Salads are an integral part of any healthy diet. Not only are they incredibly easy to make, but the lettuce used to make them also offers a myriad of health benefits that can serve you in the long run.
That alone should tell you why lettuce should be a staple in your household. But why is it so hard to keep lettuce from wilting?
How do you store shredded lettuce? Shredded lettuce is best stored in a clean crisper drawer in your fridge, wrapped in paper towels and kept in an airtight bag or container away from warm spots. It can be kept fresh this way for up to a week.
That said, keeping lettuce fresh is often easier said than done. This is because, like other green and leafy vegetables, they have a distinctly short shelf life. Luckily, we are here to lend a hand.
This guide breaks down the best way to store shredded lettuce. After all, it isn’t as simple as just sticking the vegetables in your fridge.
How Long Does Shredded Lettuce Last?
Before anything else, the longevity of your lettuce, as limited as it is, can be affected by several factors.
For instance, if you buy old and wilted lettuce from the supermarket, then chances are it will barely last you a few days.
This is regardless of whether or not you follow the proper procedure. That said, you need to ensure that your lettuce is as fresh and firm as possible. We can’t stress this enough.
If you are buying your ingredients in advance, then you need to invest in freshness.
With any luck, you can store shredded lettuce in your fridge for at least a week. That is, if you do everything right. This means making sure that it is properly cleaned, chopped, and refrigerated.
That may seem like a lot of work, but it is surely worth it if you want to maintain a healthy diet or always have fresh ingredients for your burgers, tacos, coleslaws, and more.
How to Keep Shredded Lettuce Fresh
If you want to ensure that your shredded lettuce stays as fresh as possible, then you’ll want to follow the steps we have listed below.
Here’s the best way to store shredded lettuce:
- Wash thoroughly – The first step after purchasing your lettuce is to wash it thoroughly. While supermarkets undoubtedly enforce strict rules when it comes to the food they are selling, you can never be too sure what may be clinging to your food. Better safe than sorry, as the adage goes. The last thing you want is to have any excess dirt or pesticide mixed into your salad. So, be sure to put your lettuce under the tap and rinse well with cold water.
- Dry the Lettuce – Once you have washed the lettuce, you can then proceed to dry it. This step is incredibly crucial. The last thing you want is an excess of moisture, so make sure to dry it really well. If you have a salad spinner in your kitchen, we suggest putting it to good use. This is the best way to get all that water off the leaves. However, if you don’t have that, then paper towels should work as well.
- Shred, Chop, or Tear the lettuce – Next, you will need to chop or tear your lettuce after cleaning. This will make portioning later that much easier. At the same time, chopping your lettuce also helps make things more manageable. For instance, if you refrigerate a whole head of lettuce and rot starts to set in, salvaging the remaining parts will prove difficult. This is an altogether different story when it comes to chopped lettuce.
- Line Your Sealable Bags With Paper Towels – Once you have chopped your lettuce, set them aside for a while as you prepare the sealable bags. To do this, simply grab a couple of paper towel before you place the lettuce inside. As you may have figured out, the paper towel serves a specific purpose: it is there to absorbs any extra moisture that can ruin your lettuce. It is a simple trick that delivers wonderful results, yet most people often neglect this step.
- Place the Lettuce in the Sealable Bag – Do not overstuff your bags. We recommend that you divide your lettuce into one salad serving per bag to make things simpler. Once that is done, press on the bag to get rid of any excess extra air before sealing it shut.
- Store in the Clean Crisper Drawer – Before you put your bag of lettuce in the fridge, make sure the drawer is nice and clean and that any other vegetables in it are fresh. Any residues or odors clinging to the drawer are likely to find their way into your shredded lettuce, no matter how airtight.
As a rule, you may need to keep an eye on the paper towels you stuffed in the sealable bags and replace them every couple of days or when wet. This will help improve the shelf life of your shredded lettuce.
There you have it: six simple steps to storing your shredded lettuce. Enjoy your fresh salad!