This DIY Two-Ingredient Produce Wash extends the shelf life of your produce, which can save you hundreds of dollars every year and helps to cut down on wasted food!
One of the most frustrating parts of trying to eat healthy is managing your fruits and veggies so that they don’t go bad before you eat them. I HATE throwing away food because it went bad before I could eat it.
I recently starting using a compost bin for veggie and fruit scraps and I love it. (This has reduced the amount of waste in our trash can by at least ¼ every week. And the trash rarely starts to stink now!) However, I do not want to be throwing a whole head of lettuce in there because I forgot it was in my fridge. The compost pile is for scraps only!
In my post about creating a grocery budget I talked about the importance of shopping your pantry first. This means that before you plan your meals out for the week or make your grocery list, you HAVE to look at what food you already have.
Are there some green beans in your fridge that need to be used in the next couple of days? Plan your meals so that those get used first. OR take fruits and veggies that are close to going bad and freeze them if you don’t think that you will be able to use them soon.
This method of shopping your pantry is the first line of defense for preventing throwing away food. The second thing that you can do is use this DIY produce wash as soon as your groceries are unpacked from the store. Using this wash on your food before you chop and/or store it actually helps to slow down the ripening process so that the food doesn’t go bad as quickly.
I love strawberries but I can’t stand mushy ones that have been in the fridge for too long. Once I bring them home from the store, strawberries used to last maybe three days in my fridge. After I started using this DIY produce wash on the strawberries, they now last a week or longer in my fridge!
I try to grocery shop only once a week. If my fruit now lasts at least a week in my fridge then that means I won’t have an excuse to need to make an extra grocery shopping trip! Hello money savings! (Because I am rarely able to enter a grocery store and buy only the 1-2 items I went in there for.)
This DIY produce wash is embarrassingly easy to make. It is literally water and vinegar. Combine the two ingredients in a large bowl. Add your fruits or veggies and let them sit for five minutes. Remove the produce from the bowl and rinse under running water using a colander. And then you are done!
Making the Produce Wash
You will want to fill a bowl that is large enough to hold all of your produce, with water. Add 1/2 cup of vinegar. Let the produce sit in the wash for at least 5 minutes. Rinse your produce and allow time for it to dry before storing.
Now I know what you are thinking. Won’t my produce now taste like vinegar?! Nope! As long as you rinse your produce after it soaks in the wash mixture, your produce will never taste like vinegar. When washing berries, you will want to let them soak only for 5 minutes. If you go much longer then the chances of them tasting like vinegar will start to increase.
Why I Love this Produce Wash
I love that this DIY produce wash uses natural ingredients. I have seen a DIY produce wash that uses bleach. Using bleach around my food is a hard idea to wrap my mind around. And I rarely ever have bleach in the house. Vinegar on the other hand is always in my pantry.
I also love that this wash extends the shelf life of my produce! Even for the best meal planner, the life and condition of your produce can get away from you. An extra day or two can make the difference between throwing food away or being able to use it in your next meal!
What can I use this DIY produce wash on?
You can use this DIY produce wash on produce that doesn’t have a rind or a hard peel. (as in don’t try to wash your bananas!) For example, I have used it on strawberries, blueberries, green beans and broccoli. There are so many more produce items that you can use it on though!