There is nothing worse than buying lots of lovely fresh greens, to have them quickly rot on you. This can be an issue as we enter the warmer months.
Food waste is frustrating, bad for the environment and expensive for individuals. Leafy greens can be the worst for turning quickly, whether it is wilting or rotting. Here are some quick tips to prevent those greens ending up in the bin.
- Keep them dry
- Discard any rotting, yellowed or wilted leaves immediately
- Reduce their contact with air
- Buy as fresh as possible, not bagged
- Freeze if you had to buy more than you need
Keep them dry
If your leafy greens remain wet then they will rot faster. Wash them as soon as you can, and then dry thoroughly, either using a salad spinner or patting dry.
Discard any rotting, yellowed or wilted leaves immediately
Contact with leaves and stems that are rotting will increase the rate at which your greens will end up in the bin.
Reduce their contact with air
Storing the greens correctly once they are washed will make them last much longer. Reducing contact with oxygen can help prevent oxidation and rot. Store your dry leafy greens in an air tight container, if not completely dry add some kitchen towel, but make sure to remove the kitchen towel after an hour or so. The kitchen towel will absorb excess moisture. If you don’t have big enough containers, you can use large sandwich bags.
Buy as fresh as possible, not bagged
Typically, buying fresh leafy greens, from a farmers market, or not bagged, means they should have spent less time farm to plate. Which means the greens have a bit more life in them. We sometimes avoid these as it involves washing, but if you wash them all in one go and store them correctly, you’ll have greens ready to go for your salads and recipes.
Freeze if you had to buy more than you need
Often if we buy very fresh English spinach or herbs, we get a huge bunch, which the recipe doesn’t need. You can always freeze some of it for later use. This depends on what you use the greens for in the future. Freeze spinach for smoothies, kale for stir frying and herbs for slow cooked dishes.
It seems like a little bit of effort, but doing the above will stop you going for your spinach for a smoothie or rocket for a salad and finding it’s rotted away in the space of a day. Hopefully these tips help you reduce your food waste and try more leafy greens.