Having lots of fresh fruits and vegetables on hand is critical during this time when health is of the utmost importance. And, as many of us are trying to adjust to the “new normal” we are no doubt making efforts to reduce our trips to the grocery store so buying in bulk has become the trend. Luckily apples are the perfect fruit for buying in bulk because they can last for several weeks if stored properly.
Since we are all buying more fruits and vegetables these days you might be wondering about the most effective way to wash and store your fresh haul. A word to the wise: Don’t bother buying the expensive produce wash in the stores; making it yourself is simple with the help of a common household ingredient. We have two different produce washing methods for you to try out…
#1: Vinegar Soaking Method
Vinegar has been shown to help cut down on bacteria as well as remove a good amount of surface dirt and residue on fresh produce. To make a vinegar soak; start with a clean sink then fill it with cold water (alternatively this can be done in a large bowl). Add 1 cup of white vinegar and submerge your fruits and vegetables in the water. Let soak for 15 minutes. Drain the water and give the produce a quick rinse. To dry, lay the produce out on a kitchen towel until completely dry or hand dry each piece individually. Once dry, immediately store in your refrigerator produce bin. Don’t skip the drying step, as wet produce will turn to mush quickly.
#2: Produce Spray
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
This spray combines the antibacterial properties of the vinegar with the natural anti-microbial properties in lemons to help you clean and prepare your produce for extended storage. Combine the water, vinegar and lemon juice in a clean spray bottle. Shake to combine before each use. To clean produce; spray each piece of fruit or vegetable liberally, and let it sit for 10 minutes, rinse with cold water and prepare as usual or dry and store in the refrigerator.
In times of uncertainty, preparing fresh, healthy food for our families can give us a sense of comfort and assurance, even in the simplest of tasks.