How To Keep Salad Greens As Fresh As Possible

how to store washed salad leaves

Bagged or boxed pre washed salad greens used to be a sore spot with me.  They offer great convenience, but more often than not they would rot before I could use them.  Imagine coming home from work exhausted and deciding to make a simple salad for dinner.  You open up the box of greens you bought 2 days ago to find convenient organic slimy rotting baby kale.  Yum.  What a letdown.  That quick meal idea is no longer an option when you needed to use it most.

Over the years I have moved the greens to different parts of the fridge searching for the optimum location to maintain freshness.  I have tried adding or removing air to the bag before i sealed it.  I tried rubber bands, twist ties and chip clips in an effort to find the perfect way to seal the opened bag.  Those huge plastic clam shells full of convenient organic expensive greens were a no go-they lasted about a day on me before it looked like a snail had gotten into my mixed field greens.

I stumbled upon one of the most simple and easiest ways to keep those salad greens fresh.  Washed salad greens now last at least a week in my fridge.  I even buy those big honking clam shells now without the anxiety that used to come with them.how to store washed salad leaves

 

All you need is a sheet of paper towel. Place a sheet of paper towel in the bag or the box of salad and close it up.  Seriously its that easy.

how to store washed salad leaves

Like I mentioned earlier, greens keep at least a week for me when I do this.  The paper towel absorbs excess moisture as far as I can tell.  Try it and let us know how it worked for you on our Facebook page: facebook.com/wellinformedliving

how to store washed salad leaves

 

Discover The Quickest, Best Tasting Coffee Secret

best coffee maker aeropress
best coffee maker aeropress

If you’re like me and most Americans, coffee is an important, essential part of your day.  More than half of adult Americans drink coffee every day.  And for good reason.  Coffee is, you see….love.  Coffee is life…..well, maybe I’m taking it a little too far. There are however, many health benefits to consuming coffee.  Studies at the Harvard School of Public Health found that increasing one’s daily intake of coffee could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes (1) .  A study at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) found that drinking coffee reduced the risk of heart failure (2). Drinking coffee has been associated to decreased chances for Parkinson’s disease, and liver disease as well.  Coffee is full of antioxidants…..substances that protect against cell and DNA damage.  And recent results from a 30 year study found coffee drinkers may live longer (3).  Coffee is good for you on many levels.  So what’s the best coffee maker?  The Aeropress by a mile.

 

The Best Coffee Maker I Have Found So Far

My love of coffee is one of the longest relationships in my life.  I started drinking it as a teenager to get going in the morning after late nights out.  I dabbled in the flavored coffee craze (oh, mocha hazelnut…).  My pallet became more and more refined as the years passed by.  I stopped drinking it with cream and sugar.  I had favorite varieties and roasts.  I gave up my drip coffee maker for the superior taste of the french press and the pour over. In later years I became seduced by the allure of cold brew coffee.  Less bitter! All of the taste!!! You can drink more before you hit the caffeine wall!!!  And then, out of nowhere came the game changer that changed my life and the coffee I drink in it…..the best tasting coffee I have had yet…..best coffee maker aeropress(I love this image)

The Aeropress

I don’t even remember where I heard about the Aeropress, but the concept intrigued me. We all know how to make coffee.  Here is the new version of how to use a coffee press: coffee grounds and hot water are mixed in a tube above your coffee cup.  At the bottom of this tube is laboratory grade filter paper….way finer than your standard coffee filter.  We’re talking microns here. You let the mixture sit for around 10 seconds and than fit a plunger insert into the tube and press down forcing the coffee mixture through the filter paper into your coffee cup.  Its a concentrate that can be used with hot water to make your ideal strengthed cup of coffee.  In fact, you can make up to 4 servings in one shot of this beauty! The whole process takes about a minute.  The taste is amazing.  According to the company’s literature:

  • The short duration of the extraction results in lower acid and less bitter flavors in the coffee
  • The ground coffee is totally immersed in hot water resulting in a full rich flavor.  Drip methods drip hot water on a bed of grounds, over-extracting at the center and under-extracting at the edge
  • The filter paper produces a clean cup of coffee without the grit of a french press

I’ve had mine for two years now and it’s still going strong.  It’s compact as well.  My Aeropress has gone on numerous camping trips and has traveled cross country with me. It’s my camping coffee maker. It’s my daily coffee maker.   I use it to make my coffee every day.  It’s the best coffee.  It’s that good.  It’s that quick.  I am a disciple in the cult of Aeropress.  It’s seriously that good.  While I consider the Aeropress a life necessity, I also think that it’s a great addition to anyone’s toolkit if you do any kind of filter coffee or ground coffee. Makes a great present for the coffee snob or coffee nerd in your life.  Heck, this is a great present for the backpacker/camper in your life.  Heck, I should buy another one to live in my travel bag permanently.  It’s that good.  I got mine at Amazon and you can too:
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A Cool Mason Jar Kitchen Gadget

