Bacteria. Dirt. Pesticides. Wax. The list of gunk possibly lurking on the surface of your fresh fruit is quite long, and it's imperative that you try your best to remove as much of it as you can before eating that fruit. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend washing all produce, even if you don't plan to consume the outer peel of a fruit. You don't want to transfer any harmful bacteria to the fruit itself when you slice or remove the peel, or when touching other foods, or even the surfaces in your home.
But before you simply give that piece of fruit a quick rinse under the sink and call it a day, consider a more thorough and effective cleaning method. Reach for the baking soda to create a cold-water baking soda bath for your fruit to soak in. After just 12-15 minutes and a bit of stirring around, your fruit will come out cleaner than ever and ready for prep or consumption.
How To Properly Soak And Clean Fruit In A Baking Soda Solution
If you have a large haul of fruit from the store or farmer's market, you can plug up the sink and create your soak right there. Fill the sink with cold water and add a few tablespoons of baking soda. If you're using a bowl, then 1 teaspoon of baking soda for every 2 cups of water will suffice. After your hands themselves are washed, add the fruit to the mixture, swirling them around and letting them soak for as long as 15 minutes. Be careful, any more time than that and the slightly abrasive baking soda could begin to eat away at your fruit's skin and change the texture.
This baking soda soak not only gets rid of dirt and bacteria, but it can even be effective at breaking down and removing pesticides from your fruit as well. Make sure to take a scrubbing brush to the surface of any harder fruits with rougher skin. This will help easily lift out the dirt and gunk that the baking soda soak softened up for you. Rinse off and pat your fruit dry, and you're ready to go!
Other Fruit Cleaning Methods And Ones To Stay Away From
Now that you know this baking soda soak cleaning method, there are a few more steps you can take to thoroughly clean your fruit. Before soaking or scrubbing, make sure to cut away any bruised or damaged areas of the fruit with a knife. These bruised spots make it easy for bacteria on the outside to seep into the fruit itself and are best removed.
As for other cleaning methods besides rinsing in cold water, you can break out the vinegar from the pantry as a natural cleaning agent. Just be aware that soaking any produce in vinegar could inevitably add a mild vinegar taste to the fruit. Whatever you do, don't use soap or especially bleach to clean fruit or any other food, per the CDC. This is highly dangerous, as the permeable fruit can absorb these cleaning products and contaminate the fruit itself. So stick to this tip: Take a little extra time to create a baking soda soak, and you'll be happy to know you're consuming clean, fresh fruit.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.