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I am going to go out on a limb here and sound like a total DORK….. I LOVE this produce wash!
In my former life (before allergies), I would have never bought produce wash. I thought it was a total scam. Of course, I washed our produce. With nice running water, straight from the tap, and if I really needed to scrub something like potatoes, I had a brush that I would use. Well, I still rinse under the tap, and I still use the brush occasionally, but I ALWAYS use this produce wash now.
“Why Produce Wash?”
Well, I’m so glad you asked. Let me tell you. 🙂
Once I developed an allergy to soy, my entire eating world had to change. If you have allergies or sensitivities, you know that it can take quite a bit of trial and error to figure out your triggers. Apples appeared to be one of my milder triggers which was devastating. Before the soy allergy, I pretty much ate an apple a day. I absolutely love apples. But now, suddenly, they were triggering an allergic response and asthma symptoms. I have to say, I was royally pissed off!! I’m going to sound like a whiny child but it just isn’t fair. Apples are good for you, dang it! (foot stomp) (Okay, whew… mini temper tantrum over. I’m better now….)
Well, I was persistent in trying different apples from different stores. Organic/non-Organic, regular grocery stores, Costco, etc. You get the picture. I found that I had fewer reactions from organic apples from Natural Grocers, a local natural food store. Even organics from other grocery stores and Whole Foods, seemed to trigger reactions. Also, if there is any “shine” to the peel, I do not buy them. It seems strange but I look for apples with a very dull/matte appearance to the peal. In thinking about this problem, it seemed to me that there must be some form of wax, chemical or pesticides etc on the apples (Even though I was only buying Organic) that was triggering my reactions. A friend told me that they used produce wash and that seemed to help their allergic reactions, so I decided to ignore my skeptical side and try making something natural.
Of course, I started researching 🙂 and very quickly found many different posts but basically the same ingredients-citrus, vinegar and water. Makes sense to me. The very first time I used the produce wash, I was hooked! So quick and simple to make, all natural ingredients, cheap, and made our fruits and vegies taste AWESOME! I am still continually surprised by how much better tasting and how much longer our produce is lasting.
For the last 1-2 years, I haven’t really had a taste for salad. I used this produce wash to clean some lettuce and it was AMAZING! First of all, the produce tastes so much better, fresher and almost sweeter somehow. Secondly, everything lasts so much longer which helps to offset the cost of going organic. I washed some Romaine lettuce, gave it a whirl in the salad spinner and let it dry a bit (until after we finished dinner). The left over lettuce was portioned out into storage containers with a small piece of paper towel to absorb any excess moisture. Five days later, the lettuce still looked like I had just washed it and tasted fresh! I was blown away. Literally! I actually went and showed it off to my coworker because I was so amazed! 🙂
Now, I still can’t eat apples very often as the issue is more likely food intolerance from leaky gut, SIBO and candida (Yup the whole trilogy. Boo!) but I still LOVE the produce wash.
Give it a try! I bet you’ll be a convert too.
Best DIY Produce Wash
- 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice (preferably fresh not bottled. Typically one Lemon)
- 1/2 cup Vinegar (White or Apple Cider Vinegar is fine)
- 2 cups distilled water
- Spray Bottle (preferably glass. See below for a nifty DIY glass spray bottle)
Mix together lemon juice, vinegar and distilled water in bottle, add spray cap and label. Store in the refrigerator.
That’s it! Super simple, right?!?
Methods of use
Lets talk about methods on how to use this produce wash. First of all, there is no “required” method or equipment to use this wash. Just use what you have on hand and works for the produce you are cleaning. Be creative. When I first made this produce wash, I bought very inexpensive spray bottles from the dollar store. I later learned more about plastics and the dangers of chemicals in plastics leaching into our food supply. I quickly replaced the bottle with an empty ACV bottle (Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar bottle) but I reused the spray top from my cheap-o dollar store bottle. Who knew that they would fit? Thanks to Kristin Marr @LiveSimply for that fabulous trick and for this awesome recipe! I love Kristin’s blog, she is usually one of my first choices for inspiration.
For leafy vegies like salad, kale, herbs, etc the soak method is absolutely the way to go! This also works very well for vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, radishes, brussel sprouts, green beans, peas, etc.
Just put a 1/4 cup of the mixture into a bowl and fill with cold water. Add your vegies and allow them to soak for 10-15 minutes. I like to use my salad spinner with the removable strainer basket. I soak everything right in the strainer in the spinner, once the time is up, I pull out the strainer basket, dump the bowl and rinse, then put the basket back into the spinner and give my greens a whirl. Presto! Salad that is cleaner, tastier, and lasts longer in the fridge.
The soak method is also good if you are washing a large quantity of vegies like small potatoes or for meal prep day. *Note: the salad spinner I use is Food network brand from Kohls that is no longer available. Another brand I have tried and heard good feedback on is this Oxo salad spinner .
You can also reuse the water for a second batch. For example in the picture above, some cauliflower just finished its turn in the bath. I pulled out the strainer basket, rinsed and moved cauliflower to a bowl, then added in some radishes. If you have super dirty or gritty produce like leeks or some greens etc, I would NOT reuse the water. Use your discretion.
The spray method can work really well for some fruits and vegetables or if you just need to clean a few things. Apples, citrus, potatoes, cucumber, zucchini, celery, etc are all great candidates for the spray method. Super simple, since your produce wash is already in a spray bottle, just spray your fruit/vegies, then set aside for 10-15 minutes, then rinse. The spray method can come in handy when you just need to wash one… apple. 😉
Notes and Questions
- Some people I have talked to have balked at the waiting time. I realize 10-15 minutes can seem like forever when you want to eat your apple but I haven’t found the time to really be an issue. When I start cooking, I wash my produce first. Then while the produce is soaking away, I’m gathering other ingredients, pans, utensils, firing up the grill, etc. Usually the time is up before I’m ready to start chopping.
- The vegies can sit longer than 10-15 minutes. I have never had a problem from leaving my vegies sit for as long as an hour if I get distracted. Just make sure to rinse well.
- Make sure to store your wash in the refrigerator. There is fresh lemon juice in there.
- Distilled water is best but boiled (at least 15 minutes) and cooled could be used.
- Price breakdown for DIY Produce Wash is 55 cents per batch. The cheapest I found was $5.46 for one of the commercial “natural” produce washes. Win!!!
Is Produce wash all hype or totally fabulous?
- DIY Produce Wash is easy and inexpensive to prepare. Only 55 cents a batch vs $5.46 for commercial product wash
- Produce lasts longer
- Produce tastes fresher and more sweeter
- Made with all natural ingredients. No chemical ingredients like in commercial produce wash.
- Less toxins, pesticides, waxes, etc. even on conventional produce.
I think my answer is clear :-). Totally fabulous!
I hope you love this Produce Wash as much as I do. Let me know in the comments below.