If you wait to wash fruits and vegetables until you're ready to eat it, you have made the right decision. Fresh produce needs to be cleaned before we consume it, but in order to preserve its water-soluble nutrients it is best to clean produce right before using.
Follow these steps when washing produce to effectively clean, while retaining nutrients:
- Wash fresh produce with running water and use a soft brush if needed. Don't use soap.
- Clean individual leaves of lettuce and remove outer leaves on cabbage or tight heads of lettuce.
- Clean the surface of all fruit, even if you won't eat the surface area. Failing to clean the surface means the knife you use to cut will carry through the produce any bacteria on the surface.