Iceberg lettuce is more versatile than you might think. It doesn’t only have to be part of a salad. You can use the leaves as wraps, make soup out of them, use them in a stir fry, or put them in a smoothie or juice.
Perhaps you grow iceberg lettuce and have too much of it to use before it wilts and dies. What can you do? Can you freeze it? Yes, you can, but we will say that it doesn’t freeze that well. It is important to follow the right steps to get decent results and in this article, we will tell you how to freeze iceberg lettuce and how to defrost it.
How To Freeze Iceberg Lettuce
There are two ways to freeze iceberg lettuce. You can freeze it either as leaves or as a puree. We think that it is better to freeze it as a puree but we will tell you how to freeze it both ways.
How To Freeze Iceberg Lettuce As Leaves
1. Separate the leaves.
You don’t want to freeze the stalk so cut this off. Separate the leaves by hand as using a knife can cause the leaves to go brown.
2. Wash the leaves with cold water.
3. Put the leaves in a freezer bag.
Divide the leaves into meal-size portions. You don’t want to put them all in one bag unless you think you will use them all on the day you defrost them. Gently squeeze out the air from the bags to avoid freezer burn. Freezer burn will make the taste, texture, and color of the lettuce leaves change for the worse. You won’t want to eat your lettuce if it has freezer burn. You do need to be gentle when you squeeze out the air as it is easy to damage the leaves. Put a label on the bags with the date you put them in the freezer.
How To Freeze Pureed Iceberg Lettuce
Freezing pureed lettuce is better as it is so easy to add it to juices or smoothies. It also takes up less space in the freezer which is handy if you use your freezer to stock a lot of items. This is the way to do it.
1. Separate the leaves from the stalk.
2. Wash the leaves in cold water.
Be gentle so that you don’t damage the leaves.
3. Blend the leaves.
4. Pour the puree into the slots of an ice cube tray.
Don’t fill the slots right up to the top as the puree will expand when it is put in the freezer. When you have done this, put the tray in the freezer and freeze. It should take between four and five hours for the cubes to become solid.
5. Put the cubes in a freezer bag.
Make sure that you squeeze out the air from the bag so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. Put a label on the bag so that you know when you put it in the freezer. You don’t want to keep the cubes in the freezer for longer than their use-by date.
6. Put the bag in the freezer.
You will now be able to remove as many cubes as you need for a recipe.
Tips For Freezing Iceberg Lettuce
- It is better to freeze the iceberg lettuce as a puree rather than as leaves.
- Squeeze out all the air from the freezer bag to stop freezer burn from occurring.
- Be gentle with the leaves as they damage easily. This is especially important if you are freezing leaves rather than a puree.
- If you are freezing the lettuce as leaves, be prepared for changes in texture. This is because lettuce has a high water content. The water turns into ice crystals and makes your lettuce a bit mushy.
- Don’t use the defrosted leaves in a salad as they won’t be crispy. It is best to use frozen iceberg lettuce in smoothies, juices, soups, and stir fries.
For How Long Can You Freeze Iceberg Lettuce?
You can keep iceberg lettuce in the freezer for up to six months. This goes for both leaves and puree. Of course, the sooner you eat it, the tastier it will be. After six months, it will start to deteriorate so it is best to throw it away if you have forgotten about it.
How Do You Defrost Iceberg Lettuce?
The good news is that you don’t have to defrost iceberg lettuce, whether it has been frozen as ice cubes or as leaves. Just put the leaves or cubes straight into your dish or drink. As we have said, it is best to use them in a hot dish. It won’t take long for the ice cubes to melt or the leaves to thaw. If you are making a smoothie, just put either the cubes or leaves into a blender with the other ingredients and blend.
Can You Refreeze Iceberg Lettuce?
Iceberg lettuce doesn’t freeze well. To freeze, defrost, and refreeze will cause even more ice crystals to form and as a result, will make the lettuce even more mushy. Make sure that you only take out as many leaves or cubes that you need so that this problem doesn’t arise. This will help to avoid wastage.
Is It a Good Idea To Freeze Iceberg Lettuce?
It’s not really a good idea to freeze the leaves of iceberg lettuce. Lettuce has a high water content so ice crystals form when it is frozen and when defrosted, it will be soft and mushy. However, if you freeze iceberg lettuce in puree form, you won’t notice the change in texture. However, you have to remember that the lettuce won’t be good to eat raw in a salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing iceberg lettuce but in case you are still curious, we have answered a few questions here.
What can I add to a lettuce smoothie?
You can really put in whatever you fancy. However, we like this one. Blend together the lettuce with an apple, celery, a banana, almonds, and Greek yogurt. You will get four of your five-a-day in one delicious drink.
Can you freeze bagged lettuce leaves?
It’s not a good idea to freeze bagged lettuce as it is usually cut up quite small. This means that the leaves will degrade in texture quicker than larger leaves. However, you can blend these leaves into a puree.
Can you freeze lettuce soup?
Yes, you can. Most soups freeze well, and lettuce soup is no exception.