It’s common sense: washing produce reduces the risk of contracting a food-borne illness.
E. Coli contamination can be fatal. And pesticides can’t be removed from produce with a simple quick rinse at the sink. Sure, you can buy fancy, costly potions at the health food store to clean your fruits and veggies. Or you can whip out the bottle of vinegar from your pantry and treat your produce to a soak with your own DIY fruit & veggie wash. Using a 1:3 vinegar to water dilution ratio, you can removes pesticides and up to 98 percent of bacteria. You can use this same ratio to make a spray wash, but the soak is preferred for cleaning produce without smooth surfaces, including leafy greens and broccoli.
After soaking your produce for up to five minutes, give them a quick rinse. As long as you don’t let the fruits and veggies soak for an extended period of time, you won’t taste the vinegar. (Another illustration of the “less is more” concept. A five-minute soak is good. A 20-minute soak is overkill, unless, perhaps, you are trying to pickle your produce.)
The vinegar soak has the added benefit of extending the shelf life of your produce. Berries briefly soaked in vinegar will stay good in the refrigerator for about a week. Anyone who eats a lot of strawberries in the summer months will consider these extra days of fuzz-free fruit to be a miracle of sorts, I am sure.
And if you are looking for even more uses for vinegar around the house, check out a previous post here on The Good Human titled “23 Ways To Use Vinegar For Nontoxic Cleaning.”
Water pouring to the fresh salad image from BigStock.