Recently we’ve done a couple of posts about organic vs. non-organic produce in the form of the Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen. One of you lovely readers had a question about the best ways to wash your produce – an excellent inquisition indeed.
The truth is, even if your fruits and vegetables are organic (and I surely hope they are), they need to be washed. Produce can contain lots of bacteria, parasites, and other bugs and toxins, and we certainly do not want to be ingesting any of that! Think about how many hands have touched your produce before you get to it – and if it happened to come from a farm that uses *natural* fertilizer… that means you’re likely dealing with animal feces. So let’s get to washing!
First, I’d suggest getting your hands on a natural fruit & vegetable brush. This one is made with a bamboo handle and tampico fiber bristles. Not only does it do a great job in terms of cleaning, it looks absolutely beautiful, which makes it a lot of fun to use.
According to my research, as well as tips from our knowledgeable readers, it seems that there are three main natural cleaning solutions for produce.
First up: apple cider vinegar! We’ve talked about ACV a million times before – it is an absolute gem to have in your kitchen and beauty cabinet.
To use: Combine about 1 tablespoon of ACV with 1 tablespoon of filtered water into a spray bottle, and shake to mix. Apply a few spritzes onto each piece of produce and brush for about 30 seconds. Then give a good rinse with water and you’re all set! This method works best if you’re just cleaning one or two vegetables. For bigger batches, you can soak them, which we’ll cover next!
Up next is white vinegar – a brilliant ingredient when it comes to natural housekeeping. To make the solution, combine 1 part distilled white vinegar with 3 parts filtered water.
To use: As with the ACV mixture, you can either use a spray bottle to spritz onto your produce one at a time, or you can follow the soak method. To soak, fill up a large bowl with this mixture, and let your produce soak for about 5 minutes. Then, give it a good scrub or rub as you rinse it off under the sink.
I like the idea of washing all your produce at the same time, a soon as you get back from the grocery store. While it might seem like a lot of work at once, you’re saving yourself a lot of time and hassle in the future!
The final method is to use a store-bought fruit & vegetable wash. The key here is to make sure that you use one with totally natural, edible ingredients – if it isn’t safe to eat, you don’t want to use it to clean your produce! I like Rebel Green Fruit & Veggie Clean, which I found at Whole Foods. It’s filled with lots of goodness like organic lemon extract, lime extract, and grapefruit seed extract, so it even smells delicious.
This one works great with the spritz-and-rinse method, but you can also pour a tablespoon into a bowl of water and let your produce soak. I’ve been using this for a couple days now, and I feel so good about the foods that I’m putting into my body. I must admit, prior to this, I would run my fruits and vegetables under the faucet for about 3 seconds and hardly even give them a rub. This gives me much more peace of mind!
A big thanks to those of you who commented on my previous posts with your favorite ways to wash produce! If you guys have any other tips, please share!