A Simple Way to Wash Your Fruits & Vegetables
Most of us purchase fresh produce every week. I have always rinsed my food before eating it, but a few months ago I was told that you are actually supposed to wash your fruits & vegetables. I pictured myself scrubbing an apple with soap and water and thought that for sure this person was crazy.
Am I the only person on the planet that didn’t know that many stores actually sell vegetable/fruit wash? You can also make your own, which is exactly what I did. Why pay the store to do something that I can do myself for much cheaper?
You never know what kind of pesticides may be living on your fruits & vegetables, so it’s a good idea to give them a good cleaning (not rinsing, apparently) before you consume them.
This week, I picked up 4 cartons of strawberries for just $1 each. I ended up freezing half of them for fruit drinks and will eat up the other half during the week. I needed to wash them well before freezing and storing, so I did what I’ve been doing for the last few months now.
Below is a basic plan, outlining how you can wash your fruits and vegetables at home for next to nothing.
Fill a large bowl with cold water and add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of salt.
- Greens (Spinach, Lettuce, etc.): Separate from the bunch and rinse thoroughly under cool, running water until there is no dirt left on the leaves. Then soak in your bowl of lemon juice and salt water for 2-3 minutes.
- Other Fruits & Vegetables: Rinse off all dirt under cool, running water. Soak in the lemon juice and salt water for 5 minutes.
3. Another Rinse
Once you are finished rinsing and soaking, you then need to rinse off your fruits & vegetables one more time under cool running water, to get rid of the salt and lemon juice.
Place all of your fruits and vegetables on a large, dry dish towel. If possible, use another dish towel to hand dry (this works well for things like apples, cucumbers, etc.). Otherwise, let everything sit out until it is dry. It may help to use another dish towel on top, as well.
Once your fruits and vegetables are all dry, you need to store them properly to achieve the best shelf life.
- Things like leafy greens should be wrapped in paper towels and place inside a large storage bag in the refrigerator.
- Apples should be kept in the refrigerator if you want them to last longer than a few days.
- Peaches and pears should be kept at room temperature.
- Bananas should be stored at room temperature.
- Tomatoes should be stored at room temperature unless they have been partially used – they would then need to be stored in the refrigerator.
Although it is not absolutely necessary to clean your fruits and vegetables this way, it is highly recommended. Anything you can do to keep things like pesticides and dirt out of your body is a good thing to do.
This is an easy (and quick!) way that I clean my produce every week. It takes me no more than 20 minutes to clean everything.
How do you clean your fruits and veggies each week?