Keeping salad fresh

Brenda_TCDecember 3, 2001

DH and I enjoy salad, but it can be kind of a fiasco to get put together. If I were to make a large one in the beginning of the week, what do you think is the best way to keep it fresh the rest of the week??

Has anyone had experience (good or bad) with the new Fresh Protect bags from Glad?

Thanks!

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ann_t

Just to clarify, do you want to make the salad with all the ingredients added or are you planning to just get your lettuce and greens washed and stored separately?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2001 at 2:46PM
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Brenda_TC

Hmmm. Whatever would work best I suppose. I'm not expecting it to be fresh for a month, just Mon-Fri would be ideal. Seems like it turns brown on the edges. . . Anyone know if those plastic lettuce knives keep the greens from doing that?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2001 at 2:52PM
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ann_t

I think you would be safe in washing and storing your lettuce if you wrapped it in papertowling and placed it in a plastic bag or a plastic sealed container. It should keep for 5 days. I usually tear the lettuce leaves by hand rather than a knife. I would not add the rest of the ingredients and the dressing until just before you are going to serve.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2001 at 9:01PM
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Michelle_MO

I find that I can make a salad that will stay fresh 4-5 days if I do this:

- wash and spin-dry the lettuce; tear by hand rather than using a knife to prevent browning (yes, the plastic knives serve this purpose as well if you don't want to tear)
- other ingredients that can be added without problems: radishes, bacon bits, shredded cheese, broccoli, carrots, hard boiled egg, onion, peas
- ingredients that don't keep as well (seem to make the salad watery or limp) tomato, cucumber, dressing, croutons, artichoke hearts,

    Bookmark   December 5, 2001 at 4:48PM
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Becky_M

imitation bacon bits get mushy, too, if added ahead of time.

You can cut up & store in plastic baggies all the stuff that you'll want to add to your salad - tomato wedges, cucumber slices, olives, stuff like that....and then keep the rest handy - eggs hard-boiled, cheese shredded, grapes washed & picked from the vine.....

    Bookmark   December 9, 2001 at 7:10PM
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ann_t

I find that cut tomatoes do not store well. They become watery and mushy and the flavour deteriorates. I would only add fresh tomatoes to a salad close to serving time. Ann.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2001 at 1:56PM
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cookingrvc_hotmail_com

Just a word on moisture.

As Michelle stated, wash and spin.
It is important to remove as much moisture as you can - keeps if fresher longer.

Sue

    Bookmark   December 11, 2001 at 11:16AM
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Brenda_TC

Well I tried this - ripped (not cut) the entire head of lettuce (a lot of times it goes bad b/c it's a hassle to get together at the hectic dinnertime), rinsed and drained it in a strainer and packed it in a plastic bag with a paper towel. Sounds like I should change my paper towel though, b/c I know it's damp, which I guess isn't good? I'm dying to try those Fresh Protect bags but they are expensive! Actually though, I think just the fact that I have it ripped up will make a big difference in how fast it gets used. Thanks for all the input!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2001 at 3:36PM
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browntoes

I keep hearing how great Tupperware's new FridgeSmart containers are. I plan to get a set this month when my friend has a party. Maybe this is a good solution for you!

Here is a link that might be useful: Tupperware FridgeSmart containers

    Bookmark   December 30, 2001 at 5:19PM
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lindac

Actually your lettuce won't keep as well if it's torn up.
I wash a head of lettuce or a bunch of spinach and spin in myd spinner.....but before I had that I would put it in a pillow case I kept for the purpose and go out side and whirl the greens around....spinning the water out!
Then Store the dry greens in an air tight bag with a dry paper towel. It's about a 2 minute job to break up clean and dry lettuce for a salad....and no lettuce will keep from Monday to Friday without browning on the edges....unless it has commercial preservatives.
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 31, 2001 at 8:41PM
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stookey

I swear by my FridgeSmarts from Tupperware! I don't have a lot of time so I buy a big bag of salad and throw it in my FridgeSmart the minute I get home. The stuff generally lasts more than a week. I have the large round container and if you watch ebay, you can generally find one for a good price. They are worth the money! In fact, I would recommend these before I would buy special refrigerator bags. The bags will only get costly over time, but you can use the Tupperware over and over again, plus it comes with a lifetime guarantee. Check out the Tupperware web site if you have more questions. :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Tupperware

