How to pick seasonal and local fruits and vegetables
I went to the farmers’ market today - such a big variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, and fish! I didn’t know what to choose!
Having said that, do you really know how to choose fresh fruits and vegetables? If no, here are some tips for you 😉
- Buy seasonal and local.
Why? Because seasonal fruits and vegetables are fresher, tastier and more nutritious, than those out of season. Local fruits and vegetables are fresher because they do not require long-distance transportation thus, they spend less time in transit from farm to plate. Also, local and seasonal crops are harvested on the pick of their ripeness, which of course means better taste, flavor and more nutrients. (It is proven that fruits and vegetables ripen on their parent plant contain more nutrients.)
- Use your senses to pick good fruits and vegetables at the grocery store or farmers’ market.
Why? Because the smell, touch, and look of the fruits and vegetables are very important to determine if you get something ripe, delicious or sour, unripe or bland. Smell them to see if they smell nice or as they supposed to. If they smell “sour” probably they have gone bad. Touch them, to check if they are firm or soft. For example, apples and most vegetables need to be firm, but other fruits like plums, peaches, apricots are ripened when their “flesh” is soft. Look for bruises, spots, and mold and if you find any don’t buy them. And lastly, check whether the color of the fruit is what it is supposed to be - don’t buy a green potato.
- Check the stem of the fruits, if of course, they have any.
Why? Because basically, the stem is the natural “clock” of when the fruit was harvested. A green stem with ripe fruit is the best combination you can find. A green stem with very hard fruit possibly means that the fruit was picked early and will possibly become mealy when ripened. A shriveled dry stem signifies that the fruit was picked a long ago and lacks flavor and texture of the fresh fruit.
- Select fruits and vegetables from open storage boxes and not in bulk bags, boxes or packed.
Why? Because it is very rare to find a large bag of packed fruits without any damaged fruit in it. And as the old saying says “One rotten apple will spoil the whole lot”.
Now, let’s see some indicative fruits and vegetables that are in season now.
- apples, bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cauliflower, celery root, chard, chestnuts, clementine, cranberries, fennel, garlic, kiwi, leeks, parsnip, pears, persimmon and kaki, pomegranate, potatoes, pumpkin, quince, spinach, sweet potatoes, tangerines, turnips, wild mushrooms
Note that the seasonality of the fruits and vegetables depends on the location, so if you want to check more click on the link below to see the Seasonal Calendar for Fruits and Vegetables based on where you are.
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