How to Keep Green Salads Fresh

If you are a fan of green salads, chances are you buy lettuce or greens in big bags. And while this is truly an economical way of buying groceries and obtain the right amount of vegetable servings, what you often encounter after opening the bag are wilted, soggy or even slimy greens. Is there a way to keep salad greens fresh for days or even weeks?

Yes, although you may not find this believable at this point. Whole, tasty, and seasoned salad greens in your refrigerator can stay as fresh as the day you bought them and ready to be portioned out whenever you feel like a salad. Some people roll up lettuce in a small bath towel while others roll theirs in paper towels. Either way, this method prevents moisture from building up and destroying the crispness of lettuce.

Why is It Important to Keep Greens Fresh?

green saladsAs mentioned, eating your salad greens crisp and crunchy is not nearly as important as preserving their vitamins, minerals, and nutrients by keeping them fresh for health reasons. Lettuce, spinach, kale, and other greens are rich sources of vitamins B6, A, and C, calcium, fiber, phytonutrients, beta-carotene, and folate. Leafy vegetables are your best choice for a healthy diet because they have no cholesterol content.

These greens contain potassium, the mineral needed by the heart, kidneys, and other organs to function normally. Moreover, salad greens are naturally low in calories and sodium and have unique compounds which can help promote health on a long-term basis. The phytonutrients found in salad greens are antioxidant agents that can help in the prevention of chronic diseases such as cancer.

Keeping Greens from Contaminants

Here are some tried and tested tips on how to keep salad greens fresh and free from contaminants:

  • Make sure that you pack the fresh greens in plastic bags separate from raw poultry and meats.
  • Refrigerate the greens immediately or within a couple of hours after their purchase.
  • The temperature at which the greens should be stored is between 35˚F and 40˚F. Storing leafy greens at their appropriate temperature is important to ensure that they do not lose their nutritive value.
  • Salad greens, especially lettuce, are highly perishable and should therefore be consumed a week after their purchase.
  • Wash greens thoroughly before refrigerating to keep green salad fresh
  • Leafy greens are more difficult to wash and clean so separate their leaves and immerse them in cold water for several minutes to loosen dirt, sand, silt, grime, and other sediments that may be in them.
  • Use a bowl filled with cold water for this immersion. Do not clean the leaves of salad greens in the sink which is likely to harbor bacteria and be difficult to clean.
  • Presoaking greens in a mixture of half a cup of white distilled vinegar and two cups of water for a few minutes followed by a water rinse is recommended.
  • While this has been proven to significantly reduce contamination of greens by bacteria, it could affect both their taste and texture.
  • Note that the vinegar rinse can lower the possibility of bacterial contamination, albeit it may not eliminate all present microorganisms.
  • Get rid of spoiled, discolored or damaged leaves of greens because these can spoil the whole lot.
  • Spin leafy greens dry using a salad spinner and then wrap and store them in a perforated, clean plastic bag.
  • Greens bought from a wet market should be dried thoroughly either with a soft cloth or paper towels before they are layered in plastic containers.

How to Keep Greens Fresh Using Food Containers

One of the most convenient ways to keep greens for salad handy all the time is to use top quality containers like the OXO GreenSaver Produce Keeper. This set of containers will keep your greens fresh for longer than usual so they are able to retain their original taste and flavor when you make them into a salad. How does this container manage to do that?

Vegetables and fruits both give off what is known as ethylene gas that can speed up ripening processes and cause them to spoil faster. Uncontrolled humidity and improper airflow can also cause greens and other produce to rot more quickly. Storing your greens in plastic bags will limit the amount of airflow and trap them to build up moisture which is a prime condition for rotting and spoilage.

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The unique design of this Produce Keeper “traps” ethylene gas which results in spoilage of greens. This Oxo product uses a carbon filter built into its lid and is activated upon use. With vents in its lid and suspended basket design, air is kept flowing around the greens to prevent moisture build up. Additionally, the GreenSaver Produce Keeper offers attachable filters to the produce drawer’s interior.

This Produce Keeper comes in large, medium, and small sizes but all three have the following common features:

  • Its all-natural carbon filter is made from coconuts.
  • The carbon filter absorbs ethylene gas to keep greens and other produce fresh for longer.
  • It has vent slides that are adjustable for closing and opening to ensure optimal levels of humidity for greens and other produce.
  • The carbon filter is economical because it can last for 90 days (that’s roughly three months) of regular use.
  • Signing up with will get you reminders on when your filter should be replaced.
  • Zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, celery, and other produce with length can also be stored in the Produce Keeper.
  • The elevated basket allows better air circulation to prevent spoilage and rotting.
  • Equipped with handles that can easily be removed when it is used as colander.
  • The boxes do not take up much space in the refrigerator any more than the original packaging of the greens.

Should You Get the Produce Keeper?

Of the 184 Amazon customers who reviewed this Produce Keeper, 53% gave it a rating of five stars. One customer reported her appreciation of how this product keeps her herbs fresh. Other customers use their Produce Keeper to store not salad greens but blueberries, strawberries, grapes, blackberries, mushrooms, watermelon slices, raspberries, cherry tomatoes, onions, and bananas.

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It’s about time to switch to food containers that actually preserve the nutritive value of your salad greens and other produce. Eating your vegetables with their crispness and crunch intact is not enough. Eat them with all their nutrition and health benefits retained. Yes, you should get the OXO GreenSaver Produce Keeper if you want to keep your green salads not only fresh for longer but healthier.

Click Here for Best Available Price on the OXO Good Grips GreenSaver Produce Keeper Line…