With summer around the corner, the produce is about to get good! Not that it's not already good 😉. Fruits and veggies always taste better when they're in season, and more importantly they COST LESS! Here are a few good tips to use next time your picking out produce.
1- SPEND TIME AND CHOOSE WISELY: Start your shopping trip in the produce section, spend adequate time picking out a variety of colors. **Did you know the different colors represent the different vitamin, mineral, and phytonutrient content? So eating a variety of colors ensures your getting a variety of vitamins and minerals! 👍
2- GO SEASONAL: Try to buy fruits and veggies that are in season, they are cheaper and taste much better. When produce isn't in season it is shipped a far distance, which increases travel time and decreases freshness and quality.
3- BUYING ORGANIC? CONSIDER THE DIRTY DOZEN: Organic doesn't always mean freshest, the term organic can be misleading. Organic refers to the way fruits and veggies are grown, but they typically are more expensive and travel a longer distance to get to your store. If buying organic is important to you and your family, consider buying "the dirty dozen" fruits and veggies organic. These produce members have high pesticide residue (general rule of thumb, if it has thin skin, the pesticide likely penetrates the skin) these dirty dozen members are:
• Apples • Bell peppers
• Blueberries • Celery
• Cucumbers • Grapes
• Lettuce • Nectarines (imported)
• Peaches • Potatoes
• Spinach • Strawberries
Studies have shown that the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables outweigh the effects of eating non-organic. So if you don't eat organic DON'T SWEAT IT! If you do or want to, consider buying "the dirty dozen" organic.
4- KNOW HOW TO RIPEN: You can increase the ripening process of fruit by placing them in a paper bag. This is because fruit releases ethylene gas, so when placed in a bag it becomes abundant→speeding up the process. Putting an apple in the bag further increases the process.
5- HOW TO PROLONG SHELF LIFE: Fruit and veggies don't typically have a long shelf life, try to buy a quantity that will be eaten in 5-7 days. (this is a typical shelf life). There are steps that can increase shelf life. Consider covering the stem of bananas, which prevents ethylene gas from escaping and penetrating the bananas (which occurs naturally, causing ripening). ALWAYS take fruits and veggies out of their plastic bags (from the store) this traps ethylene gas and speeds up the ripening process. After purchasing produce, rinse, dry and place in crisper drawers to keep fresher longer.
I hope these tips will help you, shopping for produce this summer and let you enjoy more and toss less!!!
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