TT: Washing and prepping veggies

Cleaned celery

Washed celery

At OHC HQ we buy a lot of veggies. So much, that cashiers and people waiting patiently behind us in line have complimented us on our healthy habits. :p What could be considered a downside of that is coming home and then having to deal with washing all of the veggies, because it does take some time.

Normally I do not do veggie prep and shopping on the same day. By the time I get home from the store and get things put away, I’m too tired to want to deal with all the veggies. I save my veggie prep for the next day. I figure the veggies aren’t going anywhere and one day spent in the fridge in their produce bags won’t hurt them too much.

Prewashing, trimming, and cleaning your veggies and produce helps save time in the long run. I prep all of my produce except for the more delicate berries, like raspberries for example.

I wash everything, trim or chop it up and toss it in a storage bag. Making sure to squeeze out all the air as I’m sealing it up.

Prepped and ready to use

Prepped and ready to use

Now I have heard many people say you can’t wash this veggie or you can’t prep something ahead of time and I’m telling you it’s bogus. Like the more delicate berries I mentioned above, and mushrooms (just because they’re easy to take care of before using) I clean everything. Taste is not effected by prewashing.

Celery, for example, is a veggie that chefs seem to feel prewashing it is a big no-no. Well I wash mine! I wash the celery removing all the dirt and trim it up. Then in the storage bag it goes. When I next pull it out to use, I trim the dry ends off and it is ready to go. It doesn’t go bad and I found it lasts me much longer that way. If I just leave it be and not prewash, it wilts and becomes limp in about two days.

Strawberries are another fruit that people seem afraid of prepping ahead of time. I wash and dry the berries, slice them up and store them in a plastic container. They are ready to eat and last a week in the fridge. If I don’t do that, they become moldy and start going bad in a few days.

On prepping day, I put a big collander in my sink and get to work. I pull out all of the produce that needs taken care of and line it up on my counter. Seeing all of the produce gives me a better idea of what all I have to do and makes it easier to plan out my course of action. I count all the produce that needs washed and then pull out the number of storage bags I’ll need.

Not only does prepping my produce early save me time later in the week, it’s saving me money because I’m not throwing out stuff that has gone bad too quickly. Carve out some prep time when you do your next big shopping trip and prep that produce!

12 thoughts on “TT: Washing and prepping veggies

  1. We try to make an effort to do that with our bell peppers b/c you’re right in that we’re far more likely to eat them (even just as a snack) if they’re already cut than if they’re whole.

  2. I do that too. It’s saves me a lot of time when I get home from work. Also, here is a tip for you. Wrap washed celery in tin foil, and it stays fresh for weeks!!! Try it.

  3. We live in northern Mexico & I have to soak all of my produce with purification drops (*they contain some iodine or other type) It can be labor intensive but then you are all ready to cook. I have learned though the strawberries keep longer if I wait till just before we are going to eat them or clean them & flash freeze. Good blog:)

  4. My husband and I always have people comment on what healthy eaters we are in the grocery store line. It’s pretty funny. I always pre-prep our meat when we get home from the grocery store. We buy in bulk so seperate it into portions and freeze it individually (sometimes in marinades for when we need something fast). I don’t really prep veggies because my husband loves to be my prep chef and take care of all the washing and chopping while I take care of other parts of the menu.

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