How to Make Salad in a Jar

Salad in a Jar

  • Do you have trouble preparing a healthy lunch for yourself every day?
  • Do you often find yourself throwing out expensive lettuce because you didn’t eat it before it turned brown?
  • Looking to maintain your weight or possibly lose a few pounds?

Salad in a jar is my answer to all of the above. Read more about how I vacuum-pack Romaine lettuce once a week to carry in my lunch bag every day. It’s quick, saves money, and best of all, helps me keep my calorie intake where it needs to be despite my vicious sweet tooth.

Check out my video to get started and then read the posts listed below for more details.

 

Salad in a Jar

Salad Fixins

The Lettuce Experiment

How to Make Salad in a Jar That Lasts a Week–a Video and FAQ

Which Vacuum-Pack Machine Should I Buy to Make Salad in a Jar?

Yes, You Can Use a Handheld Vacuum-Pack Machine to Seal Salad in a Jar

How To Vacuum-Pack Salad in a Jar for Less Than $6 (Plus a Video)

Is a Plastic Knife a Substitute for Vacuum-Packing Lettuce?

Can I Add Other Foods to My (Vacuum-Packed) Jars of Salad?

Secrets of a Vacuum-Packer:  Ten Tips for Getting Lids to Seal on a Mason Jar

Salad in a Jar–5 Years Later

 

Don’t be misled. I don’t eat salad ALL the time. Check out my recipe index for proof.

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{ 89 comments… read them below or add one }

Gina Campbell November 7, 2011 at 2:18 pm

I was just wondering which Foodsaver you actually have. This is the most amazing idea!!! I love your website!!!!

Thanks
Gina

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Paula November 7, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Gina,
I have the V2250. It’s white but I found a black one like it here. http://www.amazon.com/FoodSaver-Advanced-Design-Vacuum-Sealer/dp/B0044XDA3S/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1320719948&sr=8-1-fkmr0
Honestly, any FoodSaver System will work that has an attachment port. This is absolutely necessary. Of course, you will also need to buy the wide-mouth jar lid attachment–available online. Write back if you still have a question. Paula

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Tina December 9, 2011 at 2:57 pm

This is a total God send!!! I make salad for myself and husband EVERY day for lunch. Needless to say, I have salad burn out!!! This is going to be so helpful to me. I’m going shopping as soon as I get off work!!! Thank you for sharing this.

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Debbie December 31, 2011 at 10:11 am

Would this work with freshsaver bags instead of jars? Its a great idea-we are always throwing out lettuce that has gone bad!

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Paula December 31, 2011 at 10:56 am

It would squeeze your lettuce but you can try it. I have not because I don’t want it all smashed. Also, the bags are expensive. I would be using a bag every day. Yikes.

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Peggy January 2, 2012 at 10:06 am

I cut the bags larger than needed, so when I cut them open they can be washed and re-used. I can use several time, just for smaller amounts each time.

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Sharla January 14, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Hi Paula,
I was wondering if you can re-use the metal lid, not the ring part. I’m sure that can be re-used. :-) Just curious.
Thanks,
Sharla

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Paula January 14, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Sharla, You can reuse the flat tops until they rust or get bent to the point that they no longer seal. I’ve been using several of mine 5+ years. pr

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karen ogrady February 10, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Hey Paula,
is it possible to put raw cut up veggies in with the lettuce? Or will that affect the time the lettuce stays fresh? I really love fresh cut up peppers and onions on the salad.
This is a brilliant idea by the way! Love this website.
Karen

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Paula February 10, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Hi Karen, Thanks for your kind words. You guessed right. Adding veggies will decrease the time your lettuce stays fresh and I want mine to last at least 8-9 days. Some veggies last longer than others. I have written about this here. pr

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Dana February 28, 2012 at 8:03 pm

I have been using your idea of salad in a jar for a few months and I wanted to add something to your directions. I cut up chunks of red, yellow or orange peppers, radishes and grape tomatoes, run them thru the salad spinner and then add them to the jar before sealing. The veggies have stayed fresh for up to 10 days and this sure saves time each night!