    Bookmark   January 15, 2002 at 12:36PM
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matbri_epix_net

a food saver is great for keeping lettuce fresu for up to 2 weeks or more, It also useful for so many other things too.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2002 at 6:41PM
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cjcj

I second the vote for a Foodsaver--I tear my lettuce up and seal it in a canning jar or one of their canisters. It stays fresh for about 2-3 weeks (though it rarely lasts that long). I also use it for tomatoes, grapes and other foods that perish quickly. It's one of those rare items that REALLY does what the ad says it will do. Worth the $.
Just my $.02
Cj

    Bookmark   January 24, 2002 at 1:54PM
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Cynic

Vacuum sealing will make it last much longer. But assuming you don't have one, I've found that you need to remove moisture. It needs to be dry as possible. And I've had different experience with some of the other posters. When I leave the bag open a bit, air circulates and it drys and lasts much longer. If you notice the bags specially made for keeping salads and veggies are nothing but plastic bags with holes poked in them! And yes, changing paper toweling will help. Paper towels will absorb some moisture but will be in there so you need to remove the moisture. Just my 2¢ worth!

Ken

    Bookmark   January 27, 2002 at 12:34AM
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fwbc4_hotmail_com

Any container will work to store lettuce that has been cleaned and torn. I prefer to keep mine in a plastic bag. It will keep longer if you put a couple dry paper towels in the bottom of the bag and two more on top. The paper towels absorb the water, so the lettuce stays crispy.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2002 at 9:38PM
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ann_t

It will keep even better if the leaves are left whole and not torn until you need it.

Ann.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2002 at 1:48PM
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clink1833

I really like the fresh protect bags from Glad. They really do keep yourproduce fresher longer. I had some green onions that were kept fresh the 2 1/2 weeks between my grocery shopping. I use these bags and make sure that the lettuce is really dry. I also put some paper towels in to keep the moisture off the lettuce. I also get all the air out of the bag when I ziplock it. What I do is zip it up almost all the way and then put a straw in. I then suck all the air out and zip it all the up while I take the straw out. A little obsessive, I know, but it really does make a difference.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2002 at 2:56PM
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Lisa_Lee

This is how I do Romain lettuce and it seems to last the week just fine.
Rinse lettuce then cut in stips(or tear) Let air dry on towel, seal in a good ziploc.
Also do this with baby spinach, definitly make sure is completely dry.
Very easy for teenagers to make quick salad.
If we do head lettuce,shredd some carrot and red cabbage. Not much nutrients in head lettuce thou.
I find if you add cheese it turns mushy.

Lisa

    Bookmark   February 5, 2002 at 5:28PM
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Brenda_TC

I was thinking that the Fresh Protect bags had holes in them? Am I mistaken?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2002 at 4:37PM
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MoAtWork

hmmm, no one has mentioned the ready made salads. I have been buying these and just use a twisty to seal the bag. After years of buying 2 or 3 different types of lettuce and throwing most of it out, I found the salad in a bag more economical for me. I keep black olives in a snack sized gladware container, only use grape tomatoes, add some blue cheese and bacon bits. I'm more like to eat salad now.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2002 at 11:11AM
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wanda1101

Do you find that the ready made salads spoil quickly after you open them? We eat a lot of salad and I find myself buying the smallest bag possible to avoid spoilage.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2002 at 3:09PM
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MoAtWork

No, I find the opposite to be true. Just check the expiration dates on the bags. We usually go through 2 small bags a week. We prefer the American salad or the Greener Selections, once in a while a Medditerean, I haven't found those in big bags yet.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2002 at 11:31AM
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Lannie_49

I think the ready made salads don't taste as fresh after they are opened. I like the convience of having it already made but I don't care for the taste after it has been opened. I waste alot of salad because of that.
I have also used the fresh protect bags and find that they do help some.
Elaine

    Bookmark   February 16, 2002 at 3:50PM
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keck

Spinach and romaine seem to keep the best for me. I wash only what I need...not the whole thing. I try to dry it completely, but I like having bags that have holes in them. I just bought produce drawer liners from Amana. www.amana.com

I hope they help!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2002 at 3:55PM
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