Friday, June 26, 2015


One question I get asked a lot is how to keep leafy greens fresh in the refrigerator for a whole week.

After years of eating a TON of greens (I sometimes buy about 8 bunches at a time), I have learned a few tricks for keeping leafy greens fresh for as long as possible.

As soon as I come home after buying greens, I place them into plastic tubs lined with thin reusable napkins. I reuse the 1 pound tubs that baby spinach or mixed greens come in. You can also buy produce tubs at kitchen and home stores.
To regulate moisture in the plastic tub, I add thin cloth napkin and line the bottom.  Then I add the greens and cover them with another thin cloth napkin before putting the lid on. You can also use a paper towel. 
I do not pre-wash leafy greens.  I usually cut the ends of the stems off, usually just above or below where the twist tie bundles them together.  When placing them in the refrigerator, I always make sure the stem-side faces the back of the fridge. Delicate greens may freeze if the leafy tips are up against the back of the fridge where it is coldest.

Never store greens in produce bags as they will rapidly wilt, yellow and get slimy.
Storage times: 
Storage times for greens may vary.  If you buy them really fresh, they'll last longer than if you buy them when they are just starting to wilt.

Kale and collards: May keep for up to a week or more.
Dandelion greens and most lettuces: Generally last about 3-5 days if kept relatively dry.  Chard:May last up to 4-5 days.Baby spinach and mixed greens: May last 3-4 days depending on their freshness and moisture level.

When buying leafy greens that come in a plastic tub, avoid any that look wet or saturated, or where yellowing has started.  By the way, you can put plastic tubs of pre-washed baby spinach or baby kale directly into the freezer for even longer storage. You do not need to blanch the greens or even open the tub.

These tips helped us cut down on trips to the grocery store.  Greens never go bad on me, even when I buy 8 or more bunches at a time. My biggest challenge with greens now is fitting them all in the refrigerator after I've gotten them home!


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