Best known for its role in salads, lettuces come in many varieties ranging from buttery pale green to robust romaines and bitter dark red bunches. As well as being consumed raw, lettuces can also be used to make soup.
All varieties of lettuce are fairly low calorie, but their nutritional benefits vary. However, all five are good sources of dietary fiber. Fiber can increase feeling of fullness, since it adds bulk to food and expands in the stomach. If trying to lose weight, eating a high fiber diet can be a useful tool to eat fewer calories while still feeling satisfied. Additionally, fiber moves food through the gastrointestinal tract more quickly. This can decrease the risk of colon cancer.
Storing & Cooking Information
Handling: Lettuce should be washed thoroughly and the core removed before using. A salad spinner is the best way to remove excess water.
Storing: Lettuce should be stored in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. If lettuce is wilted, it can be revived by dunking it in ice water.
It is important to prepare your tender lettuce and other greens for storage as soon as you get home from collecting your share. On very hot days, they may look a little weary from travel and sitting at the pick-up location. However, the crispness of in greens is caused by moisture that’s retained in the cells. Soaking the greens in cold water for a few minutes to rehydrate them will most often bring them back to life.
The best way to store greens is to remove any dead leaves, wash well in cold water, and spin dry to remove excess moisture. Wrap whole heads of lettuce in a damp paper towel and place in plastic bag, then store in crisper. For baby greens, arugula, and other small leaf lettuces, wash and spin dry. Place greens in single layer on clean dish towel and gently roll up and store in fridge.
Freezing: Lettuce should not be frozen as it does not stand up well to the freezing process.