Here are few tips and hacks to keep your veggies and fruits clean and fresh. Many vegetables and fruits will have worms, soil, microbes and or pesticides on the surface. It is always good idea to take precautions by cleaning them before consuming.
- Cucumbers: Sometimes you notice bitterness in cucumber. Eating such cucumber can cause sickness. To remove bitterness cut about half inch on both edges of cucumber and using same cut pieces rub on both end surfaces. It releases milk from cucumber surface and this releases bitterness.
- Cauliflower: It is known fact that cauliflowers carry small worms inside. To remove small invisible worms, cut cauliflower florets and soak in salted warm water for half an hour. You will notice worms coming out. Throw the water, wash cauliflower in water and use for cooking
- Strawberries: Just like cauliflowers, sometimes strawberries carry worms on surface. Soak in salt water for few minutes and throw the water that contains worms released from strawberry surfaces.
- Cleaning apples: In supermarkets apples may look fresh and crispy. Do you know many varieties of apples look shiny because of wax coating? When you bring apples, transfer them to a vessels and soak in warm water that helps to remove and dissolve wax. Give couple of more washes and then consume apples.
- Watermelon: Picking up watermelon from store? Does it look clean and ready to eat? It might not be. Watermelon and many other Cucurbitaceae members that are heavy fruits generally get bigger on the soil surface. It means there will be soil and microbes like E. coli on the surface. Clean the surface and then cut the watermelon.
- Fresh Lettuce: If the lettuce you bought is wilting fast, soak the entire head in water for some time to regain the freshness.
- Okra: Okra has mucilage or slime that disturbs cooking. One way to avoid slime is to wash okra, dry using paper towel and then cutting them. Another way is to soak okra in water and vinegar mixture (4:1 ratio) for 20 minutes and then wash and cut okra.
- Crisp Broccoli: Keep broccoli stem soaked in water like bouquet. This keeps broccoli head crispy and fresh.
- To store herbs : Wash cilantro, mint and other herbs. Wrap them in paper towel and store in a box in refrigerator. Paper towel helps to prevent sogginess.
- Aloe vera : Before using Aloe vera, remove spike, cut leaf into pieces and give minimum 7 to 8 wash in water. This removes the latex that could be toxic.
- To remove pesticides: 1) Many fruits and vegetables will have pesticides on the surface. Soak the vegetables or fruits for few minutes in water containing baking soda. Being alkaline, baking soda helps to remove pesticides from the surface of the produces. 2) Soak vegetables and fruits in vinegar water for few minutes or in water containing few drops of lemon juice. Both these solutions will help to remove pesticides.
- To clean potatoes: Soak potatoes in water for some time. Then wash them under water thoroughly. Any soil and E. coli sitting on potatoes will wash away.
Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: November 5, 2020