Here’s a quick little tip for how to keep your lettuce, romaine, kale, or other greens fresh longer – and it’s something I’ve been doing for over 20 years!
Back when I was first learning about keeping a home, I read a hint in my local newspaper. It was submitted by a cute elderly lady who said she wanted to share that keeping a piece of paper towel in with your lettuce would keep it fresh longer and she just wanted everybody to know because it was working so well for her. I still remember it was a sweet little article and it convinced me that maybe I should give it a try.
And the rest is history.
It did indeed work well and I’ve been sticking a piece of paper towel in with my lettuce ever since.
How I Started Keeping My Lettuce Fresh
Together with the piece of paper towel, I’ve always kept my lettuce in my old school handy-dandy Tupperware lettuce keeper. Yes, back in the day I went to SO many Tupperware parties. I went to Tupperware parties given by my girlfriends, and my neighbors, and my co-workers, and always felt compelled to buy something. And I’ve still got a few of those Tupperware pieces around!
And I’ve used the lettuce keeper for years and years. I would always put a folded piece of paper towel in the bottom of the container and then put the head of lettuce on top and put the cover on. This method has always worked really well for me and I believe it really does keep lettuce fresh longer. A head of iceberg lettuce would always stay fresh for me for many, many weeks.
Changing With The Times
Lately though, I’ve wanted to make a few changes to my method for two reasons. Instead of plain old iceberg lettuce, I now prefer a combo of romaine and kale as they have more nutritional benefits than iceberg lettuce. And romaine and kale don’t really fit in my vintage lettuce keeper from the good old days. I’ve also been trying to eat salads more often and found I’m much more likely to do that if I tear the greens up ahead of time so when it’s time to make the salads for dinner, it doesn’t feel like such a big task.
So I’ve switched to using a couple of large rectangular plastic containers from the dollar store – but still with my paper towels – and it’s working great!
First, I lay a piece of paper towel in the bottom of the storage container.
Then I rip up some of my romaine or kale until I have a first layer in the container. Then I put another piece of paper towel, and then another layer of my torn greens. Sometimes I tear the middle piece of toweling into two or three smaller pieces so I can kind of nestle it into the torn up greens.
Then I finish with one more piece of paper towel on the top and close up my container. So I always have one piece of paper towel underneath the torn greens, one piece of paper towel in the middle, and a piece of paper towel on top over everything.
I should mention too that I always buy the pick-a-size type of paper towels where you can tear off a half-size piece of toweling. These smaller sized pieces are what’s shown in these photos and they fit perfectly into my containers (that came from Dollar Tree).
Give It A Try!
If you too like to make your own salads at home – or maybe you wish you did but never seem to do it – I encourage you to give this method a try.
Just find an appropriate size container to keep your leafy greens in, and then use the trick of adding a few pieces of paper toweling in there to keep things fresh longer. You don’t necessarily have to tear up your greens ahead of time, but it does make salad preparation go faster when you’re getting a meal ready.
We usually finish our torn up romaine and kale in the course of a week or two and it stays fresh throughout that time even though it has been torn up. The paper toweling will get more damp as the days go by, which I guess is the reason why this works.
Have you ever tried this method? Or do you have a vintage Tupperware story too? Feel free to leave me a comment or shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) I love to hear your stories!