Did you know that by washing fruits with salt, it takes only a minute or two to make it taste sweeter?Then why don’t people do this?It is because they are unaware of this trick. I’ll always remember my younger childhood when the small old lady used to wash all the fruits with rock salt(usually the people in villages tend to use rock salt) and then pick dry the fruits in sunlight.
5 Top Tips on Washing Fruits & Vegetables
If you’re anything like us at Young Living, you enjoy eating a healthy diet that’s rich in scrumptious fruits and veggies. The first step in preparing any delicious meal is always knowing the best technique to clean and prep your ingredients, whether you’re preparing your fruit and vegetables for sweet breakfast smoothies, robust lunchtime salads, or light and refreshing evening dishes. We’ll go through our top 5 suggestions for washing fruits and veggies in this blog post to assist you make sure your go-to healthy ingredients are always as hygienic as they are delectable.
Why should you wash your fruits and vegetables?
It’s important to first establish the importance of washing fruits and vegetables before moving on to our top suggestions. In reality, there are countless reasons, but some of them include lowering the possibility that you’re consuming any leftover dirt, pebbles, insects, or debris. A thorough cleaning also aids in removing any bacteria that may have been transferred to the fresh produce during its journey from the farm to the store where you made your purchase. So what kind of cleaning procedures should you use on your produce?
1. Scrub under cool water
One of the quickest ways to clean a nice piece of fruit or vegetable that can have dirt-attracting layers is to keep it under cool running water for at least 20 seconds while giving it a little scrub with a soft brush. Then, before you begin to eat it or incorporate it into your meal, gently pat the food dry with a towel.
2. Soak in salt water
Soaking fruits and vegetables in salt water before washing them is one of the greatest ways to remove chemicals and pests from produce. We advise soaking your food in Himalayan salt or sea salt for at least 20 minutes before rinsing under running water. Following that, they are clean and ready to eat!
3. Try out bicarbonate of soda
Bicarbonate of soda, also referred to as baking soda, is a fantastic cleaner for fruits and vegetables. Simply mix 500 ml of water with 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, then soak for 15 minutes before rinsing.
4. Soak in white vinegar
You’ll need a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 4 parts water when utilizing it. After preparing the soak, add the fruits or vegetables of your choice and let them soak for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing and patting them dry with a clean cloth. Please be aware that if left to soak for too long, porous fruits like soft berries may become mushy.
5. Use Young Living’s Thieves® Fruit & Veggie Soak
You may now enjoy eating your fruits and vegetables the way nature intended thanks to a new product from Young Living. To efficiently wash your fruit, our Thieves® Fruit & Veggie Soak uses a special blend of three Young Living essential oil blends along with additional naturally produced substances. It is ideal for both meal preparation and cleaning bigger quantities of food because it is highly concentrated for prolonged use. Just mix a tiny amount of Thieves Fruit & Veggie Soak with water in a basin, let it soak for a while, then rinse it out, and enjoy clean fruits and vegetables!
What should NOT be used when washing fruits and vegetables?
Nothing is more crucial when it comes to preparing your fruits and veggies than food safety. In light of this, it’s crucial to refrain from cleaning your fresh produce with any kind of soap, detergent, or bleach solution. Your food only needs to be gently washed to remove any potential dirt that might be sitting on its surface rather than disinfected. We also advise keeping fruits and vegetables separate from any raw animal products, such as red meat, poultry, and shellfish, to ensure that they stay clean in the fridge.
The right way to wash fruits and vegetables: 5 tips
A five-point reckoner on handling produce properly and keeping them safe and germ-free
A focus on personal cleanliness and safety is among the few positive developments following the COVID-19 epidemic. The benefits of washing hands for a full 20 seconds have been widely understood, to begin with. Additionally, we’ve learnt to sanitize our homes and any other high-contact area we travel in.
Most of us are now familiar with how to handle packing and make contactless deliveries. However, most people still worry about fresh produce. It’s not as simple as just sanitizing a shipment. How should root veggies be sterilized? How are eatable greens used? How do you keep freshly cleaned and moist produce from rotting? The US Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization, and the Centre for Disease Control all give recommendations on how to handle your fruits and vegetables safely.
There is no proof that raw or prepared food can spread COVID-19. It is possible contamination that could result from human handling. The basic food safety guidelines that should be followed to solve this issue include discarding all packaging, washing fresh produce under running water, storing in clean containers, and cooking at the appropriate temperature. Always remember to wash your hands, of course.
