Vegetables can be washed in the following solutions:
- a solution of vinegar and water (one part vinegar to twelve parts water â€“ rinse in cold water to remove the â€˜vinegar odorâ€™)
- The juice of half a lemon and 1 teaspoon of sea salt to a small basin of water. These provide a mildly acidic solution that may remove a greater percentage of bacteria and contaminants than just water alone.
Washing in bleach or detergent is not recommended because vegetable skins are porous and improper rinsing may lead to illness.
Do not soak delicate leafy greens for long periods of time (> 2 min) as vitamins can begin to leach out into the water. Hardier produce such as melons and squashes will welcome a good scrubbing to remove superficial contaminants.
For cooking, the key is to cook as little as possible. Al dente vegetables retain greater nutrients than veggies which have been boiled, roasted or fried to death. Cut vegetables into small, uniform chunks to minimize the amount of time the vegetable is exposed to heat. This will allow for even cooking and minimal nutrient loss.