Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is good for your health, and it may reduce your risk for many chronic illnesses. Here’s how to choose produce at the peak of its freshness so you’ll enjoy it even more.
Fresh tip: For fresher and more flavorful fruits and veggies, try to buy local produce when possible. Ask the produce manager at your grocery store what’s grown locally, or visit nearby farmers markets or farm stands.
Apples: Look for apples that are firm to the touch and the right color for their variety. Soft apples tend to have a mealy texture. Store ripe apples in plastic bags in the crisper of your fridge.
Avocados: Ripe avocados will yield to gentle pressure. The color will range from green to black. Unripe avocados will ripen in a few days when left out at room temperature.
Bananas: Look for bananas that are firm, without bruises. Choose those that are yellow, tinged with a bit of green. Brown specks give ripe bananas a fuller flavor. Once ripe, store in the fridge. The skin will turn dark, but the flesh will not.
Beets: Choose firm, round beets with fresh-looking tops and deep red roots. Avoid beets with rough areas and long roots, as they may be tough. You can store them for one to two weeks in the fridge.
Brussels sprouts: Look for small sprouts with compact, bright green heads. Fresher sprouts have a better flavor, but you can store them for up to a week in the fridge.
Cantaloupe: Ripe cantaloupes will have a delicate aroma. Choose fruit with a thick netting pattern that’s raised against the yellow skin underneath.
Coconuts: A ripe coconut is heavy for its size. Avoid those with eyes that are moldy or wet. Once you cut it open, there should be milk inside. A coconut without milk has spoiled.
Pineapples: Look for a fruit that’s golden yellow and slightly soft. A green pineapple may not ripen. The fruit should have a slightly piney aroma. Pineapples that are overripe may have soft or dark spots.
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