I come home each week from our local famers market with a big bountiful basket of fresh picked produce that is most often times is covered in dirt. Now, while I maintain the philosophy that 'dirt don't hurt', I am also not a huge fan of that added "crunch" in my meal that comes from not washing my locally sourced goods. After taking a tooth out (no not really, but it could happen) I came to the conclusion that I should probably start washing the things that I am eating. As a native Montanan, I realize that not all of us get fresh picked local produce from the ground all year round, and in many cases we buy produce from stores that is already "washed" and appears ready to go. While fresh foods on the shelves may seem clean and ready to eat, it is actually most often times not the case. Most fruits + veggies at the supermarket (yes, even your local co-op) are usually covered in waxes, harmful sprays, and even pesticide residue. After researching many fruit and veggie cleaning products, I was discouraged to find that they either contained heaps of not-so-friendly ingredients or they cost more than I was bargaining for. This dilemma led me to this very easy, very cheap, very effective, and very natural produce wash.
After consulting my roommate, aka the "Essential Oil Queen", and doing a little research/experimentation of my own, I stumbled upon a great go-to mix. The Essential Oil Queen proscribed the perfect combination of citrus-based oils for my undertaking. Turns out essential oils, including grapefruit, lemon, lime, and orange, contain properties that are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-septic, anti-viral, and disinfectant. Just not enough anti's in there for you? Well this stuff smells heavenly and is an instant mood booster as well, so go ahead, spray it on your veggies AND your not so cheerful friends. The Essential Oil Queen and I always love joking around by spraying it directly into our mouths after we spray our sink full of dirty produce, now thats the sign of a natural product!
All Natur-All Fruit+Veggie Wash
1 medium sized spray bottle (glass is best but a recycled plastic one works too!)
2-5 TBS apple cider vinegar (I used good ol' Braggs but my Toasty Avo sidekick Kelsey has a killer recipe for home made pineapple vinegar up on the blog as well- which just sounds so much more fun)
2-5 TBS of baking soda
1 cup of filtered water (or however much it takes to fill the rest of the spray bottle up)
10-30 drops of 100% pure citrus essential oils (lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange etc.) **If you don't have essential oils on hand, go ahead and juice a few fresh lemons, limes, oranges, or grapefruits!
Don't need to get too precise on the measurements here, just find a spray bottle on hand and fill er' up with these simple ingredients. Go ahead and spray your produce and let the mixture sit for a few minutes and work its magic before rinsing it off. The spray should last a while stored in your kitchen (esp. with the citrus and vinegar properties) but I recommend making smaller batches that last you up to a week or 2 to ensure freshness.