Hello Loyal Soup People! This week I’d like to chat about washing your produce. Unfortunately, fresh fruits and vegetables can harbor harmful bacteria that can lead to some troublesome food borne illnesses. This can cause anything from an uncomfortable few hours in the bathroom to a trip to the hospital. In extreme cases, consuming bacteria can have fatal consequences.
The good news is that proper washing can remove most of the harmful bacteria. There is no need to purchase expensive produce washes. Instead, a dedicated produce brush, a spray bottle, and white vinegar will do the trick. Fill 3/4 of your bottle with vinegar and the rest with water, and you’re ready to go.
For firm produce such as cucumber and apple, spray the produce and scrub it with your brush to remove bacteria and wax. For soft fruits such as peaches and plums, fill up a bowl with 75% vinegar and 25% water. Soak the fruit and then rinse gently with cold water. Put berries in a colander, spray thoroughly, and rinse. For cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower, separate the florets, and then soak in the “vinegar bowl” for a few minutes. Swish the contents around to get the dirt out and then rinse with cold water. Do the same thing for greens and herbs.
Most people don’t clean fruits that have a rind, such as pineapple, oranges, and melon. This is not a good practice! If you don’t wash the fruit, the bacteria adheres to the knife and contaminates the flesh of the produce. The bacteria and dirt also get onto your cutting board. Wash these fruits the same way as you wash firm produce – with a scrub brush and spray. To keep your brush clean, toss it in the dish washer whenever you run the machine!
The few extra minutes it takes to properly wash your produce will keep you and your family safe and healthy!
*NOTE – Soupermom is not a licensed dietitian, doctor, personal trainer, or anything like that. She’s just extremely knowledgeable about healthy living!! But if you slip and fall while taking her advice, it is not her fault!