Use Your SodaStream to Extend the Life of Greens

Carbonating water isn’t the only thing your soda maker can do. Use it to expel CO2 into a bag of greens, and they’ll last whole lot longer. 

Published Mar. 14, 2023.

It’s always a letdown to buy greens, only to find that they’re slimy and wilted by the time you’re ready to use them. 

Even greens packaged with a mixture of gases designed to keep them fresher lose that protection once you open the box or bag to take some out.

A few years back, we came up with an easy method to make sure greens last a whole lot longer: Breathe into the bag. The carbon dioxide in an exhaled breath increases the concentration of the gas in the bag, which slows the respiration process of the greens and in turn slows the process of ripening and wilting.

The obvious problem? Who would want to eat those greens? 

We now have a new method that’s totally sanitary, almost as easy, and very effective. All it takes is a soda maker

Sign up for the Cook's Insider newsletter

The latest recipes, tips, and tricks, plus behind-the-scenes stories from the Cook's Illustrated team.

How Your Soda Maker Can Double the Life of Greens

Though soda makers are designed to incorporate carbon dioxide into a bottle of water, we discovered that many, including our winning SodaStream Terra, can also dispense gas into a bag. Would it work just as well to extend greens’ freshness as breathing into a bag? 

To find out, we divided lettuces from the same package into two bags. We inflated one with carbon dioxide expelled from a soda machine and left the other as is. 

The upshot: The bag of greens with the carbon dioxide from the soda maker lasted almost twice as long (5 days versus 9 days) before showing signs of significant wilting.


1. Place greens in large zipper-lock bag. Seal bag, leaving ¼-inch opening on 1 side. Gently press to evacuate as much air as possible without crushing greens.

2. Insert nozzle of soda maker into opening, pinching bag around nozzle to create airtight seal. Dispense gas into bag until lightly inflated. Carefully remove bag and seal completely.


This is the book for anyone looking for fresh, modern ways to add more vegetables to their diet—which is just about all of us. And this exciting guide could have come from only Cook’s Illustrated.


This is a members' feature.