How many times have you bought fresh produce, but then opted for some quick, processed food because you didn't want to take the time cleaning and prepping the produce? I've definitely been guilty of this. However, with these simple steps, eating & storing your fresh produce will never be easier!
Step 1: Clean your sink and make sure it is free of any leftover foods, cleaning products, or soap. You will be soaking your produce in the sink. (If you are worried about your sinks cleanliness, you may use large bowls instead).
Step 2: You have two options...the eyeballing method or the exact method.
For the eyeballing method: Fill 1/2 your sink with water. Place all your produce in the sink (kale, cucumbers, apples, lemons, potatoes, strawberries, etc...). Depending on how large your sink is, pour 1-2 cups of apple cider vinegar (ACV) into the sink. (There is a large discrepancy on what individuals think the proper ratio of ACV vinegar to water should be...this is why I prefer the eyeballing method). Dunk your produce and let sit for 15 minutes. The produce will not soak up the vinegar taste! Vinegar will kill germs, mold, and remove dirt. **You can also add 1 tsp of baking soda to every 2 cups of liquid if you desire. Baking soda paired with vinegar and water is extremely effective at removing pesticide residue. Note: the baking soda will react with the vinegar and bubble slightly.
For the exact method: Use your largest liquid measuring cup & fill 1/2 your sink with water. Keep track of how many cups of water you use. For every 8 cups of water you use, pour 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar into the water. Dunk your produce and let sit for 15 minutes.
Step 3: Rinse your produce, dry, prep, and store as desired.
Here's how I prep the following produce...
Kale: Wash all of it, strip the leaves from the stem, and dry it off. You can use a salad spinner or paper towels. Then, place the kale into a gallon size freezer bag. Put a few paper towels in the bag to soak up excess water. Seal the bag and release all the air. Your kale will stay fresh up to a week, and this will make prepping salads (or whatever you make) simple!
Zucchinis/Cucumbers: I like to simply wash them and store them in a freezer bag in my fridge. I slice/chop them on-demand. If you chop these before you plan to eat them, you run the risk of soggy veggies.
Strawberries: Wash, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels. Store in a sealed container, but make sure you crack open the lid just a bit to let moisture out. You don't want this container to be air-tight!
Potatoes: Wash, and scrub with a brush. Make sure all dirt is gone and dry with a paper towel.
Broccoli and Cauliflower: I tend to buy both of these pre-washed and chopped. But, if you don't, soak + wash them in the water + apple cider vinegar solution. Place the broccoli/cauliflower head's stem into a cup with 1-2 inches of water. Place in the refridgerator immediately.
While storing produce, make sure you keep the ethylene producing foods away from each other and the ethylene sensitive foods. (Ethylene gas is the gas some produce releases that initiates the riping process). For a list of ethylene producing products, and ethylene sensitive products, click here.
And just like that, your produce will be prepped for the week, making healthy eating simple!