How to store mixed salad greens?

John__ShowMe__USA(5/6)November 13, 2011

Romaine, arugula, chard, spinach etc. Whole leaf with stems.

Sometimes they get "slimy" after only 4 or 5 days in the fridge. I have to drive 21 miles one way to get enough organic greens for one week so is expensive to start with.

Those green bags? (I tried them several years back & wasn't impressed)

Or refrigerated in water? ( a google search today came up with that one)

And how about storing cut greens? I read you are supposed to tear the greens rather than cutting them, but that just takes too long for me & I bruise them too much.

Are slimy greens dangerous? I toss them when notice that, but you can bet that the previous day some were a little slimy even if I didn't notice.

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plays_in_dirt_dirt(Z7A VA bordering NC state line)

John, I store leafy salad greens by layering them between paper towels into a large rectangular salad container with a lid, the kind you get at the club stores. I put a paper towel in the bottom, a handful of greens, another paper towel, handful of greens ... They stay fresh about two weeks this way. Sometimes I have to discard a few leaves, but overall, this is the best method I've found.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 3:14PM
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I use plastic grocery bags - the ones that make a kinda crinkly noise when you squish them. Put a paper towel in the bag, a handful of greens, another paper towel, another handful of greens, etc.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 3:56PM
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I use green bags and have for years. I think the true secret to using them to best advantage is to separate the actual bag from the produce. Don't wash or separate lettuce, just remove any visibly deteriorating leaves. Wrap with paper towels, slide into green bag and place in fridge. Do NOT close bag too tightly. Can last up to a couple of weeks if fresh.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 3:59PM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

Ice cream buckets - large one, are great for keeping greens crispy. I bang the stem of iceberg lettuce on the counter, and extract it from the head, submerge it in water in the bucket and place in the fridge. I'm "iffy" about whether to cut or pull apart, but it all depends on how many heads of lettuce one works with. A few years ago, I worked as a salad chef - and "pulling apart by hand" can lead to workmen's comp very shortly.

Best to pull apart by hand when only a few head are involved. I do believe that a metal tool should NOT be used on lettuce, however, cuz it seems to promote rust.

Keeping slimy vegetables out of the crisper drawer helps keep the rest of the veggies fresh.

Just my 2 c's.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 4:05PM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

I'm another fan of the green bags.
I do just as psittacinejungle posted with the paper towel and closed loosely. I usually wash mine because it's from my garden and never sprayed with chemicals and sometimes I have "hitchhikers" that make it into the house. I don't want slugs and earwigs in my crisper drawer! I just rinse and let drip a little in a big colander.

Some greens last longer than others too. You may need to plan your consumption based on rate of deterioration.
For me, iceberg is the worst, eat it first.
Then other loose leaf lettuces, then romaines.
Kales, spinach, chard, etc. seem to last quite awhile longer.

Nothing more frustraing than spending $$ on good produce and having to toss it!


    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 5:16PM
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Thanks for replies!

Tried to find the green bags today w/o success. TT produce worker at Walmart stuporcenter and produce manager at large local chain store and both said quit selling it because of no repeat sales. The manager flat out said that they don't work any better than a plain bag.

Bought another plastic carton of organic greens, but too tired to do anything with it today. Long afternoon at neurology clinic getting electric shocks and needles poked in me.


So... keeping in ice-cold water does work. I found that it was the best and easiest way to keep cukes for pickling this year too. I need to find that thread and update my findings. The original poster said that was what he did & I think he was right.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 5:33PM
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OK... am going to Amazon some green bags tomorrow so can do some more comparisons.

My chem professor hated me because of all my 'why' & 'what if' questions. Lucky for the world that I got drafted just after my soph year. The showme part of my screen name kinda tells the story.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 5:57PM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

I got my first green bags from
Decent price. Lately, I've found them at my local Dollar Tree stores (bread bags too, same concept). The one from the Dollar Tree are a different color, kind of a turquoise/teal instead of green. They seem to work just as well for me though.


    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 5:37PM
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chudak(10 San Diego)

When I bring greens home from the store I typically wash them right then so they are subsequently ready to use. Then I either:

1) Throw them in a salad spinner, spin, drain and throw the whole salad spinner full of greens in the fridge


2) Put them in a ziptop bag with a couple of paper towels. I never really 'layer' them, just fill the bag judiciously and use extra bags if I need to

Greens stored this way last me several weeks easily. I've had lettuce still fresh and usable after almost a month at times.

When I go out into the garden to pick things like chard I always pick more then I'll eat that night and always wash it, cut the stems off and throw the stems and leaves in a bag as above so I can have it ready to prepare a couple of nights in a row.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 10:17AM
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I know this is an old thread, but I thought I would add to it. Spritz your lettuce with lemon juice. It works very well in preventing lettuce turning brown or mushy. The lemon taste it adds is very light and mostly unnoticeable. If you do not care for it, you can always rinse just before use.


    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 9:39AM
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