Lettuce is a sort of greens that fits any salad making it fresh and juicy. Since this is a very watery plant, people often wonder: can you freeze lettuce to make it last longer?
If you have ever asked yourself what would happen to lettuce in the freezer but you never tried it yourself, this article will be right for you.
Lettuce storage tips and nuances, as well as helpful advice – everything can be found here!
Freezing Lettuce. Yes Or No?
Normally, when we buy a bunch of fresh lettuce, we refrigerate it until it will go to the salad. And if it is more or less clear how to deal with this sort of greens when refrigerating it, freezing may turn to be quite a challenging task for many of us.
The first thing that must be taken into account when it comes to exposing lettuce to the influence of the low temperature is that this kind of greens is very watery and, besides, it is very sensitive to the exposure of the frost.
If you decide to freeze some lettuce and just toss it into the freezing camera of the fridge, in the end, you will get a mashy substance that is impossible to use almost anywhere.
Why would it happen?
As you probably know, being in the freezer under the impact of the frost, vegetables, fruits, and any other foodstuff all become somewhat dehydrated over time. Especially when being improperly sealed or packed.
As for the lettuce, the freezing process leads to the ice crystals formation in the cells of the plant. Those ice crystals tend to break the walls of the plant’s cells and if in case of the more durable vegetables and beans, the changes will not be that significant and visible due to the high content of starch and low content of water in them, with the lettuce it will not work.
The gentle and fragile structure of this plant, as well as the high content of water, will make it look like a slimy messy thing if it happens to end up in the freezing camera.
This is the major reason why it is not the best idea to freeze salad.
However, the decision can be found!
The only way how to freeze lettuce without ruining it is to choose more durable sorts of salad with the thick leaves since they contain less water compared to their soft-leafed counterparts.
Can You Freeze Other Kinds Of Salad?
OK, so now we have figured out what sorts of salad can survive the freezer more or less. But what about all the other kinds of this healthy and juicy plant?
Can you freeze romaine lettuce?
Freezing romaine lettuce is absolutely fine since this kind of salad is somewhat more durable compared to its supermarket counterpart. Romaine lettuce has more thick leaves that contain less water, that is why it will stand the frost easier.
Can you freeze iceberg lettuce?
We would not advise you to mess with this one, to be honest. Iceberg lettuce, even though it reminds cabbage so much, is far less durable. Besides, its water content is pretty high which means that when being frozen, it will turn into a slimy green mess that no one will want to use.
One more tip for you in addition. If you decide to freeze some salad, look for the Boston lettuce (also called bib or Butterhead lettuce). Just like the romaine salad, this one is quite a frost-resistant plant and it can be mixed well with the romaine sort of salad perfectly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who would ever think that freezing simple salad can turn into such a tricky thing?! However, the truth is that this plant is quite demanding when it comes to extending its lifespan.
Since you already know the basic requirements needed for the proper salad storage, check out some more information that can be useful for you in the future.
- Can you freeze the salad mix?
It seems so tempting to buy a pack of salad mixture and toss it to the freezing camera to save for the nearest future use!
However, we have to disappoint you: most of the salad mixes are not meant for freezing!
The only exception is the mix of romaine lettuce and Boston lettuce also known as Butterhead salad.
Those two sorts of lettuce are more durable and can survive in the freezer.
- Can you freeze shredded lettuce?
Shredded salad can only be good in case of freezing lettuce for smoothies. Since lettuce won’t look nice and appetizing after thawing, it can only be used either for cooking or for making smoothies but not for consuming it fresh.
- Can you freeze lettuce for salads?
If it is not the bib lettuce or romaine lettuce, it will most likely not survive the time spent in the freezing camera. Anyway, most sorts of salad don’t look edible (and they are not, in fact, edible) after they have been defrosted.
- Can you freeze bagged lettuce?
Lettuce that is sold already packed in bags can be frozen but only if certain precautious measures will be taken.
First of all, take it out of the bag, wash, dry to leave no water on the leaves and between them and toss into a zip freezer-friendly bag with one or two paper towels. Freeze the dried lettuce with the paper towels only as they soak the moisture and prevent the plant from freezer burn and spoilage.
Replace the towels every day and it will extend the salad’s life for something like a week more.
How to make lettuce last longer?
Since lettuce is not the best fit for the freezer, is there a way to preserve it and keep fresh longer?
Well, the best you can do is to keep it washed and absolutely dry, with all the damaged leaves removed, being wrapped in a paper towel and put in a zip bag or tank.
Keep it in the crisp drawer only and change the towel daily to prevent it from rotting.\Like that, the plant will remain edible for seven to ten days more.