Thinking outside the bag

If you are like me, you do your fruit and veggie shopping once or twice a week, then you should probably be familiar with the “and how am I going to wash all that?” toughie.

In general, I shop once a week for fruits and vegetables, and once for greens. In both cases, I come back home with an enormous amount of vegetal matter, that quickly turns intimidating the moment I need to start washing. I do not like to keep unwashed goods in my fridge, and having to wash on demand every single time I need an item calls off all intent of helping myself to vegetables and fruits, as salad, side dish or snack. On the other hand, when they’re ready to use, all fresh and clean, I find myself consuming fruits and veggies à volonté.

So all our washing needs to be done at once, as soon as the goods make it to our kitchen. The sink has to be empty, and most our colanders and large bowls need be on standby. They will all be unavailable for as long as the operation will take (an average of 25-30 min, precious time when you need to do other things in the sink…).

We use white vinegar and water to wash our fruits, vegetables and greens – soak, rub and rinse. For a while, we used to empty all the bags contents in the sink, and soak fruits, vegetables and greens at once. The latter are the trickiest, because they need to be loose to be washed properly, yet confined so they don’t mix with the other leafies.So back to square one: using separate bowls and colanders.

Until I came up with this idea:

This time, shopping was modest, but it can still give an idea of the method

I use the shopping bag themselves to create individual washing compartments, and hang them on the faucets – we happen to have two of those in our sink :). Pounding leafies in a water bag like that a couple of times ensures a thorough washing, using a minimal amount of water. It is effective for both soaking and rinsing.

You may choose to wash all your goods this way, each in their own bag, or unload the “big” items in the sink amidst the hanging bags, like a usually do. Afterwards, I give each piece a good rub under running water, and dispose them in the colander to drain, while I rinse the contents of the hanging sacks. Here, I chose to isolate the peaches in their bag, to be soaked in plain water (I noticed that soft skinned fruits don’t do well on vinegar).

The whole maneuver takes about 10 minutes, after which your sink is free and you haven’t used all your basins.
Later on, when everything has drained and the greens have been given a quick twist in the salad spinner, I proceed to storing all the goods in the fridge. I’ll tell you about tried and tested ways to store all that… in a different post!

8 thoughts on “Thinking outside the bag

    • “Kholte” yourself!! Glad that you like. Would love to read your comments on the posts. Make sure to see the homemade pasta entry I posted a while back. The two of us do have a pasta maker history (if you could call it that) that dates back over a couple of years, don’t we?

    • Yup. Reuse, reduce, recycle!
      Plus GREEN seems to be the thème du jour for me. Well in a more comestible way ;)…
      Where do you get recycled bags from?? I’ve never seen any.

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