There’s no doubt that eating a variety of fresh fruits and veg is paramount to a healthy diet. The only drawback in consuming fresh fruit and vegetables is the increasing risk of pesticides, bacteria, and other food-borne diseases associated with them.
To protect yourself and your loved ones from illnesses and potential chemical contamination, you need to wash your fruit and vegetables thoroughly. It is strongly advised to wash your vegetables even if you plan on cooking them before eating.
Here are 3 effective methods to clean your fruit and vegetables prior to consuming them.
With plain water
Before jumping the gun, it’s important to point out that washing your fruits and vegetables with water works well as long as your fruit or vegetable doesn’t contain a lot of nooks and crannies. Produce like broccoli and leafy greens often need more TLC than just plain water, so you’ll need to use an alternative method.
Wash your hands before tending to the produce and get rid of any bruises and damaged parts before washing it. Only wash the produce with potable water safe for consumption and use a colander for bulk convenience.
Use a vegetable brush for vegetables and fruit with thick skins for a thorough clean.
Brushing will help get rid of microbes stuck on the skin, however, be sure not to rub too hard as this may risk the skin peeling.
Once washed, dry your produce with a paper towel before storing them back in the fridge.
A soda bicarbonate solution
Also known as baking soda, a soda bicarbonate solution to rinse your fruit and veg is effective and cheap. Simply use 2 teaspoons of baking soda to 4 cups of water and soak the fruit and vegetables for 2 minutes.
Where there is leftover debris on the produce skin or if your produce has a thick skin, use a vegetable brush following the method mentioned above.
Baking soda solutions have become increasingly popular and scientific research has vouched for its effectiveness in removing microbes and bacteria.
Once soaked, rinse the fruit and veg with cold water and gently rub using your hands when rinsing. Pat dry with a paper towel before storing your produce in the fridge.
A vinegar solution
Busting the myth that vinegar will help make your fruit and vegetables last longer, vinegar will, however, help clean your produce thoroughly.
Simply use a vinegar solution containing one part vinegar to three parts water and soak your produce in it for 2 to 3 minutes.
Vinegar helps remove pesticides as well as bacteria known to contaminate food.
Once soaked, rinse the vinegar off the fruit and veg using cold water and gently rub the produce for a clean finish.
An effective storage
And last but not least, don’t forget about effective storage methods to help keep your fruit and vegetables fresher for longer in the fridge. By using airtight fresh and crisp fruit and vegetable bags, you could help extend the life of your produce up to three weeks in the chiller.