Here is a five-point breakdown on how to sanitise your fruits and vegetables and keep fresh produce healthy and germ-free:
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Wash and scrub your vegetables
All produce packaging from stores should be thrown away. Use soap and water to wash your hands.
Place your vegetables under cold running water as directed by the FDA to ensure food safety, rinsing as needed, until all visible dirt has been removed.
Scrub the vegetables, such as potatoes, that have a firm skin with a brush. Mushrooms can be cleaned by cleaning them with a moist cloth and running them under the faucet.
After you’ve finished cleaning, thoroughly wash your hands.
Before storing, preparing, or consuming the produce, rub it with a fresh piece of paper towel.
Soak and rub your fruits
Run softer fruits under water after a soak. Photo: Manki Kim/Unsplash
Run waxed fruits like apples under warm water before eating, especially if you are planning on consuming them with the skin.
Soak fruits like grapes and firm berries in water for 5 to 10 minutes and then rinse under running water.
For softer fruit that might spoil easily, bag and refrigerate them till you are ready to consume them, and wash well before use.
Always remember to wash your hands thoroughly after handling store-bought fruit.
Rub the produce with a clean paper towel before storing or eating.
Handling leafy vegetables
Sort salad leaves before running them under cold water. Photo: Louis Hansel/Unsplash
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For vegetables like cabbage or lettuce, remove the outermost whorls or layers before washing. Hold them under the tap as explained above to wash away all mud and dirt.
For leafy greens, separate leaves from inedible stalks and roots and drain in a colander. Dry them on a paper towel and store in the refrigerator.
You can lightly blanch Indian saags in boiling water and cool and refrigerate them for later use.
Disinfectants are a big no
Do not use disinfectants to clean fresh produce. Photo Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash
Do not use disinfectants or wash your fruits and vegetables with soap and water since their skin is porous and absorb all the toxic elements that could make you quite sick.
Even though there might be videos floating around on the Internet recommending its benefits, do NOT use soap or household detergent to wash your fresh produce. Soap can cause terrible gastric irritation, nausea and diarrhoea.
Using household bleach solutions on food is dangerous and can cause poisoning and severe toxicity.
Avoid all alcohol-based disinfectants to clean raw produce as they are not fit to be ingested.
Vegetable cleaners and traditional formulations
Fresh produce has traditionally been cleaned with traditional formulas and washes that include potassium permanganate, baking soda, vinegar, salt, and lemon juice. All of these do not harm health, but they could alter the flavor and texture of the ingredients. Additionally, there is no scientific evidence to support their virus-zapping abilities, even though they may be good at removing pesticides.
Numerous fruit and vegetable washes have entered the market as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, claiming to clean and eliminate viruses from them. However, since the majority of these treatments have not undergone thorough testing, experts advise that washing your food under water is sufficient.
Here’s The Best Way To Wash Fruit And Vegetables To Remove Pesticides
It will require a little more effort than simply rinsing your fresh foods under water if you want them to be chemical-free.
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Sometimes it’s not enough to simply run your fruits and vegetables under the running water faucet. It will take a bit more effort to get your fresh goods chemical-free because pesticides and fungicides are made to adhere to fruit, even in bad weather.
What actually works? You can wash your produce in water, massage it with a cloth, or soak it in a cleaning solution like vinegar, salt, or baking soda.
Fruit and vegetables should be washed under running water to at least lessen the level of pesticides. According to a research by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, washing produce under running water reduced the amount of pesticide residue for nine out of the 12 pesticides studied. Testing the 196 samples of lettuce, strawberries, and tomatoes revealed that massaging the produce rather than running water was the most effective way to get rid of pesticides.
The use of vinegar and salt for washing are two additional popular techniques.
In a study that was published in Food Control, pesticides such as chlorpyrifos, DDT, cypermethrin, and chlorothalonil were removed from vegetables by soaking them in vinegar for 20 minutes as well as in a salt and water solution.
Both approaches were effective. Pesticides were successfully eliminated by the vinegar, but a taste-impairing residue was left behind. However, the baking soda solution still appears to be the most efficient approach. A 10% salt water solution also worked quite well.
In a recent study, researchers from the University of Massachusetts, led by Lili He, sprayed apples with the pesticide phosmet and the fungicide thiabendazole, both of which are widely used in the agricultural sector. The apples were then cleaned in water, bleach solution, and water and baking soda solution.
