How to Wash Fruits and Vegetables {The Natural Way}

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Confession: I used to not wash my fruit or veggies.  Or, if I did wash them it was simply with running water.  I thought it was too much of a hassle and I didn't even know how to do it.  But one day I thought about how much I handle the fruit and veggies at the grocery store trying to find the perfect avocado or head of broccoli, and I realized that there were other people out there handling the fruit and veggies just as much as I was.  <gasp>  This made me a little queazy thinking about.  

Insert fruit and veggie washing!  Now, you can buy fruit and vegetable washes that are super simple and safe to use, but I just prefer doing things my own way.  :)  

So, how do I wash my fruit and veggies?  Well, it's actually quite simple.  I follow these few steps right when I'm unpacking my sacks from the store (see bottom for some special instructions for certain produce):

1.  Wash one side of the kitchen sink and then fill it 1/4 to 1/2 of the way full of water (I use cold water but you could use luke warm too).  

2.  Pour in 1 to 1 1/2 cups of white vinegar and put fruits and veggies in to soak.

3.  After 10 minutes rinse the fruit well and lay on a towel to dry.

That's it!  You now have nice clean fruit and veggies that are ready to eat! We use most of our fruits and vegetables within the week, so cleaning ahead of time doesn't affect us much; however, if you store fruit and veggies for a longer period of time you may wish to wash some things right before using them. 

Here are some other special instructions for certain produce:

leafy greens - Make sure you remove outer leaves and separate leaves for easier cleaning.

mushrooms - Use a damp cloth to gently wipe the tops or you can run under cold water to remove the dirt.  You can dip them into the water/vinegar solution but don't soak them.  

berries - Don't leave them soaking too long in the water/vinegar solution because they will absorb the taste.  Simply dip them in and then set aside to dry.  Most berries should be washed right before use as not to promote bacteria growth, but we often wash them right when we get home and use them throughout the week.

fruits with hard peeling (like melons and avocados) - Wash as mentioned before.  Even cutting into a fruit can transfer bacteria from the outside of the skin to the fruit that you eat.

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