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Packing a homemade sandwich to enjoy at work is much cheaper and often healthier than buying lunch to go but it can be disappointing when you got to eat it and find that the bread has turned soggy. Even freshly made sandwiches can fall victim to watery residue left by certain fruits and vegetables, though according to one expert, there is an easy fix. They explained that choosing the right condiments is the best way to create a “barrier” against moisture.
Eating healthier is much easier when making the food yourself to dodge additives and excess sodium, so it can be frustrating when watery ingredients ruin your hopes of tucking into a sandwich loaded with greens.
While buttering the bread is often done to make other ingredients easy to spread in the middle, a cooking expert at Oola noted that it serves another purpose when making this popular lunch item.
They explained that starting with strong bread will “make all the difference” but you can also use olive oil and other condiments as extra protection against moisture.
All you need to do is lightly coat the inside of each slice of bread with a small bit of olive oil to “knock out all liquids that try to enter and make it soggy”.
Using too much oil can quickly make the bread greasy rather than soggy so use it sparingly by sticking to just one or two drops for each slice.
Of course, you can also use butter in the same way, though it should be “melted and cooled” for the best results. As with most fat-based products, using good quality ingredients is the best way to maintain the nutritional value of your food when adding extra calories.
When it comes to oil, using extra virgin olive oil over rapeseed or sunflower has an edge due to its vitamin K levels which contribute to healthy bones.
Not only does it mean you can add more water-based ingredients like cucumber, lettuce and tomatoes to your sandwich, but also adds to the flavours while keeping it fresh.
Other ingredients you can use to preserve the freshness of bread include condiments like mustard, mayonnaise, houmous and pesto.
However, these should not be applied directly to the bread and instead, should be spread on solid fillings like meat and cheese.
The Oola cooking expert said: “It may not seem logical, but using a generous amount of condiments is a huge factor in keeping your sandwich from getting soggy.
“They act as a barrier between the bread and cheese, meat, and veggies, and keep the bread from absorbing excess moisture.”
Using condiments as layers between your fillings also provides more grip to keep different ingredients in place when tucking into a sandwich.
Of course, washing leafy greens before loading them in between bread can make your bread more prone to sogginess, though it is easy to remedy.
The cooking expert recommended washing items like spinach and lettuce through a salad spinner after rinsing to ensure any remaining dampness is gone.
Always leave them to dry completely before putting them in your sandwich. If you don’t have much time, patting them dry with a few paper towels can speed up the process.
Crisp, dry lettuce leaves are another great alternative for condiments if you don’t want the extra flavours – or calories in your sandwiches.
To avoid mushiness, simply line each slice of bread with a leaf of Romaine or Iceberg lettuce large enough to cover the surface area.
Load up your fillings in between to enjoy a fresh-tasting sandwich hours after making it.
If you’re planning to eat the bread later in the day, always use an insulated lunchbox over cling film or tinfoil for extra and if you have access to a refrigerator, pop it in there as soon as you can.
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