Lettuce is among the most delicate vegetables we encounter.
When it is fresh, lettuce is packed with vitamins and minerals that promote good health and the regeneration of damaged cells in our body. Lettuce is not just a vegetable, it holds its significance with a few features that we may not find with most other veggies.
Lettuce cannot be frozen!
Lettuce is useless if it is cooked.
It is such a delicate vegetable that it cannot endure any extreme temperatures whatsoever.
The good thing about lettuce is that it has to be consumed raw, this in turns provides the body with a burst of vitality and energy.
However, lettuce has a very short lifespan so we have to employ different methods to preserve it as long as it can possibly last.
To make lettuce last longer, here are some tips to consider, they worked for me.
- Purchase fresh, crispy lettuce with unwilted leaves, one bad spot can spread and make many and before you know it, the whole bunch of leaves gets spoiled, so start off with good vibrant-looking lettuce.
- Inspect lettuce for insects, eggs, feces, and damaged areas.
- Wash that lettuce thoroughly!
The importance of washing:
Like other fruits and vegetables from even an organic farm, lettuce could have dirt and pathogens such as E. Coli, salmonella or Listeria and even some pesticides still remaining. You may solve this issue by using vinegar and hydrogen peroxide;
Before storing, wash your lettuce in either of the following solutions first:
Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide Solution- remove pathogens and pesticide.
Catch some water in a sink about halfway up and pour in one cup of hydrogen peroxide and one cup vinegar. The ratio does not need to be exact as these are not toxic substances. Immerse the lettuce and let it soak for ten minutes. Then rinse with fresh ice water.
Saltwater Solution- remove some pathogens
In half a gallon of room temperature water or 64 ounces add a half cup of salt and dissolve. Wash lettuce in this solution in order to destroy some of the micro-organisms that may lodge on the leaves, remember it will not be cooked so be as thorough as possible to make it safe to eat.
Wash the lettuce a second time in fresh ice-cold water. This will remove the salt and stiffen the leaves causing them to achieve a crisp, attractive look. The coldness of the water is the beginning of the preservation of the leaves.
Dry the leaves as best as you can, whether by salad spinner or by a clean towel but keep the lettuce cool while drying. Do not allow it to fluctuate between warm and cold temperatures.
Cut the lettuce as desired and place them into a clean dry mason jar and place the mason jar in the refrigerator. Keep it to the lower part of the fridge or in the crisper if possible, it prefers the temperature in the areas that are not too harsh. Lettuce can last even more than three weeks when done this way.