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Paula March 2, 2012 at 7:26 am

Hi Dana, So glad you wrote. I don’t usually recommend that people add veggies because they usually shorten the time salad can be stored. However, it sounds like you are using “sturdy” veggies so the the result is good. Thanks for writing. I’m sure some of my readers will find this helpful. pr

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AussieJarrah March 18, 2012 at 3:09 am

Another way to make your lettuce last is to wrap it in paper towel and then put it back in the bag it came in.
I’ve had lettuce last nearly 3 weeks using this method.
Just change the paper towel when it gets damp.

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Paula March 18, 2012 at 7:16 am

Thanks for writing. I’m sure your method works but I want to point out one huge difference. If I understand you right, you are not cutting or tearing the lettuce before you store it, right? That’s fine, but for me, I want it ready-to-eat with no further preparation needed. In other words, I want it to be as easy as opening a bag of chips. I did an experiment you can read about here to see how long cut lettuce would last using your method. Sadly, the lettuce turned brown very quickly.

If I didn’t work full-time and stayed home all day, vacuum-packing my lettuce probably wouldn’t be a big deal but it is ultra convenient to grab a jar every morning that needs no preparation whatsoever. I have no excuse for not eating healthy when it is this easy. pr

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mary March 26, 2012 at 2:19 am

Will the salad in a jar work in a glass rubber sealed jar?

Great idea! Thanks

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Paula March 26, 2012 at 6:00 am

Hi Mary,
I have not found a way to do it. It’s possible somebody makes an attachment for that set-up but I have not discovered it yet. pr

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Annie March 29, 2012 at 9:37 am

Hello! Maybe you already mentioned it but I was curious if you eat it all straight from the jar or do you bring a plate with you? Its amazing what planning ahead can do for one’s budget and waistline. Great idea!

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Paula March 29, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Annie,
I normally eat it from a plastic bowl I keep in my desk at work. I have eaten it from the jar but that is not the optimum salad-eating experience. More like desperate, because I think I was in the car.

I couldn’t agree you more about the whole “planning ahead” idea. It is absolutely crucial! pr

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Leann April 5, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I also love masone jars (for many storage reasons) and my food saver – just don’t use it for powdered sugar in a jar – my husband had to take it apart to fix it after that.

I love your idea for salads in a jar – will definately be doing that soon. Wonder if this idea would vacuum well? http://karenknichols.blogspot.ca/2012/02/mason-jar-salads.html

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Vicki April 9, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Paula, I just discovered your web site & really like it. I wonder what the reason is for vacuum sealing the lettuce. Have you compared just keeping the lettuce in the jars alongside the vac sealed jar to see the difference? I don’t know anything about vac sealing but I have been leaving precut lettuce stored in plastic storage bowl or bag with deliberately leaving a corner open to keep it from condensation. Thanks, Vicki

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Paula April 9, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Vicki,
Yes, I have. See this post.
The purpose of the vacuum seal is to eliminate oxygen which makes the leaves turn brown. You would be amazed at the difference and how long you can keep cut lettuce when stored this way. Come back next week when I plan to publish a post that compares lettuce cut with a plastic knife and vacuum-packed lettuce. I think you will find it interesting. pr

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Sheila Frase April 11, 2012 at 11:23 am

I just wanted to let you know I LOVE the idea of Salad in a jar and have done it with great results. I ordered some half gallon jars and put a whole sleeve of romaine in it. I think it is great to be able to wash and cut up the whole lettuce at one time and actually have it last without browning right away!! I even put fresh bananas in a jar and vacuum sealed it. It works for that too!! I am going to try with strawberries next. This idea will pay for itself in no time. I have thrown away so many things that go bad quickly. I have also bought the Tattler reusable canning lids. I thought some of your readers may not know about them and they are great, so I wanted to share the idea. No worries about rusting, bending or BPA in them. Anyone hesitating to do this…go ahead… and you will surely be happy you did…I know I am!!

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Paula April 11, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Sheila,
I’ve tried strawberries before but never bananas. That’s wonderful. Will try it myself soon. Thanks so much for sharing the idea. pr

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Kathy April 13, 2012 at 9:17 am

I have been making salad in a jar for weeks now and absolutely love it. I am so happy I stumbled upon your website. I have “converted” so many of my co-workers. I actually gave a demonstration of how to do it at work! I used to dread preparing my salad every night after supper for the next day. Now the whole week’s salads are prepared in 15 minutes on the weekend and it’s so much fun to grab and go each day! Thank-you so much for this fantastic idea. By the way, I send a link to your website to everyone who shows an interest in the salad in a jar!

