How To Always Pick the Perfect Produce

 

One of the most frustrating wastes of money is when you buy produce that ends up not tasting good. In most cases, I simply chalk it up to bad luck and take the loss. Part of the problem is knowing how to pick between the good produce and bad. If you are anything like me, you are always looking for the best in the bunch. But how are you supposed to know?

Thanks to the folks over at menshealth we have a few guidelines to go by. Listed below are 11 of the most popular produce items, how to best pick them, along with some interesting information on how to store them.

Oh and  lets not forget the awesome health benefits!!!

 

Kiwis

 

  • A ripe kiwi will be slightly yielding to the touch. Avoid mushy or wrinkled ones with an “off” smell.

Peak: Year-round

Storage: Leave at room temperature to ripen. To quicken the process, place kiwis in a paper bag with an apple or a ripe banana. Once ripe, refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to a week.

Payoff: 65 percent more vitamin C than a small orange has

 

Blueberries

 

  • You want plump, uniform, indigo berries with taut skin and a dull white frost. 

Peak: May to October

Storage: Transfer them unwashed to an airtight container and refrigerate for 5 to 7 days.

Payoff: More disease-fighting antioxidants (especially in wild berries) than most common fruits

 

Broccoli

 

  • Find rigid stems with tight floret clusters that are deep green or tinged purple. Pass on any with yellowing heads—they’ll be more bitter. 

Peak: October to April

Storage: Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to 1 week.

Payoff: Cancer-fighting sulforaphane

 

Tomatoes

 

  • Go for heavy ones with rich color and no wrinkles, cracks, bruises, or soft spots. They should have some give. 

Peak: June to September

Storage: Never in a fridge; cold destroys flavor and texture. Keep them out of direct sunlight for up to a week.

Payoff: Lycopene for prostate health

 

Grapes

 

  • Find plump, wrinkle-free grapes that are firmly attached to stems. A silvery white powder (“bloom”) means they’ll stay fresher longer. Green grapes with a yellowish hue are the sweetest. 

Peak: May to October

Storage: Keep unwashed, in a shallow bowl in the fridge, for up to 1 week.

Payoff: Resveratrol, which may protect against cardiovascular disease

 

Pineapple

 

  • Look for vibrant green leaves, a bit of softness to the fruit, and a sweet fragrance at the stem end. Avoid spongy fruit. 

Peak: March to July

Storage: If it’s unripe, keep it at room temp for 3 to 4 days until it softens and gives off a pineapple aroma. Refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Payoff: Niacin for skin and GI health, and manganese for bones

 

Strawberries

 

  • Seek out unblemished berries with a bright-red color extending to the stem, and a strong fruity smell. They’re neither hard nor mushy. 

Peak: April to September

Storage: Place unwashed berries in a single layer on a paper towel in a covered container.

Payoff: The most vitamin C of all commonly eaten berries

 

Watermelon

 

  • Pick it up; you want a dense melon free of cuts and sunken areas. The rind should be dull, with a creamy-yellow underside. A slap produces a hollow thump. 

Peak: June to August

Storage: Keep whole in the fridge for up to a week to prevent flesh from drying out and turning fibrous.

Payoff: Citrulline, an amino acid that can help improve bloodflow

 

Green Beans

 

  • Good beans have vibrant, smooth surfaces. The best are thin, young, and velvety, and snap when gently bent. 

Peak: May to October

Storage: Refrigerate unwashed in an unsealed bag for up to 1 week.

Payoff: Fiber (almost 4 grams in 1 cup), which is associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality

 

Peaches

 

  • Good peaches have a fruity aroma and a yellow or warm cream background color, without green shoulders. They’re ready when they yield to gentle pressure on the seams. 

Peak: May to October

Storage: Leave unripe ones out at room temperature. Ripe ones go in the fridge, but eat within 2 to 3 days.

Payoff: Vitamin C, beta-carotene, fiber, potassium

 

Bell Peppers

 

  • These should have lots of heft for their size, and brightly colored, wrinkle-free exteriors. The stems should be a lively green. 

Peak: Year-round

Storage: Refrigerate in the crisper for up to 2 weeks.

Payoff: All bell peppers are loaded with antioxidants, especially vitamin C. Yellow peppers lead the pack.

 

Hopefully some of these tips on picking the perfect produce was helpful.

If in doubt simply remember the tip below from Aliza Green, the author of Field Guide to Produce,

Employ your senses:

Look: Prime fruits and vegetables are often irregularly shaped and blemished.

Touch: Heavy, sturdy fruits and vegetables with taut skin are freshest.

Smell: Many fruits can be sniffed for ripeness. And shop seasonally; the foods are tastier and cheaper.

 

How To Pick The Best Produce via MensHealth

 

Do you have any tips to picking perfect produce that you go by? What techniques do you use? Post a comment below and let us know…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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