Holiday Food Washing: Make Your Own
Holiday food washing. You went out of your way to buy the freshest, most delectable, foods for your holiday recipes. And you’re going to use…what?…commercial food wash to clean them?
Commercial fruit and vegetable washes often contain harmful ingredients and are no more effective at killing bacteria and microbes than fresh water mixed with 9% vinegar. It is easy and probably better for you to clean you fruits and veggies using natural “Do-It-Yourself” items that you probably already have in the cabinet at home. Natural cleaners lack the harmful chemicals found in so many commercial washes and soap.
However, you have to use different methods for different items. Fortunately, these fall into three easy-to-identify categories and solutions.
FOR FOODS WITH A SKIN: WHITE VINEGAR
Plain white vinegar is C-H-E-A-P and easy to find. If your produce has a skin, white vinegar is the perfect cleaner.
Clean your sink, put the stopper in, add your fruits and veggies. Fill your sink with filtered water – not tap. Add 1 cup of white vinegar. Let it soak an hour, use a gentle scrub brush on them, rinse.
Be sure you let them dry completely on paper towels before putting them back in the fridge.
FOR GREENS: SALT, LEMON JUICE, THEN VINEGAR
Dissolve 2 tablespoons of salt in 2 cups of filtered water and add the juice of one lemon. Using a spray bottle, spray the greens, let it set 1 minute then put them in the “vinegar water” in the sink. Let them soak for around 15 minutes, rinse, and dry completely before putting in the fridge. A salad spinner can help get the water off.
HINT: put a dry paper towel in the greens container to help soak up humidity and moisture.
BERRY CLEANER: LEMON JUICE AND WATER
Berries have sensitive skin and soak up flavors. Lemon is probably the least nasty-tasting cleaner that berries can absorb.
Spray the berries in a mix of 2 parts filtered water to 0.5 parts fresh lemon juice. After they are well coated, soak in filtered water (NO VINEGAR! UGH!) for about 15 minutes. Again, let them dry off before storing in the fridge
Now you’re good to go! Make your masterpieces!