Fresh fruits and vegetables are delightful in main courses and snack plates alike, but they’re also covered in pesticides, dirt, and who knows what else. It’s important to wash them thoroughly using edible safe cleaners. In this post, we’ll provide a few tips for doing just that.
Items Needed to Clean Your Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
- Paper Towels
- Non-Toxic Soap
Leafy greens are one of the most common fruits and vegetables, but they also require some of the most thorough cleaning. Due to their close proximity to the ground, lettuce, kale, spinach, and chard collect lots of dirt, mud, and bugs. In addition, their leaves are a variety of unique shapes, which provide numerous hiding spots for pests to munch on, relax in, and even lay eggs. It’s important to wash all of your leafy greens thoroughly.
Take a bunch of greens and place them in a strainer. Now thoroughly rinse them under cold water to get the majority of the outer dirt off. Once that’s done, take the extra time to go leaf-by-leaf looking for bugs, dirt, or other items that have built up on the vegetables over time.
For an extra thorough cleaning, you can even soak them in water combined with a cup of white vinegar. This will break down any remnants and keep everything germ and bacteria free.
Like leafy greens, root vegetables get up close and personal with dirt making them one of the dirtiest categories of fruits and vegetables. They live underground, so it’s no wonder that they are often covered in mud, roots, bugs, and who knows what else. For dirt clods and tough to remove stains, use a tooth brush to scrub off the exterior. Peeling your potatoes or carrots after washing them can prevent excess gunk from getting in your meals too.
Peaches, plums, apricots, and nectarines generally don’t require too much work. They reside in trees which make them one of the cleaner groups of fruits and vegetables. You can use safe cleaners to rinse them off, or you can run them under the faucet for a few seconds, using your thumbs and fingers to work off any excess dirt or residue left behind from the fruit stickers.
Bugs love berries, and since they are generally picked by hand, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and the like are filled with bacteria, germs, and creepy crawlies. We highly recommend a vinegar and water soak with these, but if you’re running short on time a thorough rinsing with safe cleaners will work fine. Plain old tap water should also do the trick. Make sure to pay close attention to any mold or rot, as you don’t want to consume any of that.
Citrus are some of the easiest fruits and vegetables to clean. They have a tough exterior shell that you aren’t going to eat, so as long as your hands are clean, you can just peel them and consume.
Keeping fruits and vegetables clean is easy and will ensure nobody at home falls victim to food poisoning or something worse. There are other safe cleaners you can use also. Check out the internet. Follow these tips, and you’ll be good to go!
For a vegetarian and diet freak like me, buying vegetables and fruits is a must. But, oh boy, cleaning them is really a task !! I beg to defer with the writer that cleaning fruits is easy… nope! Most of the fruits (even the organic ones ) have wax on them. It takes a lot of time and patience to clean them, especially the stone fruits. They have to be soaked in hot water and then cleaned.
We also find cleaning vegetables one heck of a task. But it’s definietly not a step can’t be skipped! We’ll be sure to use it next time we come home from grocery shopping. Thank you for your suggestion Olivia!