How to store Lettuce and Strawberries
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  1. #1
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    Default How to store Lettuce and Strawberries

    Really trying to watch my food budget/usage lately and realize there are two problems for me:
    storing lettuce and strawberries. I realized how much money I waste on lettuce in bags without
    thinking. A few weeks ago I was in the produce aisle and threw a bag of organic lettuce in
    my cart, $3 for 5 oz. I noticed two heads of green leaf lettuce, $1.50 each for a total of
    16oz. No brainer, right? Well, I don't really know how to store it properly and ended up
    with lettuce mush. Please dont tell me to use a lettuce spinner, as I really hate clutter
    in my kitchen. Also have the same problem with strawberries. Love some ideas for storage,
    preferably without plastic bags, if possible. Thanks! Kim

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    Registered User zakity's Avatar
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    Strawberries go in the freezer on a cookie sheet and then bagged in a ziplock baggie. You can put them in canning jars or other sorts of containers. Baggies just work better for me.

    Lettuce, well, a head of lettuce is a fresh plant and so I treat it as such. I put mine in water near a sunny window. I have a head that is a week old that we are still working on.
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    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    I buy the 3 pack of romaine...........the one I am using gets wrapped in a "damp" paper towel.........the other two stay in the bag. I just keep it in my veggie drawer....but I do put it in a produce bag. I think romaine keeps longer.............and decent nutrients.

    Strawberries aren't very good keepers...........so it you won't be using them in about 2- 3 days max.......freeze them. They will keep a SHORT WHILE in the refrig. Part of this depends on freshness/shape of them when purchased.

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    I bought a fruit/vegetable keeper (don't know if that is what they call it) but I can keep letteruce for over
    2+ weeks) from tupperware. I threw a lot of lettuce away. I now buy at least 2 heads when I shop, not afraid of it getting wasted.
    Jan

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    I have had good luck with strawberries by doing this: I make a bowl of a mixture of 1/10th vinegar and 9/10th water. I rinse the whole berries in this mixture. Then I carefully lay them on a towel and pat dry. Then they go on a tray single layer, with paper towels on the bottom and a paper towel on top. Store in the frig on the tray. I usually get two weeks out of strawberries that way.(they last until my next Bountiful Basket order) I check them daily and cull the ones that aren't looking ok. Mold is the culprit with berries and this seems to slow down mold growth. Sometimes towards the end of two weeks they are too dry and I put them back in a plastic container. I started out using paper towels, but now use a couple of towels that I just use to that. (I also use the vinegar solution to clean the toilet when I am done. This actually works well for all berries:blue, rasberries etc

    When I get Romaine lettuce home I separate the leaves and soak them in cold water in the sink for about 20 mins. Then I spin them dry in my salad spinner, or pat them dry with a towel. I then layer them in a plastic container with paper towels. I put the smallest leaves at the bottom, as they last the longest and the bigger leaves and ones that are damaged at the top, so Iuse them first. I cut off any bruised areas etc before putting them away. These regularly keep for 2-3 weeks. I dry the paper towels on a rack and use them for other things.

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    I find these work well though I use my own homemade versions.

    I use the green plastic baskets that berries come in (or the plastic clam shells cut down) turned upside down in a larger airtight container. This allows air to flow underneath the strawberries keeping them dry which tends to help them stay fresh a bit longer.

    Lettuce is done the same way - I have a larger food storage container that has a lil raised base insert in the bottom and I place the lettuce that has been wash and spun dry. Then I add in other veggies to make it a salad so that its ready to go as needed throughout the week. It keeps fresh and lasts about anywhere from a week to a week and half though usually I'm making salad every 4 days.

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    The vinegar thing works well for strawberries, very recommended. For the lettuce, someone gave me a tupperware/rubbermaid lettuce keeper. You don't want clutter, but I would make an exception here. Lettuce can be kept for weeks in this thing.

    lettuce_keeper.jpg

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    I went to the produce stand and they were selling a whole box of lettuce for $2. I bought it and then need to figure out how to save it. I came up with an idea that worked beautifully. Take it out of the bag and core it. It has always seemed to me that was how the lettuce went bad. It lasted a few weeks and I did not have to throw out one head.
    Strawberries: I'm checking out his thread because I need help with that too. I like the freezing them on a cookie sheet suggestion.

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    With the bags of chopped lettuce I first check them to make sure they haven't started to brown. If I spot little bits of green slime or brown liquid I will not buy it. Some bruised lettuce is ok, a lot is just going to go bad within a day or two.

    I always plan to eat bagged lettuce within the first few days of our menu week. It will keep a few days unopened, but must then be eaten within 2-3 days.

    Whole heads of lettuce keep better, I just keep them in the grocery bag tightly closed. If it is wet, I put a paper towel in the bottom. Some grocery stores have better lettuce than others. If it is going bad within a few days, I would look for a store that takes better care of it, or gets it from the farm faster.

    I inspect strawberries, too. I don't buy them if they are bruised or getting soft. Turn the carton over and roll it around and look at them. I find that they will keep up to a week in the plastic box, if they were in good shape to begin with.
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