A Proper Washing and Storing of Lettuce
This is something I learned from a good friend. This should take about 20 minutes every one or two weeks. If done correctly, your lettuce can be ready for use up to two weeks. That means you can keep a larger variety of lettuce at your home for your dinner salads and your guinea pigs to enjoy.
Selecting Your Lettuce
There’s a lot to be said on this topic but here’s the basics. If you don’t know already, the darker greens are the better quality for your guinea pig because they have a higher nutritional value. The reason iceberg lettuce is a no-no is because iceberg has high water content and little nutrients. This is why many people on diets tend to eat a lot of iceberg lettuce. It’s empty calories. Your guinea pigs certainly won’t die if they eat a slice or steal a piece from your garden. It’s not poison, but it’s certainly better for their long term health and happiness for them to get the proper variety. You also want to check out the calcium content of the greens you choose. Some of their favorite greens and herbs like spinach, kale, and parsley are high in calcium which can lead to bladder stones. The best diet is one that has a wide variety.
What You Need
One thing that makes this a whole lot easier is a salad spinner. There are different types of salad spinners but they are all a bowl shaped item that will dry your lettuce. You don’t have to purchase the one I have but a reliable spinner will probably cost you about $20. It’s well worth the price as it will save you money and time running to the store. You will also need large (gallon sized) plastic bags and some paper towels.
Wash, Dry, and Store
This method works for all types of lettuce greens and also herbs. Perfect if you have a home garden and want to bring in many items at the same time.
1) Separate all the leaves of lettuce and put them in a full sink of cold water. If any of the leaves appear wilted, let them soak for up to 30 minutes and they will improve. This is a good time to check for any dirt and bugs.
2) As the lettuce pieces are removed, rinse them under the faucet and place them in the salad spinner. Tear the leaves into smaller pieces if they are large (like large leaf romaine). Fill your spinner but don’t pack it tight.
3) Now for the fun part. Spin! Spin! Spin until dry!
4) Tear off two paper towels but leave them connected together. Pile the dry lettuce leaves in the middle and fold the paper towels around them.
5) Slide the whole thing into a plastic bag. Press the extra air out and seal. You may find you can store your lettuce in the fridge for up to two weeks. Remove lettuce as needed, push the air out and reseal each time.
If you have a great idea for an article about guinea pigs, please let us know. Guinea Pig Today is a network of guinea pig lovers and we’re always looking for the next great story. View our submissions page for more information on how to submit your idea.