the drawer since these can make their way into the lettuce.
Another thing is that you will need to replace the paper towels you used to wrap the lettuce with. Over time, these will get damp from absorbing extra moisture from the lettuce, and when kept wet, this will cause the leaves to wilt and spoil. So put fresh paper towels every couple of days to prolong the shelf life of the lettuce.
Important Things To Take Note Of
Lettuce can generally last for a week or even 10 days when stored properly. If you want to save it longer, then you can freeze it and keep it for three months. But this won’t work when used as a salad since once you thaw the lettuce, it will become soggy and wilted.
Moreover, the best types of lettuce for freezing are those with thicker leaves. They are able to stay fresh longer unlike those with thin and delicate leaves that go bad quickly.
You can tell that your lettuce is bad by checking the leaves. If they appear limp or wilted, and oftentimes with a rotting smell, then you should toss it. Any discoloration such as brown or black color is not a good sign.
Then, check the head of the lettuce. If it starts to be slimy, including the stem and leaves, then you should not use it anymore.
Lettuce turns brown because of ethylene gas. When in smaller quantities, however, gas won’t make your lettuce go brown. But when stored near fruits that are starting to go bad, the lettuce will react to the gas and turn into a light to rusty brown color.
This is why it is best to store your lettuce in an airtight plastic bag when placed near fruits. It should also be kept in a fridge, specifically in a cool and dry place and away from fruits such as apples and pears that create ethylene gas.
Another reason why lettuce turns brown is because of oxidation. When mishandled, bruising can occur and this activates enzymes that produce compounds giving the leaves a brown color. Once you spot some browning happening on the lettuce head or stem, it won’t take long until it will spread to the rest of the leaves.
So, it is very important to handle lettuce gently when you buy it. Then, don’t cut the head away; instead, tear the leaves away from their core instead.
Iceberg lettuce has tighter heads, which is why it stays fresher longer even if it is a tender type of lettuce. In the case of lettuce with a stiff core such as romaine and iceberg, get this portion out and tear the leaves off the stem gently to prevent damage.
Then, use your salad spinner or paper towels to dry the leaves after rinsing them. Place in a sealed container and use within 3 weeks at the most.
Keeping shredded lettuce fresh is quick and simple with just a few steps. We hope these tips have been helpful in ensuring the quality of your shredded lettuce and preventing it from turning brown.