As my Meatless Monday journey continues I find myself eating more fruits and vegetables (instead of chips and cookies). The one thing I didn’t factor in was if I was properly washing these foods.
How to Properly Wash Fruits and Vegetables
All fruits and veggies
- Do Rinse all produce under running tap water while rubbing it with your hand.
- Don’t fill the sink with water and let produce sit.
Produce with Rinds, Grooves or Waxy Skin (melons, cucumbers, winter squash, citrus and potatoes)
- Do scrub this produce with a brush.
- Rubbing these foods my remove dirt but will not remove pathogens which may be stuck to the wax (this is where the brush comes in).
- Do rinse bananas, there has not yet been a specific outbreak linked to bananas but think of how many hands may have touched your banana before you.
Leafy Bunched Vegetables (lettuce, cabbage)
- Do discard the outer layer of leaves before thoroughly rinsing the leaves in water.
- Continue to rinse the leaves until dirt is no longer visible and then spin in a veggie dryer.
- If lettuce is bagged and marked “ready to eat” according to the FDA, its safe to eat without rewashing it. Some experts disagree and urge consumers to wash all “ready to eat” veggies.
Bunched Fruit (grapes, blueberries)
- Rinse under running water in a colander (so all of your fruit doesn’t end going down the drain).
- Using a spray nozzle will give a more thorough cleaning.
One great overall tip was to NEVER taste fruit or vegetables in the store before they are washed (i.e tasting the grapes before you purchase them). The most surprising of these tips was rewashing the “ready to eat” veggies. Before reading this article I never rewashed the bagged lettuce (or washed bananas)…but I will start. What about you, do you rewash foods that are identified as “ready to eat”?
- 2 cups uncooked penne or medium tube pasta
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 small yellow summer squash, sliced
- 1 small zucchini, sliced
- 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the onion, summer squash, zucchini, mushrooms and garlic in butter until tender.
- In a bowl, whisk the flour, seasonings and cream until smooth; add to the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Drain pasta and add to vegetable mixture. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until heated through.