Oh my goodness, my fridge and counters are lined with the most delicious produce (all ready for smoothies, spaghetti sauce, peach streusel, and more… yum). We are in the BOOM of produce season right now. Our farmer’s markets are overflowing with amazing and delicious produce.
I love me some produce but… 2 things: 1) I have a secret. Up until the last couple of years, I was terrible at washing produce. Of course I removed the sticker, ha, but if it wasn’t visibly dirty/moldy/sticky I didn’t wash it. And honestly I was just too lazy – I wanted that sweet peach/pear/cucumber/etc. juicy goodness in my mouth. 2) I hate wasting produce if I don’t get to it in time (mold, rotting juice, and wasted food does not motivate me to buy produce).
I was never taught the easiest and most effective way to wash any produce AND never knew that doing this quick method could actually prolong the shelf life of my produce by days, even weeks!!! (no more wasted food = mo’ money in your pocket).
So, why wash?
Unwashed produce (even organic) can be contaminated with bacteria (think e. coli) that can lead to food-borne illnesses (i.e. diarrhea, nausea, major stomach issues, and more). Conventional and organic produce can both contain residual pesticides (connected with hormone disruptions, cancer, toxicity, and more) as pesticides drift from conventional crops or be cross contaminated during packaging and distribution.
Wet wash cloths, brushes, special veggie wash, gadgets and more… how do we know the right way to get the nasties off?
The following method gets more germs off than water, veggie wash, or soap (which you should never use to wash produce).
How to wash:
Mix 1 part white vinegar with 3 parts room-temperature water in a large tub/sink or a simple spray bottle.
If using the sink:
Make sure you clean and disinfect the sink basin (water, vinegar and baking soda work fabulously for this), then add 3 parts water and 1 part white vinegar. Add the produce, give it a swoosh around to open up the leaves, separate the berries, etc., and let set for 5 minutes.
Remove and rinse with water, then let air dry on a towel.
Hands on time: 60 seconds.
Check out this dirty, bacteria and bug infested water simply after soaking organic produce for 5 minutes. –>
If using a spray bottle:
Spray the produce individually then rinse off for 15 seconds in flowing room-temperature water.
Easy Peasy. Safe for you. Less time. Extends the shelf life of produce. BOOM. Use this tip – you’re crazy if you don’t. For reals guys.
Happy veggie washing.