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March 8 2012 5 08 /03 /March /2012 18:56

A while back, I was watching a chef, on a cooking show, demonstrate how the wilted Romaine he had in his fridge could be brought back to its crisp and vibrant form.  He plumped the lettuce right up just by immersing it in a big bowl of cold water with ice cubes.

I decided to do a little research.  Wilting in vegetables is due to the loss of “turgor pressure”.   As the cell walls lose moisture, they begin to collapse inward causing the leaves and other tender portions to wilt and collapse. Turgidity can be returned fairly easily. Most wilted vegetables whether they are lettuce, greens, herbs, or sturdier vegetables like celery and carrots can often be revived with very little trouble in very cold water.

For me, it has become “the secret” for the crisp and fresh salads my guests’ rave about;  I always soak my greens in ice cold water, even when not wilted, before I make salads. Here are some tips I found, coupled with my own experience:Ice water to revive veggies

*Trim anything that is dead and doesn’t need reviving.

*Soak the greens/herbs/vegetables in very cold water for 15 to 30 minutes.   I always add ice.

*Remove from the water and spin or pat dry.  I let it drain naturally over the sink for about 20 minutes.

*Use or store in a plastic bag, with paper towel to absorb excess moisture. I store in a plastic bag without the towel, and the greens remain plump, crisp and fresh for up to a week.

Last Saturday, I went to the market and amongst other things, picked up my usual bunch of fresh basil and decided to do an experiment.  I have never succeeded in keeping basil very long without it wilting and turning brown rapidly, no matter what I did.  I soaked the basil, drained it and stored it in a plastic bag.  Busy, I actually forgot about it until yesterday; when I took it out to make a Caprice salad.  To my surprise, the basil was still as plump and vibrant as if it had been freshly picked.  Boy was I ever excited!

So next time you are tempted to throw out limp tired greens or vegetables from your fridge, revive them to life with a little ice water!

 Yours in vibrant health,

 Isabelle

Blog written for www.moduvated.com and reposted for you!

 

 

 

 

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