Back to top

Reviving Wilted Greens

Wilted greens such as lettuce, kale, and chard can be revived with a cold water bath.

Before composting leafy greens that seem to have lost their pep, take a few simple steps to bring them back to life.

For lettuce:

  • cut the base about 1/2", or separate leaves from base entirely
  • submerge leaves and stems in cold water, making sure that any cut ends are fully submerged
  • if you're in a hurry, try adding some ice cubes to the water
  • soak for at least 30 minutes. Note that heavy and extremely wilted leaves may take more time

For winter greens (kale, chard, collards):

  • cut the thick stems back about 1/2" to expose a new open end
  • submerge leaves and stems in water, making sure that any cut ends are fully submerged
  • for long stems on kale and chard, you may be able to simply put the stems in a large cup/pitcher of water, like cut flowers (this works best for less limp leave)
  • soak for at least 30 minutes. Note that heavy and extremely wilted leaves may take more time

This tip does not work for leaves that have already yellowed or become slimy. If some leaves are too far gone, try removing those and soaking the remaining leaves that are still intact. 

Additional Storage Tips

End of Summer tomato processing
End of Season Tomatoes
Basil
Ginger
Melons
Apples
Carrots
Food Waste prevention event
Chef Demo: Reducing your climate impact (Video)
Fresh Berries