If you’ve been reading my blog or newsletter for a while, then you probably know how much I hate food waste. I’m not a big fan of frequent trips to the grocery store either, but it seems like buying some produce the day you plan to eat it is the only way to ensure freshness, especially with greens like lettuce.
Luckily, I recently found a clever DIY solution to keep lettuce fresh for a lot longer than you’re probably used to! And the best thing about it is that it only takes a few minutes to make!
The 2 Keys To Keep Lettuce Fresh
Lettuce needs two things in order to stay crisp and fresh: it needs to be able to breathe, and it needs to be kept moist. Plastic bags don’t fill either of these requirements, but you can make a DIY “salad bag” that does both!
Read on to learn how to make a salad bag using supplies you probably already have around the house. After the step-by-step tutorial, I’ll show you how easy it is to use!
How To Make A DIY Salad Bag
- Terry cloth hand towel
- 2 lengths of cord, rope, or ribbon, approximately 40” each
Lay out the hand towel right side up (if it has an obvious “right side”), then fold the bottom edge of the towel up to meet the top.
Pin the sides and sew them closed, stopping about 1 1/2” from the top.
Fold both sides of the open end of the towel down about 3/4”, so that they meet the end of the stitching you did on the sides.
Sew the end of the folded portions in place, but leave the sides open — this will be the channel for the ribbon or rope you’ll use to cinch the bag closed.
Using a safety pin, run a 40” length of ribbon, cord, or rope through both channels at the top of the bag so that both ends come out on the same side of the bag.
Repeat this step starting from the opposite side of the bag, then tie a knot at the end of each length of cord. That’s it — your bag is finished!
Using Your Salad Bag
Soak the bag in water, then wring it out firmly until it’s damp, but not wet.
Fill the bag with washed lettuce. (If the lettuce is really wet, you can put it in the bag dry without dampening it first.) Pull the drawstrings to cinch the bag closed and store it in your fridge.
Don’t Want To DIY? 2 Easy Alternatives
Don’t want to get out your sewing machine? No problem! Here are a couple of other options you can use to keep lettuce fresh longer — without requiring any DIYing:
- You can get a bag similar to the DIY one above for $15-20 on Amazon, like this Salad Dryer Bag.
- Line a gallon-size ziplock bag with damp paper towels, then place the lettuce in the bag and seal it closed. The paper towels will help regulate the amount of moisture in the bag to avoid wilting and sogginess. (It won’t keep lettuce fresh quite as long as a salad bag, but it’ll keep longer than usual!)
BONUS: How To Revive Wilted Lettuce
If your lettuce isn’t “rusty” or slimy, but just a bit wilted and sad, you may be able to restore its crispness with a cold water soak. Just tear (don’t cut) the lettuce leaves away from the core and soak them in ice cold water for 15 minutes.
Do you have any tricks for keeping produce fresh?