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Paula April 13, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Kathy,
What kind words! I’m so, so glad it is working out for you. And thanks for sharing the idea with others. paula

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Vicki Walton April 15, 2012 at 5:56 am

I have been vacuum sealing strawberries for a while now. I love it! They last for a very long time. Two helpful hints that I have discovered: unripe strawberries don’t seem to ripen further after being picked. I also wash my strawberries in a bowl with a little vinegar then rinse and dry them before sealing in a jar. The vinegar kills the bacteria from the dirt that makes strawberries go soft and spoil. I can’t wait for this year’s local strawberry harvest. I will be buying more because I know they won’t go bad quickly before I get to eat them all. Yes!

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Paula April 15, 2012 at 7:20 am

Vicki,
Love your hints. They go bad fast so I can’t wait to give your method a try. You’re certainly talking to the right audience.

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Rita April 15, 2012 at 8:42 am

You are amazing! I am so excited about this want to tell the world. I think I am going to have fun here.
Rita

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Paula April 15, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Welcome Rita,
Glad you are enjoying it. Nice to “meet” you. paula

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Vicki Walton April 16, 2012 at 8:28 am

Leann wrote in a comment above not to vacuum seal powdered sugar. I find that when I seal things that are powdery such as flour, spices, or powdered sugar, that if I leave about 1 inch from the top of the jar and put in a piece of paper towel, coffee filter, muffin liner, etc to cover the contents, I can then vacuum seal and it won’t get sucked up in the machine. Another benefit is not having the contents fly out when you open the lid. By the way, I use the blunt end of a “church key” bottle opener to open my lids. If you do it very gently and not bend the lid, you can use one lid over and over for many years.

A second way to do vacuum seal powdered sugar is to use a wide mouth pint or half gallon jar and just put the powdered sugar in its original packaging down into the jar. You simply poke a hole in the package and then continue to seal the jar. The air is then sucked out of the package and the jar. If you get a killer deal on cake mixes, pudding, etc you can keep them in their original package and then vacuum seal them and they will last much longer than the recommended expiration date. I can put two cake mixes in one half gallon jar. I just cut out the baking instructions out and put into the jar and ALWAYS label and date the contents.

Although I do have a foodsaver machine, I prefer to use the Ziplock hand pump that costs a little over $4.00. I use the jar lid adapters and then put the pump over the adapter and pump the air out. MUCH more economical if you do not have a Foodsaver vacuum machine.

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Kim June 13, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Hi, I really like the idea of using a ziplock hand pump with different jars (put small hole and tape on top) but I am having a problem with some of the jars becoming unsealed. Can anyone recommend a fix for this?

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Paula June 13, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Kim,
Perhaps you should pump a little longer to make sure you have removed as much air as possible which makes a tighter seal. Also, make sure the tape is not tightly adhered to the lid when you start so it can be sucked into the hole.

If you decide you really like the idea of vacuum-packing, I highly recommend investing in the $10 attachment you can place over the lid and forego the hole with tape. It’s a much more reliable way to go.

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Vicki Walton April 16, 2012 at 8:46 am

Paula, just thought you might be interested that my local paper did a food article about my vacuum sealing method with the Ziplock pump. They did a nice feature that was 1 1/2 pages to explain how and why to vacuum seal jars. It was after the article was in the works that the food editer asked if I had any helpful websites to share. So as I was searching – I found you! So if you read the article, you will find that I gave two links to your site. I only wish I had found your blog sooner because I was doing a lot of trial and error that you already had posted about. LOL

Something that I discovered additionally is that you can use old spaghetti, pickle, jelly, etc. jars to vacuum seal. Just poke a thumb tack hole in the top of the lid, place a small piece of electrical tape over the hole, and then vacuum seal with either the Ziplock pump or the rechargeable Foodsaver pump. I don’t understand how this works, it just does! To release the seal, just lift up a corner of the tape and the air pressure will equalize and the lid can be unscrewed. Mason jars can be costly unless bought used, so this gives one more economical way to vacuum seal but you get to use jars that you previously were throwing away.

