Tips for keeping lettuce fresh for longer

Lettuce is one of the most versatile and healthy vegetables which is used in the preparation of multiple salads and recipes. However, its leaves can quickly become damaged if it is not treated properly at home. Therefore, in this article we will give you some tips to keep your lettuce fresh for longer.

Like other green leaves, like spinach, coriander or arugula, lettuce is usually eaten raw. Therefore, by not undergoing a cooking process it is easier for it to store bacteria, dirt and insects that can cause intestinal infections.

Information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that the most common microbes that cause diseases transmitted by green leafy vegetables are norovirus and bacteria E. coli. For this reason, it is essential to always carry out a thorough cleaning and disinfection process to preserve the lettuces in good condition.

What happens when we keep lettuce for several days in the fridge?

The fridge is an ideal place to keep lettuces in good condition. However, some recommendations should be followed to optimize the conservation of this vegetable.

First of all, it is important to put it in the crisper drawer or in the front, because if it is left behind or in the freezer the leaves can burn or wilt.

Likewise, do not mix it with fruits or other vegetables like tomato or apples, because together they can spoil more quickly. The best recommendation is to keep it alone in a bag in the fridge. Also, putting kitchen paper between its sheets can help it not preserve too much moisture.

Lettuce can spoil quickly if we do not take the proper precautions, since it is a vegetable that is not cooked and is consumed raw.

Continue reading: 3 benefits of red leaf lettuce

What happens if lettuce is stored in a bag?

Bagged lettuce is usually washed and disinfected and keeps very well in its container up to a week if it doesn't open. Its type of packaging does not allow air flow.

However, once the bag is opened, it is very important to consume it in a short time. In addition, this type of lettuce requires not to cut its cold chain and keep it at about 4 degrees Celsius.

Discover: What variety of lettuce to choose and how to grow it

Tips and Methods to Keep Lettuce Fresh Longer

We are going to give you some tips for the home that you can apply to keep lettuce fresh longer. These are related to the time of purchase and the care that must be taken at home when arriving with the product.

1. Buy the greenest lettuces

It is important that from the purchase in the supermarket you choose the best lettuces. If you notice that it has withered edges, you should consume it in a short time, as this is an indicator that it is not fresh. If you still decide to buy it, it is best to remove the damaged parts before storing it.

2. Store the leaves whole, so you will keep the lettuce fresh for longer

Whole leaves keep better than cut pieces. For this reason, it is preferable that the warehouses are complete and cut only before serving.

If you are cutting them anyway, do so with your hand or ceramic knives, as steel can make the blades rust more easily. In large leaf lettuces, such as romaine or red, you can cut the trunk.

However, it is best not to try it with the small leaves, such as butter lettuce or Tudela buds. But do not throw these logs in the trash, because with a few simple tricks you could regenerate them.

3. Dry the lettuce very well with kitchen paper

Leaving lettuce wet is one of the most common mistakes that causes it to rot or wilt. For this reason, it is very important that after washing, you shake it very well to remove excess water and then dry it with kitchen paper towels.

Make sure there are no hidden little droplets. Leaving a sheet of paper to cover the leaves can help keep the lettuce fresh longer.

When washing lettuce you have to do it very well, since bacteria and particle remains can come on the leaves.

4. Store in a sealed plastic container to keep the lettuce fresh.

An investigation by the University of Santa Catarina (Brazil), which evaluated the best conservation techniques for hydroponic lettuces, found that those packed in closed and refrigerated plastic containers were better preservedeven after 20 days of storage.

He also found that the ideal temperature for storage was 5 degrees Celsius. Therefore, you can use a plastic container with a lid to store it in the fridge. Make sure it has some air space.

5. Wrap them in aluminum foil

Another tip to preserve lettuce is to wrap it in aluminum foil. First you must wash and dry it very well. For this process you can use a little food bleach.

Then, You must wrap it in aluminum foil without leaving any open spaces. You can even put the leaves in portions. Thus, you will only have to uncover the ones that you are going to use every day.

Keeping lettuce fresh depends on the variety

As we have pointed out in the article, cleaning and storage is essential to keep the lettuce fresh for longer. However, you should also know that its duration depends largely on the variety of the vegetable.

Romaine lettuce lasts about 10 days, butter and red lettuce about 5, iceberg or crisp about 2 weeks. Keep it in mind when you make your purchase.