RAW FRUIT N VEGGIE WASH
With spring in full spring, Mother Nature has started to show her bounty at the local markets and farmers markets across the country. There is nothing like in season fresh fruit and veggies. The vibrant colors and ripe flavors make our taste buds sing. Normally when I find a good batch of a particular fruit or veggies, I buy large quantities of them. I don’t have a problem indulging in strawberries 8 days in a row nor fresh green beans every night at dinner; I do NOT get bored with good food. I can always find a way to incorporate the items in my daily menu. The problem I have is throwing out fruit or veggies that have molded or turned on me before I have had a chance to eat them; a shame. I look at this as a waste of good produce and a waste of money. Since I buy only organic, I find that– probably because they are not sprayed with pesticides, chemicals or include GMO’s– they tend to mold or go bad if I do not treat them at home. No, I do not spray them with chemicals to prevent this, I use my recipe for RAW FRUIT N VEGGIE WASH on them.
Many years ago I used to buy commercially produced fruit and vegetable wash. The process was simple; fill a sink or bowl with fresh water, pour the proper measured amount of this washing liquid into the soaking bath and soak the items in it. After I soaked them for the recommended time, then I would rinse them again in fresh water, dry them and place them in the refrigerator. The ingredients list on these products claimed to be of natural derived ingredients but would I actually eat or drink this solution? ANSWER: NO. Then why would I wash my produce with it? And why would I need to re-rinse my items after the soaking process? ANSWER: to remove any residue the product might leave behind. Hmm, this doesn’t make sense to me now. After extensive research to find a product that IS okay to consume on its own without any luck, I am going back to my grandmas way of doing things: vinegar and water. Yes, the combination she uses for everything from cleaning her windows to her produce is the one I am talking about. To think all along, she was the one that held the answer to this problem. Using this combination also adheres to my RAW diet unlike the commercial products I used to use.
So now that I know that this is the “PRODUCT” I am going to use to wash my fruit and veggies with, it is time to put it to the test. Lucky for all, I recently bought 8 pounds of ripe organic strawberries and what perfect time to put it to the test than now. Organic strawberries are one of those items that will mold within a few days if left on their own. I have tried different methods to preserve them in the past, but nothing compares to this RAW fruit n veggie wash; not even close! Here is a list of failed methods I have tried…
- wash and dry fruit moment I get home, refrigerate = soft spots, weeping fruit and molding within 3 days
- not washing, just refrigerate in original container with air flow = molding and weeped all over the refrigerator shelf within 4 days
- not washing fruit, just wash container with hot water, refrigerate= might last 1 day more before molding and weeping again
- not washing, remove from original container into a different container, keep at room temperature = a MESS!! not recommended, molded and weeping in 2 days
- just don’t buy strawberries = NEVER! can’t live without them
The only way to keep strawberries good without any molding, weeping or soft spots is when I used my RAW fruit n veggie wash on them. I took a single test strawberry [the test subject was organic and fully ripe on the vine), soaked it in this recipe, air dried it and placed in a hot water sterilized then dried air tight container in the refrigerator. RESULT at day 14: the strawberry was just slightly dry, kind of puckered and it lost half of if it’s vibrant color (wouldn’t we all be like this after 14 days?) but that was the worst of this experiment. There was no molding, weeping nor soft spots to be found…. see pic below [these are untouched photos I took]
The 8 pounds of strawberries are long gone, minus the test subject. I predict that this strawberry would have been edible at 21 days but who can resist a ripe strawberry for that long? I CAN’T!! So, I ate it at 14 days. Yep- just a little on the dry side and ugly. This just proves that with the maximum time allowed for this experiment, that the strawberry is still fully edible. I am confident that you will not be able to wait this long to eat the strawberries that you buy. Just in case you have to, use this method.
This wash not only works great on strawberries but it works for all of your fruit and veggies alike to keep them fresh and mold free. Imagine how long LESS-delicate fruit and veggies will last.. So now that you have read and seen the evidence, won’t you give this recipe a try next time you buy fruits or veggies…
RAW FRUIT N VEGGIE WASH
this recipe will wash up to 3 pounds of produce
A CHEF’S TIP: try to find the ripest fruit and veggies possible and ALWAYS buy ORGANIC varieties! Vine ripened and locally grown is the best choice– if available in your area.
NOTE: I do NOT buy fruit or veggies that are coated with food grade wax. I am not sure if is will remove any wax that might be applied to some produce-like some commercial products claim to remove.
1/4 cup raw organic apple cider vinegar
8 cups fresh cold water
bowl large enough to hold produce and full batch of wash
airtight container to store washed produce in
In your large bowl, put the vinegar and water in and stir well, allow to set for 5 minutes. Place produce in, submerge fully and soak for 1 hour. Sterilize the airtight container you are using to store the washed produce in with hottest water (not boiling) from your tap, allow to air dry. Remove the produce from the wash and allow to air dry. Place washed air dried produce in the sterilized airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. NOTE: the holding times will vary according to the produce used.