Here’s why I, a reformed
salad-hater, now love salad:
1. Limitless variations of
dressing and add-ons
2. Gives wiggle room for
small indulgences the rest of the day
3. Adds fiber and bulk to
4. Fills me up with few
5. Gives lots of chewing
6. Easy lifestyle change to
implement and adopt forever–this is not a diet!!!!
Does it sound like a lot of work to
prepare a salad every day? Especially on a busy workday
morning? Hang on!
I have devised a way to
make salad for 7-9 days — at one time. My method takes less
than 30 minutes (with a little bit of practice). It will
stay crisp and fresh for more than a week.
Consider these benefits of storing
salad in a jar.
1. No brown edges on the
lettuce and no wilted leaves
2. No getting out the
salad spinner every day to make a salad
3. On the run? Grab a jar
and take it with you. Eat right out of the jar if necessary
although I prefer a bowl or plate.
4. Save money–especially
when you buy the lettuce in bulk from Sam’s or Costco. No
more wasting money on prepackaged salads that often aren’t
fresh the day you bring them home.
5. Glass jars are
washable. Not only are you helping the environment, you are
My secret?? A
vacuum-pack machine with a wide-mouth jar attachment.
I have a
FoodSaver brand but I’m sure other brands would also
work if they have the right attachment. See this post for
more advice on what to buy. Which Vacuum-Pack Machine Should
I Buy to Make Salad in a Jar?
ADDENDUM: You don’t
have to have a vacuum-pack machine. See these posts: How
To Vacuum-Pack Salad in a Jar for Less Than $6 (Plus a
Video) and Yes,
You Can Use a Handheld Vacuum-Pack Machine to Seal Salad in
This will not work with the
plastic bags and the vacuum. The lettuce would be completely
squashed and bruised.
PLEASE NOTE: In my
experience this technique does not work well with spinach or
spring mix. I wish it did!
* sharp knife (My favorite is a
Wusthoff Santoku knife)
* chopping board
* salad spinner
* very large mixing bowl
* wide-mouth jar attachment
* clean quart-size Mason glass jars with lids
* vacuum pack machine
My favorite lettuce is
Romaine –usually hearts of Romaine. Wash it well but leave
Cut lengthwise through the
entire head at least 4-5 times.
Now slice crosswise about
3/4 to 1 inch apart according to your preference.
Fill salad spinner and spin
Dump into a very large
bowl. Fill jars. I pack them as tight as possible.
Seal jars using a
wide-mouth jar attachment and a vacuum-pack machine. Screw
on rings as insurance to keep lid sealed. Refrigerate up to
1 week or even longer if your lettuce started out very
Only one wide-mouth adapter is required. The round, white
attachment you see below goes on top of each jar during the
sealing process. First, you put the flat part of the lid on
top of the jar. Then you place the wide mouth sealer that
has been attached to your machine with the hose you see here
(provided with attachment) on top of the jar. Hit the
“canister” button. Remove the attachment, leaving the flat
lid firmly attached to the jar. Screw collar part of jar lid
over the sealed flat lid to insure the lid will not lose its
seal over the next few days. Go to next jar and repeat
If you have a hand-held
vacuum-pack device, see this
post for more information.
Store jars in the
refrigerator–up to 10 days depending on how fresh the
lettuce was to begin with. These will be like gold when you
are hungry and want something healthy but have no energy
and/or time to prepare a salad. That would be every morning
for me. (Preparing my lunch that is–I don’t eat salad for
When ready to eat, pop the
lid and empty into a bowl or onto a plate.
Add salad dressing, veggies/fruit/nuts and Fiber One
(instead of croutons). Enjoy chewing.
ADDENDUM: I’ve had several
questions regarding the necessity of a vacuum-pack machine.
The secret to the success of salad in a jar is lack of
oxygen. You must vacuum-pack to remove the oxygen. See
post for pictorial comparison of various methods of
I like my salad in small
pieces so I chop the lettuce with a knife. Without the
vacuum-pack, the cut edges of the lettuce would be brown in
a day or two or less. If you leave the lettuce whole,
unchopped and untorn, it will last longer even without the
vacuum pack. Wash, dry and store in zippered plastic bags
with a paper or cloth towel to absorb the moisture. Of
course, you can cut the lettuce when you are ready to eat
but I like to have everything ready to go so I have NO
EXCUSES for not eating a lettuce salad.
Many people have asked
about adding other vegetables. This can be done but the
shelf-life of the vegetables varies a lot compared to the
lettuce. For example, while the lettuce may still be good
for several days, the cucumbers you packed with it can go
bad within 2-3 days depending on their freshness. I
personally, stick to lettuce only and decide each morning
what I will eat with it depending on my mood and
availability of fruits and veggies. Commenter Rick did a
study about this and posted his results