Salads are a healthy and tasty addition to any meal plan. However, sometimes buying or growing salad greens in bulk can be a challenge. It is difficult to keep them fresh for long periods of time. In this article, we will explore how to store salad greens to keep them fresh for longer, without using chemicals or special preservation techniques.
Understanding Salad Greens
Salad greens are a group of leafy greens, herbs, and vegetables used in salads. These greens are usually delicate and need to be handled carefully to ensure that they do not wilt, go soggy or develop unsightly brown spots. The most common salad greens include:
- Swiss chard
Each of these greens has different storage and serving requirements. Below are some general storage tips that apply to most types of salad greens:
- Remove leaves that look wilted, yellow or brown, or feel slimy to the touch.
- Rinse the remaining greens in cold water and shake off the excess water.
- Wrap the greens in a clean dry towel or paper towel and store them in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag.
- Label the container or bag with the type of greens and the date to keep track of their shelf life.
- Store the container or bag in the fridge’s crisper drawer away from fruits like apples and bananas that emit ethylene gas that can cause the greens to ripen quickly.
Stop Wasting the Scraps
Another way of utilizing the leftover greens is by using them in your next meal instead of throwing them away. For example, wilted lettuce and spinach can be blended into a smoothie, while slightly older greens like basil and parsley can be used to make a pesto.
Salad Dressing Tips
The salad dressing is another critical aspect of keeping your salad greens fresh for longer. Dress the greens just before serving to avoid adding moisture to the greens, which causes them to wilt. Store the dressing separately in a tightly sealed glass jar or container and keep it in the fridge.
Storing your salad greens correctly can keep them fresh for longer periods, ensuring that you have access to a healthy and nutritious addition to your meal plan. Keep in mind the key storage tips and utilize the leftover greens, dressing, and scraps as creatively as possible to make the most out of your purchased or homegrown greens.
FAQs about Salad Greens Storage
1. How often should I change the paper towel when storing salad greens?
It is recommendable to change the paper towel every three days to remove excess moisture and keep the greens fresh for longer periods.
2. Can salad greens be kept at room temperature?
Salad greens are best kept in the refrigerator, but they can stay at room temperature for about four to six hours if they are not wilted or bruised.
3. How long do different types of salad greens last?
The shelf life of salad greens varies depending on the type, but most last between four to fourteen days. For example, lettuce lasts between five to seven days, while spinach can last for up to ten days.