Produce fresh from the garden is so fresh and yummy. Fresh yes, clean not so much! Cleaning garden produce is essential for good health. In this post, I will be washing fresh lettuce, kale and radishes from my garden.
First and foremost, take care when harvesting. I use kitchen shears or even a pair of clean scissors from the dollar store will do when cutting lettuce and greens. The very first year I grew lettuce, I did not know how to harvest it and I pulled it up by the roots! What a mess! The lettuce was good, but even after washing thoroughly, we were eating dirt!
Then I run a sink full of water and add about a cup of white vinegar. (this particular brand was not very strong, you might add less depending on the strength) You never want to use detergent or other cleansers because it could be absorbed into the produce and might make you sick.
I also mix the lettuce around in the water/vinegar mixture to make sure all leaves get washed. After soaking for a few minutes, I drain the water while pulling the lettuce to one side of the sink. You will see all the debris and dirt in the bottom of the sink. Take your sink sprayer and spray the debris down the sink. Then fill the sink again with fresh water. To be safe, I usually do three baths before the final rinse and draining.
Did you know that kale floats? It is buoyant! So it takes a little more dunking. It is so tender, fresh and delicious right out of the garden. We make a simple salad with chicken and radishes. So tasty and good for you!
Speaking of radishes… I love growing them and eating them. I love the colors and I especially love the taste of them right out of the garden. Now these you do pull out by the root, because they are edible roots! Before placing them in the vinegar water soak, I rinse them and do a little scrubbing. Yummy!
So here we are with a bumper crop of lettuce draining on a clean towel in the kitchen. Soon it will be bagged and ready to share with friends and neighbors! Until next time, happy gardening, harvesting, cleaning and eating!
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