4 Tricks For Keeping Greens Fresh

Simple tricks to make lettuce, kale, and other greens last longer

Bowl of spinach
Your spinach needs to breathe.

Updated Jun 29, 2017 @ 12:08 pm

You just went to the farmer’s market and bought bunches and bunches of fresh lettuce, kale, arugula and herbs. Then you tossed them in the fridge and, a few days later, wound up with bunches of shriveled, rotted, limp and mushy green stuff instead of crisp, healthy deliciousness. Much of the time, the culprit is the way you’re storing them. Here are three simple ways to keep your greens lasting longer in your refrigerator:

  1. Greens should stay dirty. Don’t clean produce until you’re ready to use it. It’s hard to get washed greens completely dry before storing, and dampness encourages bacteria growth.
  2. Greens need their space. Don’t pack veggies tightly together, either; they need space for that oxygen to circulate.
  3. Greens should breathe. This does not mean that they should go full commando in your fridge, especially if you have uncovered fruit in the there, too. Why? Many fruits produce ethylene gas, which can speed up ripening and, ultimately, spoilage. So your greens do need to be covered, ideally in a plastic bag and—here is the trick—given a little bit of air. The fancy high-tech tool you will use to give your greens the gift of life? A pin. An airtight bag literally suffocates your greens by cutting off all oxygen to your still-breathing greens. All you have to do is prick the plastic bag with a pin 10 or so times on each side and your greens will stay fresher longer.
  4. Greens love paper. That’s right, help absorb some of the wilting-moisture by packing greens with layers of paper towels. Wrap them and then place into an open plastic bag. Or, pack the lettuce and other greens into a crisper drawer lined with cloth towels.

Now, if you follow these 4 tips, you will find it easy to be green, especially with one of these recipes:

Kale-Carrot Salad with Hardboiled Eggs

Balsamic Grilled Radicchio Salad

Cucumber Spears