This is not because I am lured into the impulsive goods down aisle four, but because I invest so much time going through the produce section trying to pick out the best fruits and vegetables available. The tiny bruises on bananas, mold on strawberries and the indecisiveness on a pineapple keeps me from grabbin' and goin'! Therefore, I decided to compile a list of "how to choose" your fruits and veggies so you know exactly what to look for and grab n' go! (Considering, of course, that we live in such a fast-paced society.)
Coming soon--How to store these fruits and veggies!
Fruits*A basic rule--Look for plumpness, tenderness, & bright color. Fruits should be heavy for their size & free from mold, mildew, bruises, and cuts.
-Apples. Firm & free from bruises & spots.
-Apricots. Plump, fairly firm with deep yellow or yellowish-orange skin.
-Avocado. Avoid bruises and broken skin. Soft avocados are best, esp. for guacamole.
-Bananas. Based on your preferences. Green & yellow are good.
-Berries. Free of mold. Bright in color. A little firmness is good. If you pick your own, select berries that separate easily from the stem.
-Cantaloupe. Find your perfect cantaloupe by smelling for a sweet, aromatic scent...a strong smell usually indicates over-ripeness. It should feel heavy for its size.
-Cherries. Firm & bright color.
-Cranberries. Avoid soft and shriveled cranberries.
-Grapefruit. Well-rounded & fully colored. Juicier grapefruits are heavy for their size.
-Grapes. Plumpness. No mold.
-Honeydew. Smooth skin & heavy for its size. Has a sweet, aromatic scent.
-Kiwi. Yields to gentle pressure. Avoid bruises.
-Lemons. Firm, well-shaped with smooth, even yellow skin. Avoid wrinkles in the skin.
-Limes. Bright in color & firm.
-Mango. Smell for fruitiness and feel for a little firmness. Avoid soft ones.
-Oranges. Firm & heavy for their size. Brown specking or a slight greenish tinge on the surface of an orange will not affect the eating quality.
-Peaches. Golden-yellow skin and no hint of green. Ripe fruit should yield slightly to gentle pressure.
-Pears. Don't worry about skin color. Feel for firmness & avoid bruises or cuts.
-Pineapple. Plumpness. Smell for sweetness at the stem end. Should be slightly soft & have deep green leaves.
-Plums. Firm & plump. Each should give slightly when gently pressed.
-Pomegranate. Firm, shiny, bright red skin. No wrinkles. Larger is best.
-Watermelon. Hard, smooth surface and heavy for its size.