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This simple step will keep your bagged salad fresher, longer

This simple step will keep your bagged salad fresher, longer
Posted at 7:30 AM, Jan 31, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-31 20:42:33-05

To cut down on grocery bills, they say you should only visit the supermarket once a week. To which I say, “But what about salad greens?”

We eat a lot of salad for meals in our house, and we also add lettuce to our daily sandwiches. In my experience, bagged salad lasts four days, tops. No one wants to eat soggy lettuce leaves. So, back to the supermarket I go, at least twice a week.

But the folks at Tasting Tablehave suggested a method to keep bagged salads fresher, longer. Their technique involves removing the greens from the bag, drying them out on a paper towel and placing them back in the fridge in an airtight container.

There are a few reasons they say you need to remove the salad from the bag.

First of all, temperature changes during transport from the store to your house cause condensation to form on the greens — and wet lettuce leaves spoil faster. The leaves on the bottom are especially at risk, since the water drips down and makes them soggier than the rest.

Secondly, if your bag of salad greens already contains some wilted or discolored leaves, they can cause the rest of the leaves to spoil more quickly.

Finally, if you have a large bag of lettuce, the greens on the bottom of the bag are likely to get crushed under the weight of those on top.

I couldn’t wait to test the technique to see if it worked. So, on my next trip to the grocery store, I bought my usual bag of salad greens (we like romaine lettuce) and headed home for my experiment.

Here’s the bagged salad I bought. Can you see the condensation I mentioned above?

bagged salad
Courtesy of Jennifer Kizer

As soon as I hit the kitchen, I opened the bag and poured the greens on a paper towel, spreading them out to dry completely. I looked through the leaves to see if there were any wilted or discolored ones that needed to be tossed. Nope — they were all in good shape.

Salad greens
Courtesy of Jennifer Kizer

Next, I returned half of the greens to the original bag and clipped it shut. I put the other half of the greens in a glass container with a lid. Then, I placed them both in my crisper. This was Day 1, a Tuesday.

bagged salad
Courtesy of Jennifer Kizer

The following day (Wednesday), when I checked on both salads, they were both still green, fresh and appetizing. Even the next day (Thursday), I didn’t see any significant changes in either the bagged romaine or in the lettuce in the airtight container.

Then came Friday, the dreaded Day 4, when my bagged salad always starts to go south. I took out both sets of greens and poured them into a salad bowl.

First, I examined the greens I’d left in the bag. As you can see from the photo below, about one third of the lettuce leaves had started to get pinkish-brown.

salad greens
Courtesy of Jennifer Kizer

Next, I removed the bagged greens from the salad bowl and replaced them with the greens I’d stored in an airtight container. Some of those second greens had started to turn brown, though not as many as in the first batch. See below.

salad greens
Courtesy of Jennifer Kizer

Clearly, the technique works, though I wasn’t completely thrilled with the results. Considering there were still some brown bits on Day 4, even among the greens in the airtight container, my problem wasn’t really solved.

The editors at Tasting Table may have predicted this outcome, because they also offered a second suggestion — this time about what to do if your salad isn’t spoiled, but it’s not perfectly fresh either.

If your greens are beginning to look less than ideal but aren’t soggy or smelly, they suggest that you submerge them in cold water with a squeeze of lemon juice for a few minutes to revive them. Then, spin them in a salad spinner to remove all the water, and store them in an airtight container lined with paper towels.

If you don’t have a salad spinner, this might be your reason to buy one. The ExcelSteel Functional is an excellent salad spinner that costs under $20.

salad spinner
Amazon

$20 at Amazon

Another option is to remove your salad from the bag and store it in a bag made specifically for this purpose. Bluapple VeggieZips premium produce storage bags have special venting flaps to let ethylene gas escape, and they are lined with a HydroLiner, a cloth that absorbs excess moisture.

Bluapple claims their bags will keep your lettuce fresh for two weeks, no ice water revivals required.

Bluapple VeggieZip bags
Amazon

$10.99 (for a 10-pack) at Amazon

If you’ve been looking for how to keep bagged salad fresher, longer, this might be an option to try. Keep in mind, however, that it’s not fool proof and there might be other methods that give better results.


This simple step will keep your bagged salad fresher, longer originally appeared on Simplemost.com

This story originally appeared on Simplemost.