For 2 or 3 days, you can store a prepared salad in a bowl in the refrig...and just put several layers of wet paper towels on top of the bowl, pressed down lightly on top of the greens. I do wait to add tomatoes, avocado and dressing until serving day.
But the rest is fine---the evaporation of the water actually cools the salad very nicely, and keeps it crisp. (Keeping the greens too wet results in the decomposition sludge effect--LOL)
My mom did this for years while I was growing up---long before salad spinners, and ziplocks.....and lots cheaper than large plastic containers! :)
Edited by: LADYSTARWIND at: 11/15/2013 (20:56)
"The only thing we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." Gandalf: Lord of the Rings
i find that paper towels turn to pulp. so what i do is dry the washed lettuce on tea towels. then i take the wet tea towels and fold the lettuce into them and store in a container in the fridge. i make sure that every open area of the leaf or stem is touching the wet towel. and i keep the towels damp to wet. i've kept lettuce for about three weeks this way [forgot to finish it off, went on vacation, came back and it was still crisp]. i also buy heads not bags as they seem to last longer. i would say that prepping each ingredient like this [in the best way for that ingredient], and then just grabbing a little container for each salad and mixing it all together when it's time to eat may be the best bet.
i do know people who mix up a big container in the fridge and just scoop out, but i think the key to that is having a big family so while you're adding one or two things everyday, you have four people scooping a bowl for lunch and dinner so it's really just going fast. every time i ask their secret and try it my big container just turns to sludge.
I second the paper towel in a ziplock bag. I do it all the time. I rinse, pat the lettuce dry, place in the ziplock bag, with a dry paper towel, squeeze the air out and zip. It works for a few days. I try not to buy the pre packaged lettuce offerings, as Im really picky about the pieces and I end up throwing half of it away. It doesn't seem to stay as fresh as the "fresh' stuff doesn either.
Since I don't have a salad spinner I will give the paper towels a try
If that does not work I will be going out shopping....... I will let you know how I make out
FYI a friend who use to work in her kids school cafeteria told me years ago that the school would clean and pull apart their iceberg lettuce and store it in cold water in the frig. It does last a long time ( but you can't store a ready made salad that way)
Somewhere I have a salad spinner! (Look in a thrift shop and you can usually find one CHEAP.)
But what I usually do is wash the greens, then wrap them in moist paper towels - wet them and then squeeze out the water. Just roll the greens up in the towels and stuff them in the fridge. Take them out as needed. You don't want to dry out the greens but when the towels dry, which takes some time, the greens stay crisp. This is because of the moisture + cold.
Fitness Minutes: (2,267)
11/13/13 7:30 P
I love my salad spinner too! Its so great to have fresh salad cleaned and ready to go...when its not ready I have a tendency to say : "the heck with having a alad"..haha Its worth the effort to clean a big bowl all at once and have it ready to grab.
I have found that the green bags help sometimes as well as long as the greens are dry. mainly I store everything in GLASS. i refuse to put any of my salad fixings in plastic or even tupperware.
i like the salad in a jar technique. i have used that often. I also don't dress the salad until I am right about to eat it. Also be aware that your salads don't HAVE TO HAVE greens all the time. Generally it seems when people say salad, they think lettuce. When I hear salad i don't necessarily think greens.
current weight: 250.0
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
11/13/13 2:07 P
If you have seal-a-meal-type device with a jar lid attachment, that will keep the greens fresh even longer--as long as two weeks for lettuce.
I can't justify the space or expense of a salad spinner--$40!--but as long as you get everything as dry as possible, that is the key. You can just use a towel to do this. I sometimes put a folded paper towel in a bag of greens to help soak up liquids. That seems to make a difference.
Well first, I make sure to grab the newest set of salad from the bag. At the stores the oldest is at the front, so try and grab one from the back and you'll most likely notice a 3-4 day difference in the expiration.
When I get home, I divide the salad up and put it into rubbermaid bowls(bought them at the dollar store-$1 for 5) and it typically keeps for about a week and a half with no browning, soggyness, etc.
current weight: 174.0
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
11/13/13 8:47 A
Definitely second the salad spinner! I've found it absolutely critical to keeping greens fresh. Also, I use cherry/grape tomatoes so I don't have to slice them and they stay fresh longer than sliced tomatoes.
Do you dress your salad ahead of time as well? That can also speed up the wilting process. What I do is cut up everything I need and store it in separate containers and then put portions in my lunch container the night before. Everything seems to last well enough.
current weight: -0.8 under
Fitness Minutes: (3,699)
11/13/13 7:42 A
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