There is nothing worse than when you go to store your lettuce, and it comes out wilted, soggy, and disappointing. Part of the nutritious appeal of lettuce is the crunch that you get from eating it, making it perfect to round out the soft texture of hamburgers and salads. When you eat somewhere like Chipotle, McDonalds, and Chic-fil-a, how to they keep their greens from wilting for so long?
Restaurants keep lettuce in a cool area in a storage container with significant ventilation.
Why Does Lettuce Spoil So Easily?
One of the hardest parts about storing a leafy green is that the structure is made of mostly water, which makes it easy for the plant to wilt and turn an unappealing color and texture. But storing greens correctly can delay this, and its actually pretty easy to do!
The science behind leafy greens, and why they are so hard to store, can be attributed to their chemical structure. When a vegetable is water based, they spoil very easily. After the first use, it can become very easy to let them spoil accidentally due to improper storage.
When lettuce is being transported from garden to store, not much is done to ensure its preservation. That means that its up to you to keep them fresh as long as you can.
What Can I Do to Prevent Spoilage?
The best way is to treat your lettuce as if you were in a restaurant. There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the storage and care of leafy greens. One of the main mistakes you may be making is buying the wrong king of green.
If you’re going to use prepackaged greens, you need to check the expiration date. If the leaves on these greens are already wilting and turning discolored, then you need to look for another box. Prepackaged greens may have preservatives on them to keep them going for longer than an average head of lettuce, but there are still storage problems that people have by not checking.
For prepackaged greens, you also may need to cut small holes into the box. The way that the box is used is to keep the freshness inside, but when you begin to store it, it will start to wilt almost immediately. Poking small holes in the box can help your prepackaged greens lifespan, and you’ll be much happier with the texture.
For storing fresh greens, you should store them in a box with holes at the top. This will allow the lettuce to not gather condensation from the fridge, and the texture and color of the lettuce will stay longer than before.
Is There Any Way I Can Save Leaves That Are Already Wilting?
The best way to save the texture of a wilting leaf is to put it in a big bowl with ice cubes and very cold water. This old hack has been shown to make the lettuce crispy again, but the color will not change.
What Temperature Should my Fridge Be to Keep Leafy Greens?
Your fridge should be at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower for leafy greens for optimum storage.