Happy Herbivore Blog

December 28, 2012

How To Wash Vegetables with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Getting minimalist in the kitchen -- how to wash your vegetables with baking soda and vinegar.

After a severe case of food poisoning last year, I've become somewhat militant about washing my produce.

While there are sprays and cleaners you can buy commercially, I like to stay "minimalist" and use basics I have at home: my beloved baking soda and vinegar. (Coincidentally, I also clean my house with these two items!)

Most fruits and vegetables need to be washed before eating. I used to think a good rinse under warm running water was sufficient, but as I learned the hard way, this does not actually remove germs and bacteria. 

Enter our pals vinegar and baking soda! 

How to clean produce with vinegar: 

For smooth-skinned fruits and vegetables: Pour white distilled vinegar into a spray bottle with 3 cups water. Secure lid and shake well to thoroughly combine the ingredients. Spray the fruit/vegetable enough so the entire food is covered (about 6 sprays). Rub your fruit/vegetable to make sure it is well covered. After a minute or so, rinse fruit/vegetable under cold running water to remove the vinegar (and vinegar taste). Pat dry before slicing or eating.

For leafy greens: Pour white distilled vinegar into a large bowl and add 3 cups water. Stir with a large spoon to mix the liquids together. Separate the leaves of your leafy vegetables and dip them into the vinegar solution. Remove leaves from the bowl and rinse under cold running water. Shake off excess liquid and let air dry or pat dry before serving. 

For vegetables with crevices (i.e., broccoli): Pour white distilled vinegar into a large bowl and add 3 cups water. Stir with a large spoon to mix the liquids together. Place vegetable in a large bowl and submerge. Let soak for at least two minutes. Rinse under cold water and shake off excess. Let air dry or pay dry before cooking or serving. 

How to clean produce with baking soda:

For sturdy (not soft-skinned) fruits and vegetables: Sprinkle baking soda generously on your fruit/vegetable and scrub. Rinse under cold running water until all traces of the baking soda are gone. 

For leafy greens: Sprinkle baking soda all over the leafy greens and let sit for about 2 minutes before lightly scrubbing and rinsing thoroughly.

Do you have any household tips or tricks for cleaning produce?


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