Can You Vacuum Seal Lettuce: A Guide for Home Users
Vacuum sealers are increasingly becoming must-have kitchen products mostly because of the many, sometimes surprising benefits they offer. With the ability to store and preserve food for a longer period, you can save a considerable amount of time, effort and money in the kitchen.
However, surely there are some foods that could not possibly benefit from vacuum sealing? For example, what about lettuce? Can you vacuum seal lettuce, a common ingredient for salads? Well, the surprising answer is that yes, you can!
You want your vegetables, especially lettuce, fresh, don’t you? The problem is keeping vegetables fresh is nothing less than a challenge.
People have tried it with mason jars, cans, and used other ways, but it is often ineffective over a longer period. So, can vacuum sealers provide an effective solution to this problem?
Is Vacuum Sealing More Effective than Canning?
One of the most common ways to preserve food is canning, but that is a technology that is being slowly usurped. For every traditional method, more effective modern ways are becoming available. This is the case with the art of food preservation.
While canning is and has been a good option for storing and preserving food, vacuum sealing is proving increasingly popular. It can extend the lifespan of some foodstuffs that canning can’t. Until recently, vacuum sealing was not widespread, so the method was largely unheard of among domestic users.
The good news though is, modern vacuum sealers are available now. They allow even home users to vacuum seal their foodstuffs within minutes.
Canning is storing food in airtight jars. This can help double or triple the lifespan of the food. That being said, canning can’t keep food fresh for an especially long time.
It also requires more effort as you first need to heat the food to get rid of bacteria. Also, although effective for meat and other food items, it is not especially useful for vegetables.
With vacuum sealing, i.e. a vacuum sealer and sealing pouches, bags, or canisters you can seal many foods easily and with minimum mess within seconds.
Since air is removed from the sealing pouch or bag, the food is protected from aerobic bacteria, keeping it fresher and more nutritious for a longer period of time. Perhaps surprisingly, this method can be utilised for all manner of vegetables including lettuce.
Can You Vacuum Seal Lettuce?
The simple answer is, yes, you can. The important information, though, is the duration for which vacuum sealed lettuce can be kept fresh.
The average lifespan of fresh lettuce is three to six days if you keep it in the refrigerator. The longevity of the lettuce also depends on whether you have cut it into pieces, if it is washed properly, and if the container and refrigerator are clean .
And so it is with vacuum sealing lettuce, if you follow simple but important steps, you can add an average of two to five times the actual lifespan of the lettuce.It all rests on good preparation
For example, a good practice is to blanch the lettuce well after washing it. Similarly, make sure you are seal the lettuce only when it is completely dry.
In addition, the lifespan also depends on the type of sealing method, the vacuum sealer being used, along with the quality of the vacuum canister. Lastly, you also need to learn how to seal it properly.
How to Seal Lettuce Using a Vacuum Sealer
The best way to seal lettuce is to use proper vacuum sealing products, like a vacuum sealer and vacuum canisters. Before vacuum sealing, make sure the lettuce is prepared to for preservation. Again, it must be washed thoroughly, chopped and dried.
Next, you need to select the right vacuum sealing container. You have three options which are:
- Sealing bags
- Sealing canister
- Sealing pouches
Although bags and pouches are a popular and good option for meat and other food items, they are not really effective in preserving vegetables like lettuce. The best option for storing lettuce is a canister with a wide-mouth lid attachment.
You can either choose a plastic or glass container, but we recommend glass as it offers better health benefits. You can also use mason jars if you have those with the lids that can be used with vacuum sealers. Simply put the chopped lettuce inside the jar or whatever container you are using, and then use the vacuum sealer to remove all the air.
Modern vacuum sealers are really easy to use. Some come with a battery and are thus highly portable. As there is no wire attached for some handheld vacuum sealers, you can use them anywhere in the kitchen.
If you’re using a mason jar (which is recommended), you can use a jar vacuum sealer, which comes with a jar lid. Jar sealers typically come with a small rubber tube, which goes inside the lid. The vacuum sealer then extracts the air through the tube, and automatically turns off once all the air has been removed..
How Long a Vacuum Sealed Lettuce Lasts
Far more important than being aware that lettuce can be vacuum sealed is knowing the longevity increase of the lettuce. Surprisingly, you can double or triple the average lifespan of a lettuce by vacuum sealing it. Nevertheless, lettuce is a fragile beast, and the extra lifespan it is granted by being vacuum sealed can be measured in days not weeks or months..
The maximum life you can add to the lettuce through vacuum sealing is two weeks when you keep it in the refrigerator. 14 days would be the absolute tops, and even then it is quite likely that after 2 weeks although edible, your lettuce will be looking pretty sad. It can prevent food waste, though, increasing the shelf-life of a lettuce from only three days in a refrigerator, to two weeks.
Thanks to the the latest innovations in kitchenware, vacuum sealing is no longer limited to commercial use. As a domestic user, you can also take advantage of the latest vacuum sealer machines, which are available at very affordable prices, and can be used to preserve a variety of foods for extended periods
And, as we have discovered here lettuce is also no exception. You can vacuum seal chopped and dried lettuce and in doing so adg at least 10 to 12 days to its longevity. In this way, it reduces food waste and, at a practical level, there is no need to get fresh lettuce every time you prepare a salad for your family.