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Courtney April 19, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Hi. I love this idea. I was curious if this sealing method would work for sealing jars for fresh salsa? Thanks!

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Paula April 20, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Courtney,
Yes, you could use if for salsa but it would have to be refrigerated. No heat is involved with vacuum-sealing so it is not shelf-stable.

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Jayne Morley May 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Love this site! Found a great buy on the sealer. It does not come with the tube but most sealers came with a tube for this purpose. Here’s where I found the sealer accessorie at a great price with free shipping (Buy.com):
http://www.buy.com/pr/product.aspx?sku=203464570

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Paula May 21, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Hi Jayne,
Sounds like a good deal with free shipping. Since you don’t need a tube with the portable vacuum-packers, no tube doesn’t matter. Thanks for sharing.

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Jayne Morley May 21, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Here is a great price with free shipping on the sealer accessory. Note that is does NOT come with the tube for the port hookup. Most people will already have the tube for their accessory port. Love your site and thanks for sharing!

http://www.buy.com/pr/product.aspx?sku=203464570

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Andrea May 25, 2012 at 10:55 am

Hi Paula! I love your salads in a jar. I have a few questions:
1. Where can I buy the jars?
2. Do you eat the salad directly from the jar… is it comfortable? or do you prefer to empty the jar on a regular plate?

Thank you!

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Paula May 25, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Hi Andrea,

You can buy the jars at many grocery stores and places like Walmart.

I have eaten my salad straight out of the jar but normally, I pour it into a bowl. I keep a bowl at work just for that purpose.

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Kami July 30, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Hi! As I was looking at your Salad-in-a-Jar technique, I wanted to ask if you can use the tops to the Mason jars more than once. Are they used-up once they’ve been sealed, or are they good for multiple uses? Thank you!

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LaTisha Gaines August 7, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Hello, I have been using is technique for a few weeks now and love that everything stays crisp and fresh. HOwever, i have noticed that upon opening the jars, a foul odor will come out of the jar, however the lettuce still looks and tastes fresh. Is this normal? Is it the type of lettuce (or mixed greeens) that i am using?
Just wondering if anyone else as experienced this. Thanks :)

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Paula August 7, 2012 at 1:59 pm

LaTisha,

My attempts to vacuum-pack mixed greens or spinach have been disappointing. I do not recommend it for this very reason-it will take on a bad smell within a couple of days, whereas romaine will usually keep up to a week–sometimes 7 or 8 days if the salad is VERY fresh when you pack it. You might want to check out this post.

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Rhonda September 20, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Hi Paula! I happened across your website after a mention some where about “salad-in-a-jar” that intrigued me. I decided this was something I HAD to try. So, I went to my local Walmart for the fixings and the equipment. Unfortunately, I did not find the hand pump, but did find a rechargeable one made by FoodSaver. It was $20, but I bought it anyway. I figured I could always return it if it didn’t work. I bought a bag with 3 smallish heads of romaine and some wide mouth lids. For my experiment, I made 3 jars of the romaine, and 4 jars of salads – two 7-Layer, & 2 with the dressing on the bottom. The electric appliance worked beautifully!! My jars sealed up perfectly! This was Sunday night. Today (Thursday) I finished off the last pre-made salad, & it was PERFECT! Just like I had made it fresh this morning!! I still have two jars of the romaine, which we will use between now & Sunday. I didn’t have a salad spinner, so I dried my lettuce by letting it sit on a towel on the counter covered with paper towels. I do now have a salad spinner though, because I will DEFINITELY be doing this again, and again!!!

Thanks for the great website! I also make my own yogurt – might pop over to that tab and post a comment about my “adventures” in making homemade yogurt.

