Spring is here and that means local salad greens are becoming more available at your local farmers markets and in CSA shares. While fresh salad greens are a tasty, versatile source of vitamins and minerals, many people pass them up due to their seemingly short shelf life. Here are a few simple ways that you can store your greens to avoid having them wither away before they’re enjoyed.
- Sealable Bag with Towel
The most common method for storing greens, once you’ve washed and sorted the leaves (remove any already dead leaves), lay paper towels or clean dish towels flat on the counter and then lay leaves on the towels. Roll the leaves up in the paper towels and place them in the bag. Remove all of the air and seal. This method helps keep excess moisture off of the leaves which helps them to stay fresh and crisp. This method will keep the greens fresh for about 7 days.
- Reusable Container with Towel
Similar to the first method, using a glass (or BPA free plastic) storage container can be helpful for decreasing moisture, but also helps to keep the greens fluffy as the container allows for more space. The container also helps decrease any bruising due to other items in the fridge. For this method, line the container with paper towels or a dish towel, place the greens inside and then cover with another paper towel. This method will keep greens fresh for about 7 – 10 days.
- Air Filled Plastic Bag
Another effective method for storing greens can often be seen at the Farmers Markets. Many farmers will sell their greens in produce bags filled with air tightly sealed. This can be easily done at home with any fresh greens. Simply reuse your produce bag, place the sorted greens in the bag and with your mouth, blow a big puff of air into the bag and seal it as tightly as possible so air does not escape or enter. This method is said work well due to the carbon dioxide that is in the bag from the puff of air. These greens will last 7 – 10 days.
Now that you know how to properly store your greens, let’s make sure you use them! Try some of these inspiring recipes for salads, dinners, lunches and more.
By: Katie Cavuto, RD, Chef