Use a clean micro-cloth moistened with water to clean/scrub fruit and vegetables before using. You can also use a bit of vinegar for an extra cleaning boost.
It is important to wash any store-purchased produce, due to the fact that so much of it is imported from other countries and travels a long way. Always pay special attention when cleaning cantaloupe. Because of the rough surface, cantaloupe tends to hold more of the "icky stuff" then other produce.
By it's.only.me from NE PA / USA
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Instead of wasting money on expensive store bought produce cleansers, here are two really inexpensive ways I clean mine. I use the first recipe when I only have an item or two and the second recipe when I have a lot.
Produce Spray: Mix 50/50 vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray on fruit and/or vegetables, let sit for a few minutes, then wash off and pat dry.
Produce Soak: 1/2 cup vinegar and 3 Tbsp. salt mixed in a sink full of cool water until salt is dissolved. Soak fruit and/or vegetables for about 15 minutes, rinse, and pat dry.
* Be sure to not wash any greens (lettuce, collards, basil, etc.) until just before using because the moisture that gets in between the leaves will make the greens go bad more quickly. What I do when pre-preparing greens of any sort (a couple, three or four days ahead) is to cut them up ready to use and place them in a sealable Tupperware container lined with a paper towel and then another paper towel on top of the greens before sealing to help keep the moisture off of the leaves.
By Ann from Richland, WA
Another good way to keep cut greens fresh for a few days is to place a very small bowl upside down in the bottom of the tupperware container over the paper towel. This will let any collected water seep under the bowl and keep it off the greens. I learned this from my favorite restaurant. (06/18/2010)