Vegetable & Fruit Cleaning 101
(POR) The process of cleaning vegetables and fruits only requires two ingredients – vinegar and water. And when used properly, the solution removes about 98% of the bacteria. The proportions are always the same. No matter what you’re washing, you’ll always need a solution with 1-part vinegar and 3-parts water. That’s a 1:3 ratio, and it means the following:
1-cup of vinegar for every 3-cups of water, or
250 ml of vinegar for every 750 ml of water, or
A bowl filled with 1/4 vinegar and 3/4 water.
For smooth-skinned produce like apples, cucumbers and melons: Fill a spray bottle with a 1:3 ratio of vinegar and water. Then (1) spray the entire outside of the fruit or vegetable. After that, (2) wait 30-seconds before (3) rubbing over the surface while rinsing with cold, running water. This will remove any remaining vinegar and bacteria.
- Rough leafy vegetables like some varieties of kale: Leaves with curls or ruffled edges are hard to clean. (1) Spray each leaf individually and thoroughly, and then (2) wait 30-seconds before (3) rubbing over the surface of each leaf while rinsing with cold, running water. NOTE: It’s a good idea to cook leaves like this considering how difficult it is to clean them.
For all other fruits and vegetables, do the following: Fill a large bowl with a 1:3 ratio of vinegar and water. And then (1) soak for 2-minutes. After that, (2) rinse with running water. For more details on cleaning like this, see the following…
- Berries and grapes: (1) Soak for 2-minutes. Swirl the fruit around a bit with your fingers while soaking. (2) Drain off the vinegar-water solution and refill the bowl with cold water while swirling once again. (3) Drain off the water and eat.
- Vegetables with a rough surface like broccoli and cauliflower: (1) Cut the heads into smaller florets. (2) Soak all of them for 2-minutes. (3) Remove them from the bowl and rub each while rinsing with cold, running water. This will help to remove any remaining residue or insects.
- Smooth leafy vegetables like lettuce, spinach and cabbage: (1) Separate the individual leaves from the head and (2) soak them for 2-minutes. (3) Then rub each of the leaves a bit while rinsing with cold, running water. This will help to remove any remaining residue or insects.
- Roots like potatoes, carrots and beets: If dirty then (1) rinse to remove the excess dirt. Then (2) peal the outer skin off and soak for 2-minutes. (3) Rinse and prepare/cook. If not dirty then (1) peal the outer skin off and soak for 2-minutes, (2) rinse and prepare/cook.