Friday, August 26, 2016

How to keep lettuce crisp and fresh

Posted by Amanda Villaruel |
Tired of finding wilted lettuce in the fridge?

I don't know about you, but we had the nasty habit of throwing away droopy lettuce, even if it was still edible. We threw it away because it looked unappetizing and it was difficult to use in salads. I'm not proud of it, but those are the facts.

This habit of ours continued until last year, when we received a tip from a nice gardener working in the community garden here in Oslo. There's an easy way of keeping the lettuce crisp and fresh, so you can save money and at the same time, reduce food waste :-)
Please stand up, mr. lettuce. Quick tip on how to revive wilted lettuce.
Please stand up, mr. lettuce. Quick tip on how to revive wilted lettuce.


It may not come as a surprise that lettuce is one of the vegetables we throw away regularly. A study on food loss in US supermarkets shows that as much as 700 million pounds of fresh romaine and lettuce from 2011-2012 were left "uneaten", suggesting that the lettuce might have been discarded as waste.1

So, how to keep lettuce crisp and fresh?

Revive the lettuce easily

  1. Fill the kitchen sink or a large bowl with cold water.
  2. Place the wilted lettuce leaves in the water for at least 30 minutes. An hour is perfect if you have the time. If you want to revive a head lettuce, it's simpler to cut off the roots and place the leaves in cold water.
Revive wilted lettuce in cold water
Revive wilted lettuce in cold water

What happens is that the lettuce absorbs the water and regains its perky shape.

The explanation for this is fairly simple. Most vegetables contain more than 80% water, and the lettuce alone contains 96% water. Once the lettuce is removed from its natural access to water, it will eventually going to need moisture. If not, the lettuce will become soggy and sad :-)

What about other vegetables?

The soaking method works terrifically for all leafy vegetables, including kale, spinach and pak choy. I also tested the soaking method for our squishy polka beets and kohlrabi. After spending the night inside the fridge in a bowl of water, they were good to eat again ;-)

Herbs, aspargus, carrots and celery should be placed in a glass of cold water, after you have trimmed the bottoms. Squishy potatoes should be peeled and then soaked in water until crisp.

How to store the lettuce in the fridge

There are many ways of storing lettuce in the refrigerator, involving paper towels, containers and plastic bags. The method we use to store leafy vegetables can be more environmentally friendly, because you don't need to throw away any paper towels or plastic bags after use.

You only need a kitchen towel  :-)
  1. After you have soaked the lettuce, place it in a clean kitchen towel. 
  2. Pack the lettuce by rolling the kitchen towel. 
  3. Moisten the kitchen towel lightly with cold water. 
  4. When the towel has absorbed the water, place the lettuce in the fridge. Don't wring the towel, just let it absorb the water on its own. 
  5. And voila! Your lettuce is good for at least 4-5 days. To keep it fresh, moisten the towel every 4-5 days. And don't forget to eat it! ;-)
Store lettuce leaves in clean kitchen towel
Store lettuce leaves in clean kitchen towel
Pack the lettuce in a kitchen towel
Pack the lettuce in a kitchen towel
Last step is to moisten the kitchen towel, and then place the lettuce in the fridge
Last step is to moisten the kitchen towel, and then place the lettuce in the fridge



Continue to read:
How to reduce your meat consumption, also for the lazy cook.

When your friends eat meat and you don't.


Sources:

Have your say about what you just read :)

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...