Can filtered water and a little vinegar really keep produce fresher, longer?
Summer will soon be here and I’m looking forward to fresh berries from my local farmer’s market. Early last summer, I came home with 10 pounds of strawberries with grandiose plans to make fresh strawberry jam. When I finally started my jam project (only 36 hours later), I was sick to find that many of the berries were already covered with a fuzzy mold.
A great tip that really works!
I’ve since learned a great tip for keeping fresh produce longer–and it really works! Each time I come home from the market with fresh fruits and vegetables, I rinse the produce in a vinegar and filtered water solution.
This idea seemed counterintutive at first, because in the past, once I had rinsed fruit in water, the fruit seemed to go bad more quickly.
I learned that the water and vinegar solution has the opposite effect and the fruit actually lasts longer because the acid in the vinegar kills mold spores and bacteria on the food. With the bacteria eliminated, produce does not decompose as quickly.
In fact, raspberries have stayed fresh in the fridge for up to TWO weeks!
How to create the filtered water and vinegar solution
To create this mixture, in a large bowl, combine nine parts filtered water and one part vinegar (white or apple cider).
Add delicate fruits such as berries to the solution first (the fruits that are most affected by bacteria).
After the produce has sat in the vinegar and water solution for 3-4 minutes (enough contact time to kill bacteria), drain with a colander and rinse with filtered water.
Then set berries on a towel to dry or pat dry and return to the original berry cartons for storage in the refrigerator.
Once the berries are removed, I add other fruits to the same bowl.
This process is repeated for apples, pears, tomatoes, peppers, green onions, and almost any fruit or vegetable.
The only vegetable that does not do well with this “rinse-ahead process” is lettuce-– as it tends to go limp from the water.
I might add that I am personally NOT a fan of the taste and smell of vinegar, but this vinegar mixture is so diluted and the produce is rinsed after soaking –so there’s no hint of vinegar on the produce.
One key for success
Make sure that the nine parts water in the solution come from her reverse osmosis (RO) tap. RO water is clean, filtered and free of contaminants which means it doesn’t introduce any new contaminants to the produce, plus the pure water combines well with the vinegar for maximum efficacy.
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