4 Easy Homemade Recipes to Clean Your Fruits and Veggies

Best way to clean your produceThough we may try hard to stick with the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 list when buying fruits and vegetables, there may be times we stray simply due to cost or availability.

In those cases, what are the best ways to wash and clean the conventional produce to remove any pesticides but also bacteria as well?  Here are few homemade recipes gathered along the way to include vinegar in all with variations that are simple and quick.

  • Vinegar/Water Only:  Mix 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar in a spray bottle. Use the spray for smooth and harder produce and rinse with water.  For produce with lumpy or hard to reach places, soak for a few minutes then rinse with water. Vinegar is anti-bacterial.
  • Vinegar/Water/Baking Soda/Lemon: 1 cup water, 1 cup white vinegar, 1 TB baking soda, 1/2 lemon. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray your produce.  Let sit for about 5 minutes before rinsing it off.  Lemon is a natural astringent. (From Dr. Oz)
  • Vinegar/Water/ Hydrogen Peroxide: Soak produce in a sink of cold water, with vinegar and hydrogen peroxide added to it for 10 minutes. The hydrogen peroxide is also anti-bacterial and anti-viral. (From Dr. Mercola) .
  • Vinegar/Water/Baking Soda/Lemon/Grape Seed Extract/Grapefruit Seed Extract: In a spray bottle, add 1 cup distilled water, 3/4 cup vinegar, 1 Tbs lemon juice, 2 Tbs baking soda and shake to mix.  Add 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract and 10 drops grape seed extract.  Grapefruit seed extract sanitizes the produce. Grape seed extract provides additional antioxidants.

And if you are wondering about store bought washes, there really isn’t any firm evidence to show any better efficacy.  A study a few years back by the editors of  Cook’s Illustrated showed that the vinegar rinses were just as effective, if not more, than a store-bought rinse.

One final suggestion, always best to rinse your produce before you use to avoid getting moldy like with strawberries.  And tip for lettuce, once rinsed and dried, store in an covered container lined with a  paper towel to absorb any excess moisture and keep crisper longer.

So what do you do or do you have another suggestion to share?


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