How to Wash your Fruits and Vegetables

When Ish told me we were moving to Michigan last summer, I was bummed.

I don’t like the snow…or the cold…and Texas was home.

So, when we moved up to the Mitten State, I did my best to try to find things that would make me feel at home…

Like shopping the local Farmer’s Market for the two weeks before it closed…finding a butcher, and someone who sells local eggs.

I managed to find the first two…but I’m still on the hunt for fresh local eggs.

Since I was stuck in my house for approximately a month (they don’t plow my neighborhood, and my little front wheel drive vehicle was not going anywhere in that mess, I had to shop on the weekends when we could take Ish’s truck.

As soon as the snow melted last week (though we’re supposed to get more snow end of this week. YUCK.) I was so excited to get out…to the grocery store.

Since we’ve been using my freezer meals and eating mostly salads, I wanted to make something a little different…my homemade Ratatouille

And since I could not find organic eggplant, that meant I needed to figure out how to wash the yuck off.

I really didn’t want to feed my family all that stuff.

…do you?

What I discovered was that all of the fruit and veggie washes were either full of their own chemicals or required me to sell my first born child.

I knew that I could do better.

So naturally, I did some research and found a DIY Fruit and Veggie Wash that I could do myself. At. Home.

fruits and vegetables

Should I Wash My Produce?

Yes. Absolutely. Always.  

You should wash everything carefully because honestly? You don’t know where it’s been.

Even if you bought your food from a trusted source and it was “free” of everything toxic, you should still wash all of your fruits and veggies before you put them away so when the kiddos come in to grab a healthy snack, you don’t have to worry that they won’t take the time to wash them.

Washing your produce helps remove any lingering pesticides and bacteria before putting it in your clean fridge with the rest of your food.

Different Types of Washes

Because a lot of produce have different textures, different skin, and different harvest processes, how you wash them makes a difference.

White Vinegar

This wash is best for fruits and veggies with a skin. Think things like…

  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Zucchini
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes

To clean your produce, fill a large bowl or your sink (my preference) with water, and 1 cup of white vinegar.

Allow your produce to soak for about 1 hour or so before rinsing and gently scrubbing the skin with a scrub brush.

Lemon and Salt

This method of rinsing produce is best for leafy greens. Think…

  • Lettuce
  • Cabagge
  • Kale

This type of rinse requires a different process because your greens aren’t as tough as those fruits and veggies with thick skin.

Add 2 tablespoons of salt and the juice of 1 lemon and combine in a glass spray bottle.

Lightly spray your greens with the mixture and let it sit for 3 minutes.

Add the greens to a large bowl and lightly spray with diluted vinegar water (1:1 ratio).

After about 15 mins, run the greens under cold water and completely dry before you place them in the refrigerator.

If you’re worried about your greens wilting, you can store them in a Tupperware or Ziploc bag with a damp paper towel to maintain their freshness. 

Lemon and Water

If you have berry lovers in your house (I do!), this rinse is a lifesaver. 

You can wash literally any type of berry, including…

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries

Berries are delicate, so you have to be extra careful how and what you wash them with.

To help cut the gross stuff, simply squeeze 1/2 a cup of lemon juice into a spray bottle, then add 2 cups of water to it.

Spray the berries and allow them to sit for a few minutes. You can do this in your sink or a large bowl.

After a few minutes, add fresh water and allow them to soak for 15 minutes or so.

Make sure that you dry them completely before you store them.

And that’s it!

Did you know that there were 3 different washes for 3 different types of produce?

Have you washed your fruits and veggies?

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