Whether you’re the proud owner of an urban vertical garden, a traditional rural grower, or just the average consumer relying on supermarket produce, knowing how to peel fruits and vegetables is a matter of food safety. This is all the more true when it comes to leafy vegetable plants, which are able to hold a lot of dirt and therefore transmit harmful bacteria to the human body. In addition, there is the problem of pesticides being hazardous to health and particularly dangerous to young children and pregnant women. So how do you wash lettuce or other leafy vegetables to remove biocidal residue?
How to wash lettuce to remove pesticides
First, when it comes to lettuce, things are somewhat more complicated due to the nature of the plant. The same applies to other varieties of green salads, the leaves of which are just as tender. That is, you must always act carefully so as not to damage their structure in the process.
Also, keep in mind that even vegetables labeled “pre-washed” at the grocery store, as well as organically grown foods, must be thoroughly cleaned before consumption. Here are the steps on how to wash your salad to get rid of microorganisms, parasites and chemicals that often go hand in hand!
How to wash a salad in a few easy steps
1. The first step in peeling lettuce leaves is to fill a basin with cold water. Your kitchen sink, plastic bowl or large bowl is perfect for its intended use. Before washing lettuce heads, remove the usually damaged outer leaves and cut off the base of the stem.
2. Separate the leaves, lower them into the water and twist them a little with your hands. Leave the lettuce in the water for a minute or two to allow the dirt to settle to the bottom of the container. Then take the leaves out of the water and place them under cold running water for a few minutes. Throw them in a colander, inspect and, in the absence of visible dirt, let them drain well. If the salad is heavily soiled, repeat the soak and rinse.
Can white vinegar be used?
It should be clarified that the above steps are usually sufficient to remove about 80-90% of pesticides. Either way, if you want to be thorough, you can add some white vinegar to the soak water. Some researchers suggest that a 4 parts water to 1 part vinegar solution should do the trick, but you will also need to soak the leaves for about 20 minutes.
How to wash salad with baking soda
Other strategists studying how to wash lettuce to remove pesticides opt for the near-miraculous baking soda. The correct proportion is 2 tablespoons per liter of water. So, soak the products for 12-15 minutes in the solution, then rinse well with clean water. By the way, if you are a gardener and want to get rid of caterpillars, slugs and snails attacking your crop, you can safely use this same baking soda in the garden.
Salt water bath is also helpful
Then, if you’re wondering how to successfully wash a green salad, you can always make a salt bath for it. Recent studies have shown that soaking fruits and vegetables in a 10% salt water solution for 20 minutes before rinsing removes most of the four most common pesticide residues. Always remember that too strong a solution or too long a soak time will ruin your delicate items.
How to wash lettuce and how to dry it
3. Once the cleaning method is chosen and practiced, all you have to do is dry the lettuce thoroughly. Put the leaves in a salad spinner, dividing them into small portions, and spin them inside for a while. Remember to empty the centrifuge after each batch.
How to dry a salad without baubles
If you don’t have a wringer, drain the lettuce well in a colander and spread the leaves in a single layer on a clean kitchen towel or several sheets of paper towel. If necessary, store the salad in the refrigerator in a resealable container or bag. Ideally, wash and dry fruits and vegetables just before eating them.
In conclusion, the best way to avoid harmful pesticides is, of course, to grow your own food or buy only organic products. However, growing your own food or using 100% organic products are not always affordable solutions. Therefore, we must know how to wash lettuce, apple, etc. so that his diet is as healthy as possible!