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1. Baking soda (1 Tbsp: 1 cup water)
2. Vinegar (½ cup of vinegar: 1 cup water)
3. Baking soda + Vinegar combo (1 Tbsp Baking soda, 1 Tbsp vinegar in 1 cup water)
4. Natural Produce Cleaner: Thieves Fruit and Veggie Soak (1 TBSP to every 8 cups of water. Completely cover produce. Soak produce for 1-2 minutes. Rinse with water.)
Whichever washing product you have at home for washing fruit and vegetables, it is important to keep a couple of things in mind.
1. SOAK. Soak produce for 10-15 minutes in whichever solution you choose.
2. SCRUB. Invest in a good quality soft vegetable brush that is easy to disinfect.
3. RINSE. Once soaked and scrubbed, rinse vegetables and fruit well.
4. STORE. Once washed, if you don’t plan on using them right away, line a clean large seal-able container with paper towels or a clean towel. You can keep your washed produce here. The paper towel will help to absorb moisture so that the produce stays fresher longer.
1. Leafy green vegetables: Separate the leaves and immerse leaves in your soaking water solution. Let sit for 10 minutes. Drain the water, rinse well, and then either pat dry with a clean paper towel, or ideally - use a salad spinner for this.
2. Mushrooms: Mushroom connoisseurs will tell you NOT to wash mushrooms, but instead to clean them with soft brush or a paper towel. We prefer this method when we know the source (for example, a farmer’s market mushroom picker), OR if we plan to cook with them. However, if we are eating them raw, the same rules apply for the bacteria that you can find on mushrooms, so we use the soaking and rinsing method even though it changes the texture a bit when cooking.
3. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and other really soft fruit: Strawberries are very high on the pesticide list, and so we like to soak them before eating. However, like other very soft fruit, they also will go moldy very quickly after washed, so it is best to wait to wash them until immediately before you plan to eat them. OR, if you do wash them, be sure to let them dry very very well before storing, even patting them dry with a paper towel.
1. A rule of thumb - store fruit separately from vegetables. Fruit emits a ripening agent that can prematurely ripen the surrounding vegetables.
2. Dry produce well after washing and before storing.
3. Remove as much air as you can if you store in bags.
4. Many fruits will ripen if left out on the counter such as apples, avocados, mangoes, melons, and pears. If you would like them to keep longer, then refrigerate them. If you would like them to ripen quicker, keep them on the counter.
5. Other produce will get all wilted on the counter such as bell peppers, grapes, citrus and berries, so should always be refrigerated.
6. Bananas will increase ripening of anything that is beside it, so keep it separated.