Getting fruits and vegetables is unquestionably important for everyone, but for those of us who follow a raw foods based diet, the need to make sure produce is clean becomes especially critical. Without the aid of high temperature cooking to kill some of the contaminants found on fresh fruits and vegetables, washes and sprays become an invaluable tool in your arsenal to achieve food safety.
Fruit & Veg Cleaning Guide for Raw Food
With the right sprays and washes, the cleaning process does not have to be time consuming or costly, nor does it have to involve the use of harsh chemicals or high temperatures. You can effectively clean your raw produce at home in no time using ingredients you likely already have on hand. Check out this simple and useful guide to get your foods clean, safe, and ready to enjoy!
Why Does Getting Produce Clean Matter So Much?
Beyond just getting the unappetising dirt and grime off of produce, thoroughly cleansing fruit and vegetables offers several other key benefits. First, it helps to remove any pesticides or fertilisers that may remain on your foods. Even if you select organic options, natural versions of these fertilisers or pesticides may be used on crops. Giving fruits and vegetables a good scrub also helps to remove any waxy residue.
Last, but certainly not least, washing fruits and vegetables helps to remove common bacteria found on fruits and vegetables such as E.coli, salmonella, staph, and more that can make people sick or even become life threatening in severe cases.
- Baking Soda
- Bowl or Basin
- Colander or Strainer Basket
- Essential Oils (optional)
- Lemon Juice
- Scrub Brush
- Spray Bottle
- Table Salt
- Towel or Drying Mat
1. Salt Scrub
The simple, inexpensive container of table salt holds within it the power to kill off any tiny bugs and bacteria that may have made their home on your fruits and vegetables. Additionally, salt provides a gentle and non-toxic option to scrub dirt and grime off of produce
Best Used For: Use salt to get layers of dirt to come off produce that grows in the ground like sweet potatoes and white potatoes.
2. Vinegar Spray
Mixing equal parts vinegar and water creates a terrific, non-toxic cleaning spray for fruits and veggies. The acetic acid in vinegar helps to kill off microbes and wash away pesticides. To use your mix all you have to do is spray produce and allow it to sit for at least five minutes. Next, use a gentle scrub brush for items on which you will eat the skin, such as apples or grapes. Just rinse produce under cold water to complete cleaning. Allow produce to air dry on a kitchen towel or drying mat.
Best Used For: Disinfecting the peels and rinds of items like citrus fruit and bananas before cutting or slicing. This multipurpose spray can also be used as a spray to clean counters and other kitchen surfaces.
3. Baking Soda Soak
Fill a basin with equal parts vinegar and water, plus two tablespoons each of vinegar and lemon juice to soak large amounts of produce at one time. The combination of these ingredients have powerful disinfectant properties while still remaining safe and non-toxic. Allow produce to soak for 15 to 20 minutes, rinse in a colander or sieve, and then allow time for produce to air dry.
Best Used For: Soaking produce is best suited for cleaning larger quantities of produce at once and also for cleaning produce with small curves and crevices that may be hard to fully reach with sprays or scrub brushes.
To allow disinfecting agents to fully work, you must give them ample time to do their jobs. Consider washing produce as you bring it home to assure you’ll have plenty of fresh produce available at a moment’s notice.
Once your produce has been cleaned, keep food borne pathogens away by storing foods at the proper temperatures.
Remove and discard any bruises or blemishes on the produces
These damaged areas can house additional germs.
Don’t forget your tools
Remember that bowls, brushes, and drying tools can gather germs as well. Be sure to sanitise these items after each use.