We’ve all reached inside that bag of chopped lettuce and pulled out soggy brown squares that leave slime on our fingers. Gross. Lettuce is frustrating because you can’t cook it or freeze it. Either you eat it raw, or it goes bad.
Luckily, it’s very easy to extend the life of leafy vegetables.
Fruit and vegetables are food, but we quite often forget that they’re also living plants. What plants need more than anything is WATER. That’s why at grocery stores, some of the plants are put under misters.
It’s just like when you get a bouquet of flowers; you put them in a vase with water to keep them alive as long as possible.
Not every fruit and vegetable will benefit from more water – an apple and an orange is pretty much set the way it is. But you can put a plank of celery in a cup of water, and you can do the same with green onions or herbs like cilantro and basil.
Lettuce, kale, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, arugula, turnip greens, mustard greens, and collard greens will stay fresh for ages if you put them in a bowl or a Tupperware container partway filled with water.
Of course, that takes up a lot of room in your refrigerator and you risk spilling it. Another method is to rinse the plants so they’re good and soaked and then wrap them in aluminum foil. This traps the moisture in without taking up the space needed to submerge them.
If you unwrap the plants and notice they’re a little wilted, rinse them in water again and they’ll usually perk right up.
When we tried this, our lettuce was actually BETTER than when we first got it at the store. I heard a blogger claim her lettuce stayed fresh a whole month this way. I haven't tried it... we don't let crisp, delicious lettuce sit in our fridge that long!