Customer Reviews stated, “Compared to a two-minute soak in a bleach solution or a two-minute rinse under running water, placing apples in a baking soda solution for two minutes significantly more effectively eliminated pesticides. However, the insecticides utilized in this study took 12 to 15 minutes in the baking soda solution to entirely dissolve.”
When you combine one teaspoon of baking soda with two cups of water and let it soak for 15 minutes, the method works.
The agriculture business has access to many more chemicals that can penetrate the skin than the two pesticides that were employed in this investigation. This means that peeling your produce will reduce the amount of fiber and nutrients you consume while yet giving you the assurance that it is chemical-free. Eating organically is the alternative.
Apples respond well to this baking soda method, but not other fruits and vegetables will. For instance, strawberries should be rinsed with clean water rather than being soaked. Berries should only be washed when you are ready to consume them to prevent spoilage. Mushrooms should also be washed with water or scrubbed with a moist cloth. Before using, dry with a gentle cloth.
Best way to wash fruits and veggies
I’ve long purchased produce wash that is prepared commercially. But I’ve always questioned whether it was genuinely beneficial. Then I discovered that they weren’t actually that effective and that a thorough water rinse would have cleaned the vegetables just as well. However, I didn’t want to just wash the veggies with water. So I looked into the best method for cleaning fruits and veggies, and I discovered it!
Dr. Gregor, who runs the NutritionFacts.org website, has a lot of my support. I appreciate how he bases his material on previous studies and searches for biases that might slant the results and reporting. He explains in an article and video the best method for cleaning produce, which is only a salt solution. So I did exactly that.
I purchased a reusable spray bottle that would only be used with my produce wash mixture. You need nine parts water and one part salt to make it. My solution has 1.5 ounces of salt and the remaining water, or up to 2 cups, to fill my bottle, which is 2 cups (16 ounces). I shake it again to ensure that everything is combined. We consume a lot of veggies, so I keep this next to the sink because I use it frequently.
Your fruits and veggies can be easily cleaned with a cheap salt water solution, adding another layer of impurity removal. Using this will assist in removing almost 100% of the contaminants from the produce, according to Dr. Gregor’s essay. The cost of utilizing the salt solution is significantly lower than that of using a white vinegar solution to remove the same quantity of contaminants.
The produce is placed in the colander, sprayed with the salt solution, moved around a bit, and then thoroughly cleaned and rinsed under water. Make careful to thoroughly rinse the produce in the salt solution before drying it as usual.
What About WASHING FRUITS & VEGGIES In Ecuador?
Since most of Ecuador’s tap water isn’t chlorinated and may contain parasites, it is unsafe to consume. As a result, we frequently receive inquiries regarding cleaning fruits and vegetables. You shouldn’t likely wash your vegetables in tap water if you can’t drink it.
We rely on people who are because we aren’t scientists or subject matter experts on this matter, like Dr. Michael Greger from NutritionFacts.org. He examines the reliable scientific studies on all topics related to food with his sizable team of researchers, who then publish their findings in books and films.
He studied the scientific studies that contrasted a salt water bath, a vinegar bath, and many commercial veggie washes in his video, How to Make Your Own Fruit and Vegetable Wash. A 10% salt water solution is recommended by science for eliminating pesticides and other pollutants.
Sadly, he made no mention of how well salt water or any of the cleaning techniques work to get rid of parasites or bacteria. Because of this, after soaking your vegetables for a few minutes, we also advise giving it a good scrub with a bristle brush. as well as fully preparing veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, onions, etc.
In addition, you may purchase pre-washed leafy greens in grocery store bags, albeit we have no way of knowing what kind of water was used or even if the seller is being truthful.
The ideal method for washing veggies that you intend to consume raw is to use distilled water or tap water that has been boiled for at least 2 minutes to destroy any parasites that may be present. Then, after the water has cooled, add the salt. Rinse the vegetables in cooled, distilled or boiling water.
I’ve only ever experienced an intestinal problem after consuming raw vegetables in a restaurant (in Montaita) during our nearly four years of residence in Ecuador. It persisted for a few days before disappearing on its own without treatment.
We are aware of two people who contracted parasites after consuming uncooked, unrefrigerated street food, one of whom required overnight hospitalization. Each had a full recovery.
It’s crucial to remember that parasites and bacterial pollution are widespread issues worldwide. It’s crucial to take similar precautions wherever you live because illnesses like Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, and others appear to frequent the news in the United States every few months.