How to wash your vegetables

by Harry Shelton
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Everyone knows that before eating fruits or vegetables you should wash them. However, most people don’t know what that actually means. For years rinsing my fruit and vegetables meant different things depending on how much time I had. If I was in a rush I could turn on the faucet, wet the fruit slightly, give it a rub on my (probably dirty) shirt and start eating. That is at worst a recipe for sickness and at best a recipe for eating some dirt. Allow us to shed some light on how you should actually rinse your fruit and vegetables.

Let’s assume for a moment that you plan ahead and purchase most of your fruit and veg on one day in a week. If that is the case then that is a great day to wash all your fruit and vegetables. This means that during the week you can simply grab that apple on your way out the door and not worry about washing it again. This is only a great idea if you are going to eat all of that food the next week. If you buy a lettuce head, for example, it will stay fresh for up to three weeks if it is kept in its original form, but if you remove the leaves and wash them all then you have about a week to eat them. Simple advice here then: If you are going to eat any fruit or vegetables in the next week pick one time to prepare them all.

To wash your vegetables fill a large bowl or even the sink with cold water. If you use the sink make sure that it is thoroughly cleaned beforehand. Now dunk your vegetables in the water. While the water is dunked it is a good idea to swirl the water. This will allow the water to reach those nooks and crannies that it otherwise would not. Leave the greens in the water for about ten minutes. This soakage will allow the water to remove any excess dirt and it will slowly fall to the bottom of the bowl.

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Once this is done simply lift the greens out of the water and give them a light shake. Now wrap your greens in paper towels and then pop them in a clean plastic bag. Tie the bag and start to spin the vegetables with great speed. This will work as a spin dry on your washing machine and leave you with clean dry vegetables. If this option is too crazy for you, you can actually buy a salad spinner to perform the same task.

Once you have cleaned and dried your veg, store them in an airtight container and in your fridge. There are many special containers for fruits and vegetables that come in the perfect shapes and sizes and have drip trays for excess moisture. In reality, if you do a good job of cleaning and drying the produce, a standard Tupperware container will now suffice. 

Many fruit and vegetables now come “pre-washed”. This is misleading phrasing and we highly recommend still washing your produce. In some cases, these vegetables have been bleached to remove soil and pesticides but the bleach can remain. By washing the veg you know that there are no contaminants whatsoever in your food and you can eat without any trouble. 

Cleaning and preparing your veg for the week sounds easy but so many people don’t do it. By following these simple steps you can save time during the week so that even when you are in a rush you have easy access to healthy and nutritious food that is safe to eat.

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