Wherever you get your fresh fruit and vegetables from these days it makes sense to wash them in a solution that will destroy a large amount of bacteria as well as getting rid of pesticides.
This is especially important if the fruit and vegetables have come into contact with soil which might be contaminated with animal faeces, like potatoes and carrots.
Also if the fruit and vegetables are not organically grown they may have pesticides and chemicals on the surface.
Watch this short video on how to prepare vegetables for dehydrating.
Simple Fruit and Vegetable Wash
The simplest wash to make is a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar. One tablespoon of vinegar to every one cup of water is a good mix. Add a tablespoon of salt if there might be any bugs around!
Other Fruit and Vegetable Washes
- You could add bicarbonate of soda – but be careful if you do as this will really fizz at first! Add one tablespoon to every cup of water.
- You could also add some lemon juice for extra cleaning power. One tablespoon to each cup of water is sufficient.
- For greens like lettuce and spinach, dissolve one tablespoon of salt in 1 cup of water, then add two tablespoons of lemon juice. Spray onto the leaves. Leave for a minute or two then rinse in a vinegar solution.
- For delicate fruits such as berries mix 2 cups of water with 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice and spray on the berries. Rinse in fresh water.
There are two ways in which you can use these washes:
- Add your wash mix to a spray bottle and spray on to your fruit and vegetables. Leave for a few minutes and wipe off with a paper towel. I use this method for any fresh fruit and vegetables that will not be dehydrated.
- Soak your fruit and vegetables in the wash for five to ten minutes, then drain. This is the method I use for any food that I am going to dehydrate.
These washes will last for a few weeks if kept in the fridge, or a week or two on the kitchen counter.
Note: There are some fruits and vegetables that need careful washing. Strawberries, raspberries and mushrooms for example. Take extra care when cleaning these and do not use anything with a strong flavour like vinegar and salt.