Cleaning Fruits and Vegetables Is so much easier when you clean them all at once. It also saves time, and allows you to kind of “organize” your food for the week. That way you are more likely to eat healthy since you can just open your fridge and grab a fruit or vegetable knowing its already clean. This is usually part of my Meal Planning Routine and I typically shop and clean everything the same day or the day after. I feel like fresh food goes bad quicker if I don’t clean and organize them quickly. I often times see people spending money on “commercial” and even some “natural” cleaning products made for fruits and vegetables. But, why spend the money when vinegar and water is all you really need?!
Usually I buy fruits and vegetables at the farmers market then proceed to the store if there is something I need that was not available at the market. Regardless of where I buy my food I always remove all packaging, stickers, bags or whatever before I start and place everything on my countertop. This might be an OCD thing of mine but it makes me feel more organized. haha (Normally I do this while I’m letting the sink soak in Vinegar for a few minutes.)
What you need:
-Distilled White Vinegar
1. Clean Kitchen Sink with soap and water, rinse, spray a 50/50 Vinegar Water Mixture in your sink and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes. Rinse (If you really want to make sure your sink is clean you can add a third step after rinsing the vinegar and spray your sink with hydrogen peroxide, allow to sit for a few minutes, then rinse again. You can also use large bowls if you prefer. I found that I used more vinegar this way because I had multiple bowls, yet I was also able to clean everything a bit quicker. Another downside was having to clean all of the bowls afterwards. :/ I hate washing dishes. Seriously!
2. Fill up your freshly cleaned sink with about 50%- 75% water and pour in about 1 cup of Distilled White Vinegar. (Distilled White Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar are almost identical as far as their effects for cleaning bacteria. Apple Cider Vinegar may help a tiny tiny bit more but you can usually taste the apple cider vinegar on your food even after rinsing it off which is why I use Distilled.) (Distilled White Vinegar is cheaper and I use that for cleaning, but when eating, cooking, and making beauty products I use Apple Cider Vinegar)
3. Place your Fruits and Veggies in your sink and allow each group to sit for 10 minutes.
What do I mean when I say group? I tend to separate everything to avoid bruising, ripping, and to save space. It also helps with the amount of dirt since I use the same water to clean everything. I save the dirtier foods for last.
-Solid fruits and vegetables such as oranges, apples, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini etc. I also wash my avocados. *
-Herbs, all while trying to keep them somewhat separate from each other
-Greens-lettuce, kale, broccoli, celery, cauliflower etc.
– Berries, Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries etc.
-Root Vegetables, potatoes, beets green onions etc.
* my husband gave me this look one day, you know those, what on earth are you doing kind of looks. He then asked me, why on earth do you wash oranges, lemons, avocados and melons? I proceeded with my “duh isn’t it obvious” answer which was; I wash the citrus foods because I use their skin in cooking and juices, but aside from that, we store all of our food in the same place so if there was any bacteria on the skin of something, it would contaminate the other fruits and vegetables that I just cleaned…he still thought that was an odd answer and maybe it is. I guess I can be a little OCD sometimes so If you feel that you don’t have to then well, you don’t have to 😉
4. Rinse each group under running fresh water. I usually try to rub off any dirt residue especially with root vegetables. I also kind of pull apart each individual piece of lettuce or celery since dirt usually accumulates inside
5. If you don’t have a salad spinner proceed to step 6.If you do, Use your salad spinner to help berries, lettuce, greens etc. to dry quicker. I still let them sit out after I spin them in the salad spinner but It usually helps the drying time.
6. Using Clean Kitchen towels and cloth napkins lay out your freshly cleaned fruits and vegetables to dry completely. Usually for an hour or two.
-I like to cut up my lettuce and greens, run them through the salad spinner and allow them to dry on thicker towels. I also mix them around every now and then since the water usually runs down and the lettuce leaves on the bottom don’t get dry
-I use the kitchen cloths for solid fruits and vegetables and berries since they don’t have so much water on their surface, then I use the thick towels for lettuce and other greens
-When laying out berries to dry, make sure none of them are touching. If they are you will likely find mold even after a couple of hours
The whole process take about an hour or so, yet while I let each “group” soak for their 10 minutes I usually go about doing other things around the house and kitchen.
Farmers Market Goodies that have not yet been cleaned.
Clean your sink with soap then with Vinegar . Fill up Clean sink 1/2 – 3/4 Full of water . Add about 1 Cup of Distilled White Vinegar
Place your fruits and vegetables in the water vinegar mixture and allow to soak for about 10 Minutes
Look at how DIIIIRRRTTTYYY the water is ……
I use cloth napkins and kitchen towels to dry off all off everything after washing. I usually leave them to dry for an hour or two
YUM YUM YUM!