If you’re like me you have a lot of canning jars around the house.  You probably use them for more than canning.  Around our house mason jars are used for glasses, fridge storage of leftover salad dressings, cupboard storage of bulk dry goods and much more.

masonjar

Invented and patented in 1858, the mason jar is one of those items that changed culture and society so deeply that you can’t imagine life without it.  Big like an iPhone big.  It introduced safe home food preservation to countless generations.  Easy storage of everything from liquids to flour to nuts and bolts in the garage. They have to be responsible on some level for Tupperware and Ziploc bags. (By the way, I prefer them over Ziploc and Tupperware because they’re less prone to leaking, don’t absorb flavors and colors and I don’t have to think about plastics chemicals leeching into whatever I’m going to eat later.)  They can be quickly multi purposed as drinkware for hot and cold beverages.  In addition to their usefulness around the house, mason jar crafts are incredibly popular with everyone from making goblets by gluing stems on the bottom of canning jars to DIY snow globes.  Because of their ubiquitous nature, mason jar ideas abound, including the one I just found at my local housewares store.

The Ball Herb Shaker Cap

Clunky name right?  Really cool idea.  Seriously.  These would make a great gift or stocking stuffer for anyone who buys bulk anything.  Basically this is a replacement cap that fits a normal mouthed canning jar.

cool mason jar lid

The green plastic section of the lid is hinged and pops up and locks in place so you can shake or sprinkle to your heart’s content:

mason jar lid hack

cool mason jar lid2

These are great for herbs and spices, nutritional yeast, whatever you shake into and onto food. They’re also great for those jars you are always opening since its a little easier to pop the top….hey, great for Grandma!…seriously though, I wanted these as soon as I saw them and enjoy them a lot.  They are a great gift idea and pretty inexpensive as well.  Get yours today at Amazon.

A Cool Food Storage Gizmo You Won’t Want To Live Without

I’m always looking for effective ways to store say, half an avocado, or the lemon that was left after cutting out a slice to go with some seafood.  Well my lemon storage (and lime, orange and avocado) troubles are done now that I have the [eafl id=233 name=”savil by dreamfarm” text=”Savil food saver”] from Dreamfarm.  This unique gadget saves a little bit to a lot of cut apples, oranges etc with its thoughtful design.

 

Unique Hinge Design On This Cool Food Storage Gizmo

Closed for storage, the Savel looks pretty unassuming:

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Lift on the silicone retainer strap, and release the clasp to open:

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The inside is the surface which will be against the cut side of your lime, apple or whatever. What makes the Savel such a cool tool in the kitchen is the hinge that lets this surface flex from fully closed to about a 270 degree angle….

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This allows you to store a little:

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Or half:

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Or even a lot of a piece of fruit:

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The smooth side rests on your cut edge keeping air out while the silicone band holds the fruit in place.  Now you can store half an avocado and actually enjoy it when you take it out of the fridge later!  This is one of those utensils that will be so useful and convenient you might want several.

The Savel is available at Amazon.com through the link below:

Wellinformedliving.com will be reviewing more useful items for around the home, kitchen ideas and other cool stuff in the future, stay connected by joining our Facebook group or follow us on Twitter.

A Cool Squash Cutting Trick

With fall in full swing, I start thinking about all the tasty winter squash everywhere I look.  Farmer’s markets and farm stands full of delicious butternut, acorn, delicata, and sweetmeat squash to name a few varieties.  Winter squash are high in magnesium and potassium and beta carotene.  As I stated in a post on oyster nutrition, “Magnesium is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in your body”.  Potassium will help your body control blood pressure.  Beta carotene is used by the body to manufacture vitamin A.  Most Americans get about half the RDA of vitamin A and squash is a great way to help supplement your diet with it’s basic building block, beta carotene.  Winter squash is also a great source of the soluble and insoluble fiber so necessary in optimal gut health.

Cutting a thick skinned winter squash can be quite frankly, a pain in the ass.  It can be extremely tough (like the skin!) to even get a knife through one without slipping and cutting yourself.  Today I have a quick and easy tip that will make it easy to cut a squash and get on with one of those squash recipies.  What you need is:

  • Squash of some sort
  • A large decent kitchen knife (don’t use your fancy knives for this hack)
  • A rubber mallet

cutting winter squashYup.  A rubber mallet.  That’s the secret ingredient.  You’ve seen them everywhere from Harbor Freight to auto parts stores bargain bins.  They’re pretty cheap.  You probably have one in the garage or basement…

Get your knife started in your squash:

cutting squasha

Hold the mallet in one hand and while holding the knife handle with your other hand, start tapping the knife through your squash:

cutting squashb

When you get the knife past halfway or so, you can usually just push the knife the rest of the cut:

cutting squashc

Squash cut…..you can use the same process to cut your squash into smaller chunks if needed.  Do not, I repeat do not use this technique on summer squash!

cutting winter squash