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Jan October 9, 2012 at 3:12 pm

I am having some trouble getting the jars to stay sealed with the fresh saver portable vacuum sealer. The wide mouth jar attachment kind of hangs up on the lid and lifts it off as I am removing the attachment. Is the portable sealer not powerful enough to make a vacuum to keep the lid sealed? Am I not vacuuming long enough? Any ideas? Thanks

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Paula October 9, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Jan,
Doesn’t sound like you are getting any seal at all. With the Fresh Saver, you have to press down quite firmly to create a seal. Then you must run it long enough for the sound to change indicating the machine is working harder to remove any remaining air out of the jar. The longer you do it the better the seal. Honestly, this is not my favorite way but it will work. You can try using two lids on top of the jar, but inside the attachment. Of course, only one seals and the other one will come off along with the attachment after the jar is sealed. Let know how that works.

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Jan October 9, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Sheila Fraze, you commented on using tattler lids, I tried to use those also and couldn’t get a seal. Any tricks you have found that could help?

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Patty Cletcher November 11, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Just wanted to let you know……I was off work for 2 months recuperating from two strokes and I was given homework assignments from my neurologist. I needed to find something totally new to learn one recipe,one craft, one hobby idea. Every time I found something and then googled it, I ended up on your website, I didn’t catch on until a few visits. It started when I found an older Salton yogurt maker. You helped me,again when I dug my bread machine out of the laundry room. I now am a vacuum seal addict. My first batch of lettuce lasted 10 days….pints for work, quarts for home, hubby has to eat healthy too. GOD definitely sent me your way, I also learned how to make freezer jam, have 2 aerogardens growing. Thank you so much, I usually just read never post, but I had to tell you that salad in a jar site was very helpfull in resetting my brain.LOL BTW. I have lost 3 lbs in last 3 weeks with my salads and yogurts but still eating those breads and deserts. Thank you Patty Cletcher

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Paula November 12, 2012 at 6:22 am

Hi Patty,
Yes! Praise God, indeed. So glad to hear you are doing better. Nice to know Salad in a Jar has been helpful. I’m not sure what aerogardens are though. I’ll have to check that out.
Have a great week and thanks for writing.

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Imogen November 22, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Hi Paula

Thank you for this idea! I live in Australia and Mason Jars are a bit hard to come by down here. I have found some Bormioli Rocco Quattro Stagioni jars, but the lid is only a single lid and doesn’t come in two parts. Do you think your technique will work with these jars? Or should I order some Mason Jars from overseas?

Thank you in advance for your help.

Imogen

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Paula November 22, 2012 at 10:18 pm

You can use just about any glass jar with a tight seal using the method described here. It’s a good way to try this idea to see if it’s worth investing in the other jars.

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diegan December 13, 2012 at 5:03 am

Hi Paula,

I just happened onto this site when I was looking for a bread recipe and have been on for over an hour reading comments and being blown away by your videos on salad in a jar. . . amazing. . .
Just wanted to write to say thank you for this site and also to ask you if you know why you use electrical tape on the lid of the “salad in a jar” bottles.
is there a reason for it and what makes electrical tape better to use Is there by any chance other substitutes as I have no idea where I can get it here (live outside of the usa).
thanks again for your site. . .

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Norma January 13, 2013 at 2:14 am

Hi Paula!
When you buy the jars do you wash them or sterilize them or do both? Also, do you need to have a Foodsaver Machine or can you tight/seal them by hand?

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Paula January 13, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Hi Norma,
I would definitely wash them–preferably in a dishwasher. You do not have to have a Foodsaver Machine but you do need to vacuum-seal the jars if you are trying to save chopped lettuce more than a couple days. Check out these posts for some alternatives.

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Liz January 16, 2013 at 3:18 pm

I LOVE Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothie (http://kimberlysnyder.net/blog/ggs/), which uses Romaine. I try to make it everyday but washing the lettuce every morning is time consuming. This is a perfect solution, and I plan to experiment with vacuum-packing the celery and fruit, too. I feel fantastic when I drink it everyday, and now that I know how to prepare the lettuce ahead of time I will be much better about keeping up with it! Thanks!

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Paula January 17, 2013 at 8:56 am

Hi Liz,
Thanks for the link on the smoothie. Have never seen a smoothie calling for romaine lettuce. Very interesting. BTW, vacuum-packing works good with celery but varies greatly with fruit. Guess you’ll figure that out as you experiment. :-) In general, the sturdier the food you are storing, the better it will vacuum-pack. Delicate lettuce, fruit and/or vegetables don’t last very long.

