Ultimate Guide to Fresh Fruits and Veggies

A how-to guide for choosing the freshest produce at your local farmers market or grocery.

If you're clueless when it comes to picking out produce, use our how-to guide for choosing the freshest fruits and veggies at your local farmers market or grocery.

Apricots, Peaches, Plums

  • Pick: Fruit that is firm, with a taut, unblemished skin and no signs of bruising or wrinkles.

  • Store: Ripen at room temperature, until tender. Apricots can be kept for 2 days, maximum. Once plums are ripe, refrigerate up to 3 days.

  • Use: Cook with sugar (1 pound of fruit per 2 cups sugar) on the stove until thickened for a delicious jam.

  • Tip: Vitamin A–rich stone fruits work with savory dishes; try sauteing, grilling, or roasting them to serve with duck, chicken, or pork.

Blackberries and Raspberries

  • Pick: Plump, juicy berries with a shine (blackberries) or luster (raspberries), without any trace of mold or discoloration.

  • Store: If eating within 24 hours, store at room temperature; otherwise, wrap loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Wash just before using.

  • Use: Blackberries and raspberries are delicious raw or in baked goods, but theyre also a great addition to savory dishes.

  • Tip: To freeze antioxidant-packed blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, or cherries, wash and let dry completely, then place them in a single layer on a tray in the freezer until solid. Transfer to a zip-top bag and store in the freezer.

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Lia Huber
Last Updated: April 06, 2009

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