Iceberg lettuce is one of the most popular varieties of lettuce. These lettuce are great for making a salad, sandwiches, soups, stews, stir-fry, and other food. Due to their versatile use, most people will grow them in the gardens. Unfortunately, iceberg lettuce can only be grown in the spring and summer months. In grocery stores, that are available during the warmer months as well.
Like other varieties of lettuce, iceberg lettuce tends to not last very long once it’s harvested. You can put them in the refrigerator, but they won’t last very long. What another storage option is available to keep iceberg lettuce fresh for months? Would freezing them be possible?
In this short guide, we’ll go through the details on freezing iceberg lettuce, how to store them in the freezer, and how to tell when frozen iceberg lettuce is bad. If these are the information you’re looking for, keep reading.
Can You Freeze Iceberg Lettuce?
Iceberg lettuce can be frozen and because of their high content of water, they freeze very well. Out of all the lettuce varieties, the iceberg lettuce has the highest moisture content.
Even though iceberg can be frozen, it’s important to know what you’ll be doing with it. Due to their texture and taste, once it’s thawed, iceberg lettuce has some limit to what you can use them for.
If you’re planning to use this lettuce for making a salad, it will not work. After iceberg lettuce thaws, it will become soggy and soft. Therefore, it won’t look very tasty on a salad.
On the other hand, for other food such as smoothies, juice, and other cooked meals, frozen iceberg lettuce would be ideal. In these types of food, all the ingredients used requires to be blended anyway.
How to Freeze Iceberg Lettuce
There are a couple of methods to freezing iceberg lettuce. It will depend on what you’ll be using them for. For use in soups, stews, and casseroles, you’ll want to freeze iceberg lettuces as a whole. For making smoothies and other drinks, it’s best to freeze them as a puree.
Below are two methods on how to prepare and freeze iceberg lettuce:
Freezing Fresh Iceberg Lettuce
Us this method if you’re planning to use iceberg lettuce for making soups, stews, and other meals that require blending and mixing.
- Start by cleaning the iceberg lettuce to remove any dirt and particles.
- Cut the leaves off the stem of each lettuce. It’s best to just use your hand to remove the leaves from the stem. Too much cutting can cause browning of the leaves.
- In a large freezer bag, stack the leaves on top of each other. Make sure to not pack them together too much.
- Squeeze out as much air as you can from the bag and seal the bag tight.
- Label the bag and store them in the freezer.
Freezing Iceberg Lettuce Puree
This method is great if you’re planning to use iceberg lettuce for making smoothies, juice, and other drinks. Since thee iceberg lettuce is already blended, it will not change texture and color while it’s frozen.
- Gently remove each leaf from the lettuce stalk.
- Wash the leaves in cool water or put each leaf under running water for a couple of seconds.
- In a blender, blend the leaves until you get the preferred consistency.
- In a clean ice cube tray, add the puree to each slot. Make sure to not overfill each slot.
- Put them into the freezer for a couple of hours.
- Once the iceberg lettuce is completely frozen, remove them from the freezer.
- Immediately pop each lettuce out from the ice tray and transfer it to a freezer bag.
- Squeeze out as much air as you can and seal the bag tight.
- Label it with a date and put the freezer bag back into the freezer.
How Long Can You Freeze Iceberg Lettuce?
Frozen iceberg lettuce will last for about 6 months in the freezer. With proper storage, it can last a little bit longer, especially if it’s a puree.
While it will remain fresh up to 6 months, it is still safe to eat after that. After 6 months, the quality of the iceberg lettuce will diminish. The taste and texture will change. If you’re going to use them in meals such as soups, stir-fry, and casseroles, you won’t be able to tell the difference much.
After a year, if there are any iceberg lettuce left in the freezer, you should discard them. If you try to use them, it’ll be just a piece of an ice block with no flavor.
How Do You Defrost Iceberg Lettuce?
To thaw frozen lettuce, use this simple method that most people use. After removing the lettuce from the freezer bag, place the lettuce at room temperature on paper towels. To prevent any mess when it thaws, you can place the paper towels on a large plate to absorb the melted water.
Using this method will take about an hour, but you’ll end up with an iceberg lettuce that’s not too soggy.
Another method to use is simply to toss the frozen lettuce into a meal that’s being cooked. This could be a soup, stir-fry, or your favorite smoothie drinks.
Make sure to use a little less in the food when it’s being cooked. Frozen iceberg lettuce contains a lot of water when it melts.
How Long Does Iceberg Lettuce Last?
At room temperature, iceberg lettuce will last for about an hour before it starts to go bad. If the room temperature is hot, expect them to not last more than 3- minutes. If it’s not going to be used for cooking or eaten right away, it’s best to store them in the refrigerator.
In the refrigerator, the iceberg lettuce will last for a week or so. Proper storage is the key to keeping them fresh longer. These lettuce needs cool temperatures to remain crisp. If not, the leaves will begin to wilt and lose their moisture.
Related Article: How long does lettuce last
Can Frozen Iceberg Lettuce Go Bad?
Frozen iceberg lettuce can go bad in two different ways. One is being in the freezer too long and the other is when it thaws.
Iceberg lettuce will stay fresh for up to 6 months in the freezer. After that time, the quality of it will start to demonish slowly. The longer it’s still being stored int he freezer, the more the quality will decrease.
However, it’s still safe to eat it, but the taste and texture will be something that’s not very appealing and will taste bland. After a year, it’s best to just throw them out since it will be nothing more than a block of ice. Even if you use it in a meal being cooked, there will be no flavor to it.
The one that iceberg lettuce can go bad is when it thaws. During the process of thawing, it will melt and become soft and soggy. The iceberg lettuce won’t go bad yet, but if you don’t use it for a couple of hours or more, it will become too watery. Much like it had been wilted in a pan or rotted in a bag.
Can you freeze bagged iceberg lettuce?
Bagged iceberg lettuce that you’ve bought from the grocery store can be frozen. These are great to use in recipes such as soups, stir-fry, quiches, and casseroles.
Instead of placing the entire bagged lettuce in the freezer, you should cut them into smaller pieces first. It will be easier to freeze and you can take the right portion of lettuce and freeze the rest.
Make sure to not use the original bag. Over time, due to their flimsiness, it will crack when it is frozen. use a freezer bag or a bag designed for freezer usage.
Can you freeze shredded iceberg lettuce?
Shredded iceberg lettuce can be frozen since it’s already sliced into the right size.
Before freezing it, make sure that it is completely dry first. You can use a salad spinner to remove the excess water from the lettuce. If you don’t have a salad spinner, use a dry paper towel and gently press on the lettuce until it dries.
After that, put the shredded iceberg lettuce into a freezer bag and place it into the freezer.