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Kathleen Woolsey January 21, 2013 at 8:03 pm

One concern I don’t see addressed is botulism. Botulism grows in a low acid, low oxygen environment like one of these sealed jars. What do you do to inhibit its growth?

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Paula January 21, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Hi Kathleen,
I have written about this issue before but it’s buried in the comments so thanks for giving me the chance to address it again.

Yes, botulism does worry me a little, but only as much as I worry about getting it from a bag of spinach and that’s not much. I am careful to wash it well, which also removes most of the risk. Most importantly, keep your salad chilled at ALL times. That should inhibit any growth. Just a reminder that the vacuum-packing process I describe is no way related or appropriate for fruits, vegetables and/or meats that must be heated when canned. When preserved with a heat-canning process, they can be stored in a pantry. Of course, you should never store vacuum-packed chopped lettuce in the pantry.

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mixaleena January 21, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Let me just add that we usually eat them in 4-5 days, however, they HAVE lasted us 7-10 in the past. Just wanted to clarify.

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Dawn January 27, 2013 at 10:15 am

I love your idea of salad in a jar and watched your video.
I have bought my wide mouth jars. Now I can’t find out where to buy the white lid you show so you don’t need to put a hole in the top or what looks like a zip lock pump to take the air out.
I have tried Wal-mart and the large grocery store. Can you give me a web site on line so can order them or at least give me the correct name for the products so I can do a search.
Thank you for being there.
Dawn in Naples Florida.

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Paula January 27, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Hi Dawn,
Here is the link from the blog post itself. http://www.foodsaver.com/product.aspx?pid=9066

You can also get it from Amazon– here. http://www.amazon.com/FoodSaver-T03-0023-01-Wide-Mouth-Jar-Sealer/dp/B00005TN7H

It is called a Foodsaver Wide Mouth Jar Sealer.

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Carol February 21, 2013 at 5:36 pm

How many times can you reuse the flat part of the lid?

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Paula February 22, 2013 at 7:27 am

Until it gets rusty or bent so badly it will no longer seal. I’ve been using most of mine for several years. This is possible because you are not using any heat to seal.

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Dana February 24, 2013 at 7:10 pm

I have a question….does it have to be a glass jar? I was looking all over for the glass jars today and couldn’t find any. What I did find were Ball plastic freezer jars, 32 oz. with snap on lids. I thought I would try that, but was wondering if anyone else had? Will I still be able to do a few days worth and have them stay fresh.

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Dana February 24, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Correction….twist on lids..lol.

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Peggy S March 3, 2013 at 11:06 am

Just discovered you. This may be the solution to a long-time issue I’ve had. I HATE preparing salads just before a meal. For some reason, when I prepare my own, they just aren’t appetizing by the time I sit down. Think it has something to do with cold hands? But I always enjoy salad when someone else has made it, or has been made ahead of time. But living alone, how long does a salad stay fresh when prepared ahead?!? An ex-boyfriend of mine would always prepare our salads while I did the main meal. Loved that! And miss that little luxury! Now, won’t be a requirement for future relationships! LOL

Thanks – love the idea. Perfect timing as I have been working on losing weight, and have recently been ignoring salad ingredients this winter. Looking forward to beginning this week!

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Lenoria March 9, 2013 at 9:07 am

Hi Paula,
I found your site through a papercrafting site, Obsessed with Scrapbooking, which I visit. I have never thought to try salad in a jar but I do vacuum seal chocolate chips, macaroni, cornmeal, oreos, and even chocolate chips. The oreos are just as fresh 6 to 9 months later as they are when you first open the bag! The chocolate chips don’t seem to get white or age and everything is great. I highly recommend vacuum sealing “stuff” and I am anxious to try the salad! Thank you.

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Paula March 10, 2013 at 8:24 am

Lenoria, I haven’t tried vacuum-packing any kind of cookies but will definitely try it now. Thanks for writing.

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Kathy March 23, 2013 at 4:00 pm

I have seen several comments about the jars being hard to open. Pull the tape up and once the faint hiss stops, they should open with ease. I have never had to pry one up, and I do seal them tight.

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Paula March 25, 2013 at 7:16 am

Hi Kathy,
You are exactly right–for those who use the tape method. Jars sealed with the attachment can be more difficult since there is no hole or tape. A hand-held can/bottle opener works great but there are other ways too.

