Parchment Paper Will Save Your To-Go Salad Toppings From Getting Soggy

Salads are a great idea for a quick meal or an easy, on-the-go lunch. Whether you're creating a mason jar salad or storing it in a plastic container, you're likely faced with the same problem every time you go to eat it: soggy toppings. That's because vegetables release moisture, and since a salad is often loaded with veggies, it makes other toppings, such as nuts or seeds, lose their crunch quickly. The solution is simple: Use parchment paper to separate wet and dry ingredients.

A piece of parchment paper does wonders for your salad. The material, which is made from cotton fiber or wood pulps, helps prevent moisture from seeping from one ingredient to another, and it's an affordable kitchen extra that you can use in plenty of ways. Protect dry salad ingredients by placing a piece of parchment paper on top of the vegetables, then add any dry ingredients; the barrier will keep them crunchy.

Parchment paper isn't the only way to protect salad

Parchment paper is a great solution for separating moist veggies from a salad's crispy contents, but it's not the only solution. If you don't have parchment paper on hand, you can also put the dry ingredients in a small plastic bag or plastic container, and simply add them to the salad when you're ready to eat. Another solution is to purchase reusable plastic or glass containers that have compartments. This way, you can place the dry ingredients in one and the wet ingredients in another, which will keep them separate.

The parchment paper method works great if you're packing a mason jar salad, given that there are no compartments. In this case, place all the vegetables or water-heavy ingredients in first, then add a piece of flat parchment paper as close as possible to the top. Keep a corner of the parchment paper close enough to the jar's lid that you can grab it with your fingers. This way, you can just slide it out from under the dry ingredients, easily blending them all together when you're ready to eat.

Other tips to prevent a soggy salad

Perhaps the biggest tip for preventing a soggy salad is to avoid adding the dressing until just before you eat it. Otherwise, even those vegetables (especially the lettuce) will wind up soggier than you'd probably like. Interestingly, you also don't want to add salt to the salad until just prior to eating it. Salt naturally draws moisture out of food, meaning if you season the veggies with salt in the morning, you might have a pool of water in your salad container by lunch. Save the dressing for when you mix the salad just before eating it.

Also, if you're adding meat, let it cool completely before you add it to the salad container and place it in the refrigerator. Otherwise, the steam from the meat will cause condensation inside the sealed container as it cools, creating additional moisture in the salad container and ultimately giving the ingredients a damp, humid environment.