Monday, June 6, 2011

Keeping Lettuce Fresh & Giveaway Winner!

We have a winner for the giveaway of an awesome basket full of Very Berry Granola bars, homemade strawberry jam, and cinnamon apple chips. The winner is Adele from Little By Little.  Adele and I went to college together and lived on the same freshman floor.  She is a thrifty wife, preggers, and still finds time to make great healthy food and start her own garden! This was her comment*:
...As for health changes, Cam and I have slowly (i.e. as budget allows) made a bunch since getting married. Most recently, we're trying to incorporate only high-quality (local, free-range, organic) meats and dairy/meat products into our diet. We've noticed wonderful differences for sure and we're hooked! Also, we're growing our own garden this year and really making an effort to eat a majority of fruits and veggies in our diet. I'm also doing my best to go "homemade" for as much food as possible (including cheese and yogurt when I have time). AND, we're working on more vegetarian meals around here, which is hard with a meat-lovin' hubby and a bean-hatin' (ok, not quite, but almost!) wifey! Haha! But that's what we love your blog for -- great ideas in those areas!

Congratulations, Adele!! I'll be mailing out everything tomorrow as I'm making the granola bars and apple chips today, nice and fresh, for you and Cam.

*winner was chosen by a completely random drawing.

Now, onto our regularly scheduled blog post:
There's nothing like buying 3 beautiful heads of fresh lettuce from the farmer's market, only to have them go bad prior to eating them all.  The advantage to buying from the farmer's market is the lettuce is recently picked (fresh), not loaded with chemicals (yummy), and fully grown so it's loaded with nutrients (healthy--store bought veggies are picked prior to full development).  The downfall is they do tend to get bad a bit sooner.

How do we prevent this?

1.  Fill sink with cold water. Place your separated leaves of lettuce in and move them around until some of the dirt has come off.  This is just a pre-rinse.  Also, if your lettuce is soft or limp, let the lettuce sit in the water for 20 minutes and the fresh cold water will make them crisp again!

2. Drain the water & refill a clean sink up with cold water and add about 1 cup of vinegar (or read this post for some other fruit & veggie washes). Dunk in the leaves & gently rub off the dirt. Place in a colander and let dry or put them in your lettuce/washer/spinner thingy (yes, that's the technical name for it) and spin like crazy until your leaves are dry.

The lettuce/washer/spinny thingy.  I LOVE this. Buy one. Now. 

2. Clean out one of your refrigerator drawers really well. Place a layer of damp paper towels down.  Damp, not dripping wet.  Too much moisture could actually speed up rotting. You ever see how the puddle of water in the bottom of your lettuce bag always seems to leave a big brown rotten spot? Yeah, you don't want that to happen.  Just wet some paper towels, ring the excess water out and line the drawer.

3. Place your clean lettuce leaves in that drawer, but don't squish the leaves. Be gentle.  Fruits & veggies bruise, and when they do, it almost guarantees rotting.  No need to smash down your leaves to fit more veggies in the drawer. Gently place them in and give them room to breath.  This draw is just for your leaves.

4.  Place a damp paper towel on top of your leaf pile.

5.  Be sure your drawer is nice and cool (place on cool & crisp setting).
Look! Doesn't take up any extra shelf space. Conveniently
tucked away and ready to be eaten!

6. Enjoy!

What is so convenient about this is you now have a massive salad in your drawer and all you have to do it open it up and pull out some leaves to put on your plate.  No cutting off just a little from a head of lettuce and then having to wash.  No plastic bags and pooling water to deal with.  It's quick and easy to make your salad now! No excuses not to eat one.  And you're lettuce will be fresh, crisp, and last longer than in that plastic bag.

Here's to big salads and clean lettuce.


  1. Congrats, Adele! And thanks, Lacey, for the shout out link. You rock! Oh, and if you're not into using paper towels, like me. Unbleached muslin works great and is reusable.

  2. Ooh, Aunt Betty...GREAT idea! I never though of it and I, too, hate using paper towels, I just never thought of any alternatives. Can I get some at a fabric store?

  3. AH! I NEVER win these things, so I'm SUPER DUPER excited! What a terrific prize, too! Thanks, Lacey! And my baby thanks you too, for the nutrition you're sending our way. :)

  4. Your fridge is enviable!!!

    Guess I'll just have to make my own bars from the recipe...

  5. G- I promise they're super easy and only take about 10 minutes to put together.

  6. Yep, Lacey, it's an inexpensive, light-weight material that any fabric store should carry. Go for the unbleached and wash before using. I've also used muslin to make a jelly bag and to drain my yogurt. Works great and cleans up easily.