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Donna March 27, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Hi Paula,

I am curious if this same process works for jam or honey? We have some small jars that I would like to use, but they are not a “mason jar”. Love the salad in a jar idea, I can’t wait to give it a try.

Donna

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Paula March 27, 2013 at 10:20 pm

Hi Donna,
Vacuum-packing is not a substitute for heat canning so if you would normally use heat when preserving a certain food, this will not suffice.

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Joel Seltmann May 1, 2013 at 11:40 pm

I have found that whole leaf romaine lettuce keeps well if you cut it off the base stalk, wash it, shake it dry, and put it in a ziplock gallon freezer bag with a folded up Brawny paper towel…..the paper towel seems to “moderate” the humidity in the bag (kind of like a cigar humidor) and what ever kind of bleaching material is used in the paper towel tends to retard spoilage!

Cheers!

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Paula May 2, 2013 at 9:19 am

Hi Joel,
Thanks for writing and thanks for sharing an excellent way to keep lettuce if you don’t mind leaving the leaves whole. I like mine already chopped so it’s ready to eat immediately whenever I get ready or I need to carry it in a lunch. I often don’t have the time or inclination to take the time to break it up into bite-sized pieces when I’m hungry or have only a few minutes to eat. Vacuum-packing makes it possible to store chopped lettuce as long or longer than the whole leaves–like fast food in a jar. Happy salad eating!

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EJ May 23, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Hi Paula! I see that you’re using pretty large (quart size, I am guessing) mason jars and I was wondering if you have ever unsealed the jar got so much out and then re-sealed the jar then placed back in the fridge? Is this possible or should I buy like a pint size mason jar to retain the maximum amount of freshness from the vacuum seal?

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Paula May 24, 2013 at 6:37 am

Hi EJ,
Yes, I use quart-size jars. Yes, you can open and reseal. Some people do it routinely. I eat the whole jar so don’t usually do it. A pint jar would be better if that is all you want anyway. There are also 1-1/2 pint jars on the market that you might like. I plan to write a post about all the jars I use soon so you watch for it.

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Lucia July 12, 2013 at 11:07 pm

Hi! Thanks for all the wonderful tips.
I just bought a reynolds vac. Can I use the tape and thumb tack method with this type of vac or do I need the food saver attch lid?
Thanks!

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Paula July 13, 2013 at 6:26 am

Hi Lucia,
Oh, oh. I LOVE my Reynolds vac. Yes, the tape and thumb method will work with it. However, for $10, it is totally worth it to get the food saver attachment for a tighter, easier, quicker and more secure seal. The tape and thumb is just a good way to try out the whole vacuum-pack thing. If you like it, I would highly encourage you to get the attachment. No more holes in lids for one thing.

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Anita July 21, 2013 at 10:07 am

Hi Paula,

Was wondering if you could share the brand and model of the vacuum sealer you are using? I have been checking different models and many of them say “for use with XXX containers only” and I really like the idea of being able to use the mason jars so want to buy a food saver which is compatible to the mason jars.

Thanks!

Anita

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mike August 25, 2013 at 3:20 pm

The vacuum tube is a really great feature of the V2250 vacuum sealer. Many people don’t know the lower cost units don’t have the ability to seal jars. Great tips!

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Robin September 10, 2013 at 8:01 am

Hi Paula,
I bought the little Food Saver Manual Vac Sealer and the Food Saver lids. As hard as I press down on the sealer, I don’t achieve a seal. What could I be doing wrong? Thanks for your help.

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Paula September 10, 2013 at 8:06 am

Hi Robin,
Check out this post for some ideas.

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Michelle November 23, 2013 at 11:15 pm

Hi Paula,
Thanks for the tips. This really helped me use my vacuum sealer in a better way. I couldnt figure out what exactly to use it for until reading your blog! Thanks!

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Nic Jewels February 24, 2014 at 5:53 am

I’m on my second week of salads in a jar. I am carrying my dressing separately this week and like it MUCH better.

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Paula February 25, 2014 at 5:52 am

Hi Nic,
Thanks for the testimony. You might enjoy this post.

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