Bitter Tasting Lettuce – Why Is My Lettuce Bitter

by johnah on November 24, 2020

Bitter Tasting Lettuce – Why Is My Lettuce Bitter?

The reason why your lettuce tastes bitter to you may have something to do with the fact that it is not properly grown or harvested. You may also want to check if there are any pests in your garden that could be causing the problem. If so, then these pests will need to be controlled before they cause further damage. Another thing that may be affecting your lettuce is its age. Older lettuces tend to have less flavor than younger ones.

You can try some of the tips below to get rid of the bitterness in your lettuce:

1) Check Your Gardening Practices

If you live in a climate where temperatures are consistently above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, then you should grow your lettuce indoors because it will thrive better at such high temperatures. However, if you live in a colder climate, then you might consider growing your lettuce outdoors.

2) Check Your Harvesting Methods

Some lettuces like iceberg lettuce and romaine lettuce are harvested after the leaves have fallen off the plant. These types of lettuces can be eaten raw or cooked but they don’t really taste very good when they are just being picked off the plants. Other lettuces like arugula and kale are best consumed fresh from their farmside harvest. These types of lettoses are full of nutrients and taste better on their own, or with some lemon juice and a little bit of extra virgin olive oil to heighten the flavor.

3) Cut Off the Bitter Taste

As mentioned earlier, if you find that your romaine lettuce is too bitter then you can try adding some apple cider vinegar to the mix. This will help cut down on some of the bitterness. Even some people suggest using some sugar instead of apple cider vinegar.

Another tip is to try adding some hot peppers or radishes to your next batch of romaine lettuce salad. Both of these ingredients compliment the flavor of romaine lettuce quite well. Just make sure that you don’t add too much or else it will take over the taste!

4) Add Some Extra Flavor

If you are adding other ingredients to your lettuce mix in an attempt to get rid of the bitter taste then make sure that you only use fresh, natural ingredients. Some people like to use mayonnaise and other creamy dressings to help get rid of the bitterness of the lettuce. Just make sure that if you go this route that you don’t overdo it because it is easy to go overboard with these types of things.

Some people like to put onions on their salads. This is definitely up to personal preference, but some people just don’t like the taste of raw onions. If you want to give this a try then just chop up some sweet onions and add them to your mix. The natural sweetness of the onion should help to bring out the sweetness in your lettuce.

If you are looking to add some extra crunch to your lettuce mix then some people recommend adding some sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds are completely natural and they provide a nice crunch that you will surely enjoy.

There are many other ways that you can get rid of the bitter taste in your lettuce. These are just some of the more common suggestions that you might want to experiment with.

Remember, the key to eating healthy as a lifestyle is to be open minded and to try all of the different ways in which you can prepare the ingredients. If you don’t like something one particular way then you can always try it a different way until you find one that you really enjoy!

Have fun and enjoy your new lettuce recipe!

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Sources & references used in this article:

Relationship between the chemical and sensory properties of exotic salad crops—coloured lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and chicory (Cichorium intybus) by KR Price, MS Dupont, R Shepherd… – … the Science of Food …, 1990 – Wiley Online Library

Light Quality During Early Seedling Development Influences the Morphology and Bitter Taste Intensity of Mature Lettuce.(Lactuca sativa) Leaves by K Eskins, K Warner, FC Felker – Journal of plant physiology, 1996 – Elsevier

Perception of bitterness, sweetness and liking of different genotypes of lettuce by M Chadwick, F Gawthrop, RW Michelmore, C Wagstaff… – Food chemistry, 2016 – Elsevier

Sesquiterpene lactones and bitterness in Korean leaf lettuce cultivars by MW Seo, DS Yang, SJ Kays, GP Lee, KW Park – HortScience, 2009 –

Bitter taste markers explain variability in vegetable sweetness, bitterness, and intake by ME Dinehart, JE Hayes, LM Bartoshuk, SL Lanier… – Physiology & …, 2006 – Elsevier

Sensory analysis of calcium‐biofortified lettuce by S Park, MP Elless, J Park, A Jenkins… – Plant Biotechnology …, 2009 – Wiley Online Library

The taste of health: nature’s bitter gifts by A Barratt-Fornell, A Drewnowski – Nutrition Today, 2002 –

Rocket salad (Diplotaxis and Eruca spp.) sensory analysis and relation with glucosinolate and phenolic content by F Pasini, V Verardo, L Cerretani… – … the Science of Food …, 2011 – Wiley Online Library



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