Learning how to wash vegetables is essential. While organic vegetables do not contain pesticides or other harmful chemicals, they still need to be cleaned well before consuming raw or cooking.
It is only natural that they may have bugs or worms on them because they are grown outside and not sprayed with insecticide. In addition, there is always the chance of bird droppings landing on the produce as it grows. You can never be too careful.
How to Wash Vegetables Before Preparing?
Below are five ways your organic vegetables can be washed thoroughly to get rid of worms, bugs, and other contaminants.
These washes can be made using simple ingredients you find around your home. They are both safe and effective and very easy to use.
1. Rinse Them Under Running Water
This is the most old-fashioned way when considering how to wash vegetables. It can be challenging to get bugs, dirt, and grime out of your leafy greens since there are many crevices and pockets that bugs and dirt can hide in.
Running each leaf or group of leaves under running water might get some of it off, but it is not always the most effective way to wash lettuce and other leafy vegetables.
A more effective way to wash these vegetables would be to fill a large pot up with cool water and place the leaves in there. You can then swish them around a bit and allow them to sit for 5-10 minutes.
While the vegetables are sitting, the dirt and bugs will settle to the bottom. You can then remove the leaves and run under water quickly to ensure all the grit is gone.
2. Vinegar Wash
You probably have some white vinegar lying around your kitchen. It is not only great for washing surfaces but can also be great for washing your organic vegetables.
Use one part vinegar to every 3 parts water and pour into a large mixing bowl. Allow your vegetables to soak for a few minutes. Then rinse them under cool running water to allow the vinegar to wash away.
Cook’s Illustrated magazine found that using vinegar and water to wash your veggies kills about 98% of germs and bacteria.
3. Salt Water Wash
Salt is a natural substance that can get the critters (bugs, worms, etc.) off of your vegetables, and just about everyone has it in their kitchen.
Just use 1 teaspoon of table salt for each cup of water and allow your vegetables to soak. Pour the water into a large bowl — however big you need it to be for the vegetables you are washing.
Stir it up, so the salt dissolves before placing the vegetables into the saltwater.
After they soak for a few minutes, you can then rinse them off with water from the faucet. Now, you’re ready to eat or cook them.
4. Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide Spray
Who knew that hydrogen peroxide had more of a purpose than to clean out children’s scrapes and make them wince in pain?
You will need two spray bottles — one for vinegar, and the other for the hydrogen peroxide.
First, spray your produce with the vinegar, and then spray with the peroxide. Then, rinse the produce thoroughly with water.
Not only is this wash suitable for vegetables, but it can also be used to kill bacteria like E. Coli on meats, too.
5. Lemon and Vinegar Wash
Another great substance used for cleaning is lemon, and chances are, you have some lemon juice in your refrigerator. If not, it doesn’t hurt to buy a couple of lemons and keep them handy for washing your veggies.
In this wash, you can combine a tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, and 1 cup of cold water in a spray bottle.
Spray it onto your organic vegetables, and rinse thoroughly with water before eating or cooking.
How to Clean Broccoli
Figuring out how to clean broccoli is not as hard as you think. All the veggie washes mentioned in this post can be employed when cleaning broccoli. However, here are three specific methods:
- Wash in cool water. Washing in warm water may wilt the florets, so cool or room temperature water is best. Fill a sink or basin with water and swirl the broccoli around to loosen up and get off dirt residues.
- Run it under the pipe. Soak broccoli to loosen up contaminants then run it under pipe water. You can place them in a colander while doing so.
- Rub it lightly. While dipping intermediately in water, use your fingers to lightly scrub the florets and stem to get off dirt and other contaminants.
Shake off excess water before storing it. With all these methods on how to wash broccoli, be careful not to bruise the florets too hard as they might break off.
How to Clean Asparagus
There is no hard-and-fast rule on how to clean asparagus. This simple technique is all there is to know.
Wash under running water. Hold the stalks under the pipe and let the water beat off grits. Lightly rub them with your fingers while doing so. If you have time, washing them stalk by stalk is best.
Finally, snap off tough ends of the stalks and lay your cleaned asparagus on the counter on clean kitchen towels; pat-dry and store.
How to Clean Brussel Sprouts
How to clean brussel sprouts is one of the most widely asked questions among grocery-shopping housewives.
The thing is, brussel sprouts aren’t difficult to clean. If you get them with stems, cut them off and throw them in your compost.
Next, peel off the outer layers of the sprouts as these are the dirtiest parts. Remove any discolored leaves as well.
Place your brussels sprouts in lukewarm water for 10 minutes before rinsing with clean water. You can also use any of the vegetable washes above instead of pure water.
How to Clean Mushrooms
Knowing how to clean mushrooms is vital because they can be filled with mold and other contaminants. And because they grow from the soil, dirt splashes might also be on them.
So, how do you wash mushrooms? Rinse them under cool or room-temperate running water. They can be placed in a colander while doing so.
After doing that, you can dip them in the vinegar wash to kill mold and bacteria.
Shake off excess water and place on paper towels. Cut off parts that still have mold-looking residues or dirt on them.
The Bottom Line
While washing your organic vegetables with running tap water might seem like it is enough since they are without pesticides, knowing other methods of how to wash vegetables is essential.
There are other things to watch out for before cooking or consuming raw produce, so a proper clean-up is vital.
Worms, bugs, bird droppings, mold, and contaminated dirt can affect your health and be very unsightly (and disgusting) on your dinner plate.
All vegetables and fruits can be cleaned using the methods above. Using these washes will help to ensure that your produce is fit for consumption.