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Keeping Fresh Vegtables and lettuce fresh for the week

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I shop once a week for groceries and I cut up my fresh vegtables and seperate my lettuce but i cannot seem to get it to last or stay fresh. By day 3 my lettuce has turned brown and icky and my vegtables get slimy. Does anyone have any suggestions to keep it fresh for the week at work?

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Keep your lettuce and your vegetables whole because cutting them up damages the cell-structure, introduces bacteria and they discolour, oxidise and rot faster.  Lettuce keeps best if it is free of moisture and kept whole (as a complette plant, not separate leaves) in an airtight container.   Keep as many of your green vegetables as you can refrigerated and peel/cut them up as you need them.   Root vegetables just need to be kept cool and dry...  

Eat the more delicate salad-stuff in the first three days because this has a shorter shelf-life.... eat the more robust vegetables later in the week because they'll make it that far. 

Cutting up these veges is a big nono if you want them to last!  Here are a few tips I use: 

Carrots will last for ages if you leave them whole.  I usually put a paper towel or 2 in the bag to mop up moisture, which keeps them fresher for longer. 

A head of broccoli can be perked up if it has gone limp by cutting a half inch off the bottom of the stem and then putting it in a glass of water for a day or so (so the stem is under the water).  It will suck the water up and perk itself right back up!  Cool huh?  I haven't tried this with lettuces with stems (like iceberg) but it might be worth a go.

If all else fails maybe you should buy frozen veges.  The nutritional content is as good as, if not better, than fresh veges because they are snap frozen straight away, with the added bonus that they'll never go bad!


Check out this website for how to keep veges fresh.

The Green Bags that they have at Bed Bath and Beyond and Wal-Mart really do work.  I've had a cut head of lettuce last two weeks in them.  I've had other vegetables last just as long if not longer.  They are also reusable several times.

Ty for the information, but again if I wait to cut them up until I am ready to use, I still have the same problem. For example, I take a green pepper but only want to take half of it to work. The other half goes bad. same thing with lettuce. I like to take salads to work but cant eat a whole head of lettuce, or a whole bag at once. So how do i keep the remaing fresh longer. I havent tried the green bags so that is a good idea. I will look into them. Frozen vegtables dont taste very good when I just want to snack on fresh vegtables. I do keep them in the fridge except for my cherry tomatoes. They do fine on my counter.

I've left cut vegetables in the green bags before and they do alright.  They obviously don't last as long, but it does increase their frig life.

It's keeping things air-tight that's important.  Cling-film (or do they call it glad wrap?) is what you need for the green pepper and anything else that's cut.   Wrap the remaining portion tightly with cling-film and put it in the fridge.  It will be fine for a day or two

If salad leaves are bagged when you get them they only have a day or two shelf-life anyway.... invest in some good bag clips or ties so that, again, once opened you can reseal the bag and keep them airtight

Other things to check....

  • How good is the stock-rotation at the place where you buy your veggies and salads? Are the displays refrigerated.  How fresh are the vegetables when you buy them? 
  • What temperature is your fridge at?... Should be 0-5C which I think is under 40F


Try turning the temp in your fridge down a notch or two.  I read that tip somewhere about a year ago and it did the trick for me!

Original Post by wordsyouwant:

The Green Bags that they have at Bed Bath and Beyond and Wal-Mart really do work.  I've had a cut head of lettuce last two weeks in them.  I've had other vegetables last just as long if not longer.  They are also reusable several times.

 I've tried these too and they work great.  I've had bananas on the counter for two weeks and they were still nice, not black like they would have been out of the bag.  I also wash and dry everything when I get it home, but I don't cut or break anything up until right before I'm going to eat it, at most the night before, my produce lasts at least a week in the fridge.

We have a vacuum-sealer that has plastic jars that go along with it.  We can keep chopped lettuce good for about 2 weeks in these. 

If you can buy lettuce with the roots still attached, it keeps *much* longer.  I was positively shocked by how long my farmer's market lettuce kept compared to grocery store lettuce.  (Weeks longer!)

Placing a paper towel or two inside the container helps keep lettuce from going bad. I buy whole heads of romaine and it lasts much longer than a week doing it this way, but definitely make sure the container is airtight.

I've never used the green bags but my other veggies seem to stay fresh in regular zip-loc type ones. Again, with a paper towel or napkin tucked inside.

With your lettuce, don't cut it, tear off the outer leaves leaving the inside ones intact.  The head will last much longer, also tearing the leaves instead of cutting them tends to keep them from turning quite as quickly.  The peppers, Just cut half, aim to cut with the smallest amount of exposed area left.  If the edges brown, just trim that part off before you use it again.  Celery, pull off the outside stalks, leaving as many attached to the heart as you can.

Also, when you bring them home, don't rinse them, just put them away with a paper towel to absorb moisture.  The slime is usually from a combination of the moisture and rotting, same with the brown icky.  If the moisture is limited then there will be much less of a chance of rotting.

If you still can't manage, switch over to fruits like bananas, apples, and oranges that come with their own packaging.  Cherry tomatoes will last much longer than regular tomatoes in my experience.

Martha Stewart tip-wrap celery in foil and it will keep longer.  Believe me, it works like a charm.  I hate soggy celery and sometimes mine will keep for 10 days or 2 weeks when I wrap it in foil  Also, a friend of mine stands hers upright in a cylinder with water at the bottom.

Something that works extremely well for me, since I love eating raw baby carrots and celery but don't always get around to eating them all right away:

Baby carrots: They come packed with water--water that I don't trust, so I take them out of a bag and thoroughly rinse them off.  Then I clean a bundle of celery, wiping off the interior dirt/smudges.  I then cut it up.  I take a gallon ziplock bag and soak a paper towell with water and put it in.

I fill the bag with the carrots and celery pieces, push out the air, and seal it.  The celery and carrots stay crisp for a long time.

Never cut lettuce, pull it away from the stem. Wash when you are going to use it and leave a paper towel in an open zip lock bag in the frig.

I used the green bags for awhile also and they worked  great at first but after you rinse them out and use them several times they get weak and don't work as well anymore.

So I tried the green plastic containers and they work great. I have had salad last almost 3 weeks in them. I keep all of my vegetables in them now in the refrigerator and they stay fresh till I run out of them. I have been using them for several months now and washed them several times when they are empty and they still work great.

Never use a knife on your lettus.. it will go bad faster as well..try a plastic knife if you have to but never a regular one.   I knock out the centre core on the edge of the counter and remove it with my fingers then place the lettus in a lettus keeper.. I love the one from tupperware.  It lasts for weeks.  I also know that if you leave the seeds in your green pepper it will last longer.. so dont remove the seeds if you are going to keep it in the fridge.  Oh and thanks for the tip on broccoli.

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What i used to do with the lettuce i cut up and put them into a big bowl with water and just a little of vineger, that will help you to get the last of it. I havent try with other vegetables yet, but i think you can do all the same way.

The water you should change it like every 3 days so it is clean.

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Store the fresh veggies and salds washed (and dried) or unwashed in paper bags (the kind used by bakers are best) in the fridge. Cut only when required to keep all nutrients intact! Avoid cutting salad leaves.

If you have to cut for convenience, then steam the veggies and store in covered fridge containers.

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