Quick Tip – Storing leafy greens

Store prepared greens in mason jars to keep them fresh for over a week

I buy and cook with enough produce that I feel like I’ve gotten a pretty good handle on how to store most things and how long they last (you’ve all been using my handy printable storage chart, right?) but I have to confess that lettuce and leafy greens in general were my biggest weak spot. I could not get them to last more than a few days, and I referred to my crisper drawer as “where greens go to die.” Not good.

I felt like my problem was two-fold. One, most of the stuff I’d read said to not wash or chop your greens until right before you eat them. Which made every salad seem like a little bit more of a chore than I really wanted it to be – it’s one thing to wash and chop a whole bunch of greens at once, it’s another to have to do it for each and every salad. At least if you’re as lazy as I am! The second problem was just that even unwashed greens seemed to wilt and get unappetizing remarkably quickly, or get completely forgotten in the depths of the crisper drawer.

So the first tip is to get a salad spinner, which I used to think was a superfluous kitchen gadget but now find incredibly useful.

The secret to making it so useful is to really utilize all the functions – you can chop up a head or two of lettuce or other greens and rinse it right in the spinner’s colander, then spin it dry and just seal the lid on and keep the whole thing in the fridge. Greens stay fresh and crisp in there for up to a week! The best part is that it’s already chopped and rinsed so you can just grab a handful or two for any salads or other recipes and be good to go.

The only downside to this is that the salad spinner is a bit big so you may not have room in your fridge. But fear not, that’s where my next tip comes in! Did you know you can store leafy greens in glass jars? I saw this tip in a couple of places around the internet but for some reason was convinced that it wouldn’t work – I felt like my greens would wilt and get gross that way. But I was definitely wrong! It’s really that easy – you can chop, wash and dry most greens (I’ve done it with spinach, chard, kale, and iceberg so far) and then just shove a bunch of them into a mason jar – you can fit quite a bit into a quart sized jar, you’ll be surprised – and they honestly stay fresh and crisp for a long time. Mine look pretty much exactly the same a week after I put them in the jar!

So if you love spinach, kale, chard, and all those other fabulous leafy greens, but don’t like how quickly they wilt, try these tricks and let me know if they work for you!

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22 Comments

  • very helpful tip jessica.

    while keeping the green in the glass bottles, is it necessary to use a crisper first or can the washing and drying be done manually.

  • Great tip! One of my biggest problem too is not being able to cook the greens fast enough– they always come in huge bunches and I can only eat so much 🙂 I hate throwing food away so this is a great solution. I will definitely try it out– thanks for sharing!

  • Thanks for the awesome tip. I didn’t believe it, but gave it a try with some spinach that I washed and wanted to store and it is really great how much longer it keeps for! Keep up the awesome work!!

    Anna

  • A tip from my wife, who read this in one of her magazines. Put a couple of paper towels in a ziplock bag and then load in the greens. Finish off with a couple more paper towels and then zip the bag closed. It will generally keep for a week or so. The paper towels will soak up the moisture.

  • It actually may work even better if you tear rather than chop. When you cut lettuce, you cut through the cell walls, causing it to “age” less “gracefully.” Instead, by tearing, the leaves tear along the cell walls, making it keep longer.

  • This a great idea !! I will definitely try it. The way I have been storing my greens is spreading them out on a clean cloth tea towel and rolling it up jelly roll style, then storing in a plastic bag. The greens last a week on average.

  • Love the idea about greens in the mason jar!! Genius!!
    Will try that after I get my salad spinner, lol.
    Thanx for all the tips, luv ur site!

  • I like you idea here! Another way to keep salad for a long time is the following: keep the salad as a complete plant, trim the end just a little to make it neat and clean, but leave the core in tact. wrap the bottom with a paper towel, return to the plastic bag, dampen paper towel with a few tablespoons of water, and close the bag and put in the refrigerator. You will see that the paper towel after a few days becomes hot pink – that is the oxidation coming from the plant, the plant thinks it is still growing and it stays crisp and green, – then just pull off leaves as you need them, re-trim the root when it becomes red again to clean it up and replace paper towel ….

  • Hi Jessica,
    Great and simple ideas. I never have tried this. I was wondering if the jars iqth the leafy greens need to be storage in the refrigerator or not.

    Thanks,

  • Thank you so much for this. I usually buy bulk from Costco and would always end up throwing some away. This definately works like magic!