How to wash vegetables to clean them off any contamination and bacteria is more important than ever right now. Here's a quick guide with simple tips that use things available at home.
It's getting real now. With Covid-19, it's important that we relook at how we do things, and practice hygiene and safety more than ever now.
While there is lots of information out there about things to stock, how to wash your hands etc, I felt that its also important to point out how you should be handling your food. Because food is something we all need. And fresh food - fruits, vegetables, protein should be consumed as much as possible because these can help build immunity and provide you with nutrients that your body needs to fight infection.
So if there was ever a time to eat healthy and cook at home, its now.
For a while now, we've been buying organic produce as much as possible. That keeps pesticides at bay. But what happens when the vegetables or produce gets home?
It's important that all produce is washed thoroughly before consumed. All this while, we were washing veggies with water. Which in normal circumstances is enough, but now, to reduce any contamination from handling, its wise to add one more step to how to wash vegetables properly.
Ways to wash vegetables properly
- Use a Vinegar Solution: Vinegar is a great disinfectant and can be used safely to kill bacteria. Its cheap, easily available and does not contain any harmful chemicals. Use 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water. Soak your fresh produce (vegetables, fruits, green leafy greens) for 10 minutes and then wash it with cold water.
- Use Baking Soda: Baking Soda is not disinfectant but it is very effective in cleaning off pesticide. Use 14 grams baking soda per litre of water. Soak fresh produce in this solution for 5 minutes and then rinse it off with cold water.
- Peel your vegetables: Peeling vegetables after rinsing them is another step that is important to do. Vegetable peel has a lot of good benefits, and one of them is literally acting as a barrier.
- Detergent: Some people recommend washing everything with detergent, and this might work. Soap is one of the most effective ways to kill bacteria. But make sure you rinse off the detergent really well before consuming any produce.
- Use food grade Hydrogen peroxide: Use food grade hydrogen peroxide and mix 1 tablespoon peroxide per 3 litres water. Soak produce completely in this solution and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then rinse everything off well with cold water. Its is important to note that hydrogen peroxide in large quantities is lethal.
Wash in batches: Instead of washing vegetables as and when you use them, make it a practice to wash vegetables as soon as you get them home from the grocery store. Washing batches will help you save water, and save you time. For green leafy vegetables, wash them, dry them in a salad spinner and then store them in the refrigerator.
Cook instead of raw: For the next few weeks, it may be wise to cook everything before consuming. Cooking is a sure shot way of killing any bacteria and contamination.
Use cold water: Cold water is the recommended way of washing produce. It keeps everything fresh and crisp.
The only exception to pre-washing produce will be garlic and onions. Their thin papery skin will not stand up to moisture and these veggies (that generally last really long), will spoil faster. But since you peel these anyway before using, they will be okay.
Do you have any other tips for washing vegetables? Be sure to leave a comment below to help other people too!