A friend taught me a new way to wash produce– all at once in the kitchen sink. I’ve tried it and haven’t regretted it. The produce seems to last longer, and it’s so nice not having to wash that apple right before you eat it.
There’s also a bit of science behind why this is a great way to wash produce. As Cooks Illustrated’s “The Science of Cooking” points out, vinegar does a good job removing surface wax, pesticides, and bacteria. And, in order to effectively disinfect, vinegar has to be in contact with the produce for about 4 minutes (look here for a more in depth discussion). When you fill your sink with vinegar and water it’s easy to let the produce sit 4 minutes. But, when you wash produce as you need it, it’s harder to wait (or make your kids wait) before cutting and eating.
The best time to do this is right after you come home from the market but before you put the groceries away.
It’s one of the easiest methods to wash produce. Here’s a step by step breakdown:
- Wipe down your sink. You don’t want to contaminate your produce with something that may be lurking there. You can also use a large mixing bowl.
- Fill the sink about half full with cold water. Add some vinegar. I have a moderately sized sink and add 2 or 3 cups. (Cook’s Illustrated recommends 3 parts tap water to 1 part vinegar.) You’ll want enough liquid to fully immerse all of your produce.
- Put your produce into the sink, and let it sit for 4 minutes. I have a small mesh strainer that I like to use for smaller items like blueberries.
- Drain the sink and rinse the produce with fresh water to get rid of any lingering vinegar taste.
- Let fruits and veggies dry on a towel.
- Put produce away to enjoy later!
Any thoughts? Do you use a fruit and veggie wash? A scrub brush? Or just good ol’ water? Let us know!