It’s 36 degree Celsius in the National Capital Region, and unfortunately, not even peak summer yet. The only way to remain sane is by keeping yourself well hydrated. While water is great, fruits not just quench our thirst but also satiate hunger pangs.
That pesticides and chemicals of all kinds are used during cultivation and sometimes even after the fruit has been plucked to ripen them quickly or make them look attractive are things we know.
But do you know how to clean and rid them of the toxins?
In this article, we list a few ways in which you can do the cleaning at home. Fruits like berries, grapes, guava, peaches are consumed with their skins, which make it crucial for us to learn these cleaning techniques well.
1. Wash your fruit before consuming it
According to the Centre for Science and Environment, in a report published by NDTV, washing them with 2 per cent of salt water will remove most of the contact pesticide residues that normally appear on the surface of the vegetables and fruits. Almost 75 to 80 per cent of pesticide residue is removed by cold water washing.
Do note that fruits like grapes, apples, guava, plums, mangoes, peaches and pears need to be washed at least two to three times.
Ensure that you spend that extra time in cleaning these fruits thoroughly.
2. Salt water soak
This is perhaps the most easily doable. All you need is a big bowl, salt and water. Mix two teaspoons of salt in four cups of warm water and soak the fruits for 30-60 minutes. Follow this with a good rinse under cold water.
Remember that this method isn’t ideal for berries, which can be damaged by the soak and end up tasting of salt.
3. Vinegar Soak
This is an alternative to using salt water to soak the fruits. Fill a large bowl with four parts of water and one part of vinegar. Soak all your fruits in this mixture for anywhere between 30-60 minutes. Follow it up with a thorough rinse under cold water. This will help in eliminating the toxins to a large extent and also keep your fruit fresh for a longer duration without spoiling it.
Once again, be careful while soaking berries which have delicate upper skin.
4. DIY fruit spray
You may not always have the luxury of time in soaking and rinsing fruits. In such a situation, this simple DIY spray will help you. Mix one tablespoon of lemon juice, two tablespoons of white vinegar, and one cup of water in a bowl. Pour it into a glass spray bottle. Remember to avoid using plastic for storing the liquid.
Shake it well before generously spraying on the fruits. Then, rub on the fruit for 30 seconds by hand or a vegetable brush, and rinse thoroughly in cold water.
5. Baking soda
Some reports suggest that using baking soda to soak fruits can reduce the contamination levels by up to 96 per cent. All you need to do is to fill a large bowl with water. To this, add a teaspoon of baking soda.
Give it a good mix and add the fruits you wish to clean. Let it soak for a few minutes.
You could consider giving the fruit a nice scrub with a brush. In case the outer skin of the fruit is thin, avoid this step. Pat dry with a towel and enjoy the fruit.
• Most of us have the tendency to wash the fruits immediately after they reach our kitchen, but in fruits like berries, doing so could increase moisture and accelerate spoilage. Hence, remember to rinse them just before you wish to consume them.
• Try to choose organic produce. And do follow any of these methods to clean them.
• Even in fruits that need to be peeled, wash/rinse them well before.
• Remember to remove stickers from produce. In most cases, these are made of edible paper, but it is best to remove them before washing.
• Keep the kitchen counter, cutting board, and knives clean at all times.
We do hope that these pointers help you remain healthy and hydrated this summer.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)