Now that summer is just around the corner, many of you have fresh, delicious greens straight out of the garden! You can’t beat garden-fresh greens, but storage can be a major problem.
If you can’t pick your greens and use them in the same day- perhaps because the plant is starting to go to seed- they can quickly rot, destroying all your gardening efforts.
Luckily, there are two surefire ways to keep those greens ready for use, whether you want to save them for a salad in a few days or want to dry them for year-round use.
Short-Term Greens Storage
This storage method should keep your greens dry and ready-to-eat for up to 10 days.
- Paper towels
- Airtight container
Keep your greens dry. Dryness is essential for slime-free storage. Remove any bad leaves before storage. Wait to wash the greens until you plan to serve them. Leave lettuce on the stalk.
Place a layer of dry paper towels in the bottom of your container. Add the greens on top and fill the container. Don’t smash the greens; allow plenty of room for air circulation.
Add a second layer of dry paper towels on top of the greens. Add the lid and place the greens in the refrigerator.
Learn more: Growing Greens In The Fall And Winter
This storage method will keep your greens fresh and ready-to-eat for about 10 days. If your greens start to wilt, perk them up by placing the stems in a bowl of water. Within an hour or two, your greens will perk right up. Do not place your container of greens near the cooling unit in your refrigerator or the leaves could freeze, which will make them inedible.
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Long-Term Greens Storage
If you over-planted greens in your garden, you may find you have too many greens to eat within a 10-day period. If you have more greens than you can handle, dehydrate them for future use.
- Dehydrator or oven
- Storage container
Wash and dry the greens before storing. Remove the greens from the stalk.
Remove the ribs from tough greens like Swiss chard or kale. Dehydrated stems turn into sticks.
Place the greens in a single layer on each dehydrator sheet. Turn the dehydrator to about 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Dehydrate the greens for about 3 hours, or until completely dry. They should now look like dried herbs.
Store the dried greens in an airtight container.
If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can dehydrate in the oven. Set the oven to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit and spread the greens onto a cookie sheet. Cook until crispy, checking every 20 minutes.
Use dehydrated greens in soups, sauces, smoothies, and anywhere else you can sneak them in. You probably won’t even notice their presence, but they will add nutrients and flavor to every dish.
Learn more: Vegetables You Can Dehydrate
Using these two methods (which also works for garden herbs), you can keep your greens fresh and usable for several days to several months.
What is your favorite method to store greens?
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