Properly washing vegetables can help eliminate harmful germs and bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses.
Broccoli and cauliflower have lots of crevices where germs can hide. Soak these vegetables in a bowl of cold water for two minutes before rinsing them under cold running water.
OK — avocado is technically a fruit, but did you know that you should wash this savory berry before you cut into it? If you don’t wash the skin before cutting the avocado, harmful bacteria can contaminate your knife and be transferred to the flesh inside as you cut. Be sure to rinse the skin and scrub it gently with a brush before cutting the avocado.
You should wear gloves when handling hot peppers, even when you’re washing them — the pepper’s natural oils can burn your skin and eyes. Run peppers under cold water and scrub them gently with a clean brush since they have a thick, waxy skin.
Soak leafy greens in a bowl of cold water for two minutes before rinsing them under cold running water to remove any trapped dirt or germs.
No water is needed to clean mushrooms — a dry brush is sufficient to sweep away dirt and microbes. If you have a particularly dirty mushroom, you can use a damp paper towel or give it a quick rinse under cold running water, but be careful not to get the mushroom too wet; mushrooms act like sponges and won’t cook well if they absorb too much water.
Even if you’re planning on peeling your potatoes or carrots, give them a soak in cold water for a few minutes before running them under cold water and scrubbing them with a clean brush.