At the time of this post, more than half the country is dealing with more snow than they know what to do with, as well as bitterly cold temperatures. We here in California are thankfully spared all of that although we could use some rain. But soon enough, the snows will melt, the sun will once again turn up the volume and market stands and supermarkets will be bursting with colorful, healthy produce.
I love using as many “whole” fruits and vegetables whenever I can; I don’t like resorting to frozen or canned. (I do freely admit that I use certain convenience items like frozen artichoke hearts, but that’s because I really, really do not like preparing those things). The picture above was taken sometime during the summer of 2014 and is typical of what I use over the course of a few meals.
But with fresh produce often comes fresh dirt and, if they’re right off the farms or truly organic, you might find a few “hitchhikers” of the 6- or 8-legged variety tucked in there as well. And who hasn’t worried about the pesticides that might be lurking on that perfect-10 of an apple?
The answer is veggie wash, not a particularly new product but one that is very effective in removing dirt, waxes and other residues. I used to buy the stuff pre-made but last year I read about and tried a home-made version that’s just as effective and costs much less. So in preparation for the summer that WILL COME, I promise 🙂 here is the recipe for a quick and effective fruit and veggie wash:
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- Add the ingredients in the order listed to a medium-sized mixing bowl/pitcher with a lip. Be careful when adding in the vinegar as it will foam up. I do this in the sink for obvious reasons.
- Stir gently to combine and to dissolve the salt.
- Pour into a spray bottle.
Alternatively, you can just add the ingredients to the spray bottle and slosh slowly back and forth to mix, but I find that everything gets mixed up better if I do the 2-step process.
To use, spray liberally on produce, and let it soak for 3-5 minutes.Then rinse off with cold water. You can use a brush if desired on more firm-skinned items like potatoes, cucumbers, carrots and so on.