Wash Your Hands of the Dirty Dozen

Important as it is to reduce your family’s exposure to pesticides and other chemicals, it may seem unrealistic to go 100% organic. If you’re wondering how to pick and choose your produce, start by selecting organic varieties of the “dirty dozen”—- the 12 fruits and vegetables that contain the highest pesticide load. Use these easy ideas to incorporate into your everyday diet.

12 fruits and vegetables that contain pesticides:

1.   Apples- Tote a few dried, organic apple slices in you bag for an easy-to-carry, satisfying snack.

2.   Bell Peppers– Pick up several jars of organic roasted red peppers when they’re on sale and you’ll be able to whip up an easy antipasto anytime.

3.   Celery– When you see organic celery in a market in the late summer or fall, snap it up. Then, when chopping it for pasta sauce or soup make extra and freeze it for later.

4.    Cherries– Toss organic dried cherries into a green salad- along with some roasted walnuts or pecans- to add extra flavor, texture, color, and nutrients.

5.    Grapes– Keep a stash of organic green or red seedless grapes in the freezer and you’ll always have access to an icy, sweet treat.

6.    Nectarines– Serve organic dried nectarines on your next cheese board. The sweet-tart flavor complements anything from Camembert to Manchego.

7.    Peaches– Slice and freeze ones to make summer-flavored slushies year-round. And experience an intense hit of flavor, whatever the season, by stirring a jar of organic peach preserves into a savory dish, likes baked chicken.

8.    Pears– When they aren’t in season, buy naturally prepared jarred or canned organic pears and spruce them up by poaching for five minutes in a mixture of their natural syrup.

9.   Potatoes– When you find organic potatoes, stock up. You can peel, parboil, and freeze them so you always have the makings for a fast side dish.

10.    Raspberries– Puree a bag of frozen organic berries with evaporated cane juice crystals to taste, then spoon over chocolate cake or vanilla ice cream for an intense infusion of flavor and color.

11.    Spinach-Make a delicious stuffing for chicken by chopping defrosted and drained frozen, organic spinach, then sautée briefly with toasted pine nuts. Bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and raisins.

12.    Strawberries- Freeze fresh organic berries when you find them in late spring and early summer- or buy frozen ones anytime—and enjoy them in pancakes, smoothies, and cereal year round.

Inspired by Kasha

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