Getting rot faster, leafy greens can stay fresh for around a week when stored appropriately – and the ideal way to do that doesn’t include a single plastic bag. Apart from being an important form of pollution on our oceans and planet, plastic doesn’t easily break down. Not just that, however, BPA – the toxic chemical easily found in plastic, can leach out into our make – gradually making its way into our bodies.
The good news is that there is much more awareness than ever before regarding plastic’s effect on our food, so the actual challenge is settling on the decision which other storage alternative to pick from. Not to worry much, storing your greens plastic-free is easy, simple, and cost-effective to boot.
Here’s how to preserve your green vegetables without plastic bags, so that yummy farmer’s market haul doesn’t go in vain.
Cloth Alternatives for Plastic-Free Food Storage
Cotton vegetable mesh bags have become a famous alternative for purchasing and storing produce as well as other food items, just because they are very effective. Such affordable bags are simple to store in your handbag or grocery totes for quick access, and they’re likewise pretty awesome to keep food fresh.
Cloth Mesh Bags
This mesh version has quite large woven perforated holes to enable ventilation. Again, this is an excellent alternative for transporting leafy greens from the store to your fridge – but they are not suggested for storage. But you can store hardier produce in these!
Organic Cotton Bags
Versatile, lightweight and highly durable, cotton produce bags are an ideal alternative for grocery shopping as well as food storage at home, all thanks to the drawstring. Utilize them while strolling through the streets and select your produce – but they are not suggested for keeping greens very fresh in the fridge.
A kitchen miracle, the kitchen towel is a highly durable cloth towel that is meant to replace single-use stuff in your kitchen. Utilize it for cleaning, as an apron, or for keeping up produce in the fridge. It’s important for wrapping up sandwiches and bread too.
French Terry Bags
A French terry cloth bag is a plastic-free option for preserving leafy greens that are flavorful and crisp. There are also brands that produce machine-washable produce bags. Just run the bag under the faucet to get it damp, then quickly store your vegetables within for ultimate freshness throughout the week.
How to Quickly Store Leafy Greens Without Plastic
Leafy greens such as lettuce, mustard greens, arugula, watercress, dandelion greens, kale, spinach, chard, and cabbage—are ideally kept within a loosely closed bag or sealed glass container, uncrowded as well as fully dry.
Remove every stem, rubber band, twist tie and different packaging items.
Wash your produce completely. Not just does a good wash clean off any debris or dirt, however, it likewise rehydrates your greens to assist them in keeping crisp.
After you wash your greens, enable them to dry fully—moisture will quickly encourage wilting. Utilize a salad spinner or just air dry your veggies prior to storing them.
Then, select from one of the three options below for storing.
Option one: Keep your lettuce loosely in a bento cloth or tea towel as well as tie a knot to close. Don’t just pack the greens tightly (provide them with room to breathe), as that can cause rotting. When wrapped, keep it in a glass food storage container, such as, a crisper or towards the back. This is not just preserving your lettuce but even keeping it fresh.
Option two: Keep your washed and dried greens in a simple loosely sealed reusable food storage bag. Once again, provide it with some room and ensure that the leaves are fully dried prior to storing. Same as method one, you’ll need to keep it in a cool spot in your fridge.
Option three: The third option advises you to freeze your greens! If your CSA box has sufficient arugula to last you till the next summer, think about freezing your greens to quickly lock in the flavor and freshness. Here’s how:
- Blanche the greens by getting a pot of water to a rolling boil. Then utilize tongs to keep your greens inside, one by one.
- Boil for less than 30 seconds and put them in a bowl of ice.
- Dry the greens completely in a colander as well as pat lightly with a towel.
- Put them into a ball, cover them tightly in beeswax wrap, and after that, transfer them to the freezer for around 2 to 3 minutes.
- When they have frozen, you can quickly transfer them to a reusable mesh produce bag and keep them in the freezer till the time your vegetables are used for the next meal.
While you may not need to utilize frozen lettuce to prepare your next salad, this alternative is ideal for storing greens to utilize in soups as well as stews throughout the winter.