teresa_nc7September 16, 2012

This may be old news to some of you, but a few weeks ago I came across a blog, Salad-in-a-Jar. This home cook discovered that she could chop, wash, spin dry, and keep romaine lettuce for lunch salads at work by vacuum sealing the cut lettuce in glass canning jars. I hate to make salad for one person, and decided to give it a try.

I just fixed a fresh, crisp salad for myself with lettuce that was prepared on Sept. 1 - each piece of lettuce was crisp, cold, and fresh - not one bit of slime, brown, or stale taste. I added fresh sliced English cucumber, carrots, celery, and red onion to the lettuce along with homemade honey vinaigrette - delicious!

Here are pics of the lettuce in the jars and again in my salad bowl:

My next experiment will involve sealing the cut, washed, and dried lettuce in a Food Saver canister. I can keep the canister in the fridge, then open it, pour out some lettuce in a bowl and re-seal the canister until the next time I want to make a salad. It takes less than 1 minute to vacuum seal the canister.

Here is a link to the blog I mentioned.


Here is a link that might be useful: Salad-in-a-Jar how to

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Hey Teresa, I came across that blog about 6 months ago and have been putting my salad in a jar since. I use 64 ounce Ball jars and my handheld FoodSaver; I use one for lettuce another for scallions and cucumbers. I store them in the vegetable bin. Works great.

I'm glad that you validate this system--you know I trust your methods.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 6:59PM
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That's cool. I stopped making salads at home because I throw away so much slimy lettuce. I don't have a food saver, though. Are they very useful to have?

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 9:10PM
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Pam, the handheld vacuum sealer is probably less expensive than the larger Food Saver system. Although, you might find a FS at a thrift store or yard sale. To seal the jars, you need to have the attachment shown on the video of the link to the blog on this method. I used my largest Food Saver canister to seal the jar: put jar of lettuce in the canister, set metal lid on top of jar, put top of canister on, use tube connector between canister top and FS machine to vacuum seal the jar, then add ring around jar lid.


    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 9:32PM
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What a great idea. I think I have a couple of foodsaver canisters I never use. Will have to try this with some of our garden lettuce.

I'd seen tossing dressing and salad fixings in a quart jar on Pinterest, but never thought about vacuum sealing it.

Thanks Teresa...I have a bunch of Asian salad greens and lettuce that neeeeeds to be picked.

Pam, we love our foodsaver. I seal jars of nuts, wheat germ, bread crumbs...whatever gets stale faster than I can use it. This morning we made bags of mixed fruits for smoothies...blueberries, strawberries, bananas and diced peaches, (frozen first on trays and then dumped into bags). Also freeze and seal bags of vegies, spaghetti sauce, bbq beef,whatever...boil-in-the-bag leftovers.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 9:36PM
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I saw this on Pinterest and I immediately started pricing food savers. I actually think I would use one fairly often since I cook all the time. Just haven't been able to bite the bullet and get one yet. I am so glad to hear that this method really does work. Thanks for posting.


    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 9:58PM
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My aunts (or maybe they were my mother's cousins) used to store celery in jars, but I don't have that much room in my fridge. Besides that, celery and lettuce never go bad in my fridge because I use them up too quickly. The only exception is red leaf lettuce, and so I am careful when I buy that.

When I store lettuce, I make sure it is as dry as possible and wrap it in paper towels and store it in a grocery store plastic bag. I haven't found the need to chop it ahead of time, but I'm sure that spin drying it helps.

I tend to make Caesar Salads, and so I do not have those other vegetables in the mix. I do like to add mushrooms occasionally, however. If I make a salad with cucumber, it will not have lettuce in it.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 1:47AM
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I'll have to watch for a food saver at the thrift shop. Another good place to look is my mother's basement since she has every kitchen gadget know to (wo)man. I am trying to throw away less food these days as it has gotten so expensive. Teresa, as you and I know, shopping for one person leads to a lot of waste. So many items are sold in bags or cans and go bad before I can use them up. I just paid $4 for a bag of spinach and it got slimy before I could use half of it.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 11:17AM
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Pam, you can get really good frozen spinach at Trader Joe's. It comes in a bag that is somewhat loose so that you can remove what you want to use and put the rest back into the freezer. If you are buying spinach for a salad, you can still make your salad and then freeze the leftover spinach for a cooked dish later on. If I want to store fresh spinach, I put it through the salad spinner to get it as dry as possible and then wrap it in paper towels before putting it in a plastic bag. I generally change the paper towels every other day. I do not buy spinach in a bag except for frozen. I normally get it at the farmers' market, and it usually has enough dirt on it that I can simply put it in a jar, roots down, add some water, and it will continue to grow.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 2:00PM
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Thanks, Lars. I only like spinach in salads and hidden in things like veggie lasagna. I can't stand a pile of green cooked spinach on my plate.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 10:35PM
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katiec, do you buy special bags for boiling? On the rare occasion that a bag actually stays sealed, I've tried to boil things and the bag melts where it touches the side of the pan. Do I need a bigger pan?

I also saw something somewhere that said put a bit of vinegar in a small container and freeze it. Add a little baking soda and stick the opened container in a bag of greens. There's a chemical reaction as the vinegar thaws and reacts with the soda and it'll keep vegetables longer. Where did I see that? It might be an option for those who don't have a Foodsaver.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 10:31AM
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