Lettuce was always my problem when trying to figure out someway to store it after prepping - until Pinterest saved the day! I came across a pin about storing lettuce in mason jars! The original poster said she used a FoodSaver jar sealer and her lettuce keeps for over a week. I tried it and it totally works! I got the jar sealer for my FoodSaver for $10 online. I've stored lettuce in jars without sealing, too, and it keeps it fresh and crunchy for at least 4 days easily.
All the other veggies are pretty easy to do - the folks above gave some good tips.
I know prepping is a pain, just keep telling yourself the old axiom - "If you don't plan to succeed, then you plan to fail!
Fitness Minutes: (42,043)
789 6/24/12 11:06 P
I had the same problem, right down to the revelation that I would totally pig out on veggies if I had my own private salad bar.
My solution is my big box 'o veggies.
For us, it starts with the market date. Once a week, my husband and I hit up the farmer's market and buy a couple bags of fresh produce, and we do make it a date. It's time to spend together, go for a healthy lunch, check out crafts, try new things, and maybe get a treat while getting excited about healthy eating. When we get home, I set aside half an hour for veggie prep. I'll turn on the TV or some music, drag my veggie loot on to the counter, set up a big bowl for waste, a cutting board, a knife and the veggie box, and go at it. Part of it is a mental thing - I love the way a big pile of colourful veggies looks sitting out on the table. Sometimes I'll be really lame and take a picture to use for my phone background as inspiration to eat healthy for the week.
The veggie box is about 12"x12"x18" - just a larger version of the storage containers I use for leftovers (I bought a set that came with the big box and a whole bunch of little boxes). It seals with clips at the top and keeps veggies fresh for at least a week and a half, even cut.
So, I take my half hour block of time and attack the pile. In a usual week, I'll have peppers (I love picking up the rainbow packs for some colour variety), carrots (real carrots from the market that need to be peeled and cut - I don't like baby carrots anymore), cucumbers, grape tomatoes, snap peas, broccoli, cauliflower and whatever else looks good. I also pick up a variety of fruit. A lot of it is ready to go, but any of it that needs to be prepped I do it at the same time and throw it in the fruit box. Sometimes I make a big fruit salad (my husband doesn't like fruit, so it's all for meeeee).
As I said, I keep everything tidy and organized in one spot, and the prep time flies by. Veggies go in the veggie box, fruit goes in the bowl or other containers, waste goes in one place so that all I have to do is dump it when I'm done. Within half an hour, I have a week's supply of produce ready to go, and it's literally the most convenient food in my house. That means that if I want a snack, I can grab some peppers. Lunch is a few handfuls from the box on a plate, along with a couple other items to round it out. If I want to steam something for dinner, I reach in and grab some broccoli or beans. If I need a sweet treat before a workout, the fruit is there.
So, as someone who used to let veggies rot because I just couldn't get around to doing anything with them (not to mention an snacky carb fiend who would eat cereal out of the box because it was easy), I've done a complete 180. A little extra effort once a week is totally worth it.
Edited by: CHRISTINA791 at: 6/24/2012 (23:08)
Fitness Minutes: (1,995)
19 6/24/12 4:01 P
Here is what I have been doing. Maybe it will help.
I get a bag of baby carrots and dice up about half the 3 lb bag and store it with a little water in the bottom of a ziplock container. Doing up this prep ahead of time makes it easy to use a 1/2 cup measuring device and know exactly how much carrots you are adding. It saves time too. I do the same with celery, onions and peppars. Do them up ahead of time and store in ziplock containers. Did not add water to onions or peppers. To help you keep track of which vedgies to eat first label the containers with the date that the prep was done on.
I went to the dollar store and got cheapy sandwich bags. I then portion out the rest of the carrots and do up cucumbers as well. I know that if I eat one sandwhich bag that I ate one cup of the vedgie.
Celery: wash, cut, and I put in a plastic container with some water. Experts may say that causes bacteria - but if they are crisp and ready to eat, they get eaten rather than rot. Carrots: peel, cut, plastic container with some water. Lettuce: I buy the produce plastic bags with little holes, wash, spin, cut into salad size pieces and put in the bag. When I need it, I grab it out of the bag. Veggies: the same, wash it and store it in the produce bags. Tomatoes: don't cut them until you need them, never store in the fridge they get mealy. Tuna: 3oz. cans that pop open, then put it in the salad. Hardboiled eggs: Make them once a week, easy to pop into a salad. Bell Peppers: I buy those little guys, easy peasy. Really this isn't so difficult. Make enough of home made salad dressing for the week and store it in the fridge.
I have prepped big bowls of salad before. Keep it in a big bowl lined with damp paper towels, and with another one on top. Most of the veggies survived like this, but I would add the tomatoes daily, as they went funny.
Fruit salad lasts for a few days, too. Just cut up and keep in an airtight container.
As others have suggested, bulk preparation is the key. Prepare all the ingredients; store them separately in containers or zipper bags in the fridge. Combine them in serving sized portions just before ready to eat.
Fitness Minutes: (8,249)
434 6/23/12 8:00 A
To keep lettuce, wrap it in paper towel and put it in a plastic bag came with it. It would last a week or two.
You don't have to make salad everyday. It would lasts a day or two in fridge. I often cut more than I eat that time, keep in large bowl, wrap it and put it in fridge until I actually use it.
Another idea... sharpening knife makes cutting veggie fun. I keep my knifes ultra sharp by sharpening it on real grinding stone.
Fitness Minutes: (18,250)
303 6/23/12 7:41 A
Peppers usually stay good after cutting them up, along with celery, broccoli and cauliflower. Just put them in a container. Onions can stay diced, just keep them all seperate from eachother.
What you have to worry about are the fragile veggies. (leafy greens like spinach and lettuce that will wilt). You can store lettuce in a spinner in your fridge, or in a ziplock with paper towel in it.
Fitness Minutes: (3,075)
182 6/23/12 7:12 A
So here is my dilema. I LOVE fresh veggies and salads. I LOATHE preparing them. I could eat salads every day if I didn't have to prepare them. I can do most fresh fruits ok because for the most part you can just grab and eat (after rinsing of course). Vegetables are different tho. I could probably handle doing it once or twice a week if I knew a good way to keep them fresh. Any ideas? Lettuce especially. I will not eat it once it starts to turn color or get soggy. The other things I typically like are green, red, yellow, orange peppers, cucumber, onion(all varieties), tomato(I prefer roma and I ALWAYS cut the seeds out-yuk), spinach, broccoli, cauliflower. Any suggestions for keeping these fresh after cutting would be great. Thanks in advance!
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