Choosing The Best Produce And Storing It so It Stays Fresh Longer

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Fret no more, here is a handy guide to produce selection and storage!

Apples — Look for color that is rich and uniform.  Avoid fruit that is soft, blemished, or bruised.  Store at room temperature for 1 to 3 weeks.  If you cut them up, sprinkle with lemon juice (this will keep them from turning brown); store covered in the refrigerator.

Apricots — Look for firm fruit with a deep, rosy color.  Avoid ones that are soft, bruised, or shriveled.  Store in the refrigerator, either covered or uncovered.

Avocados — Look for ones that are dark in color with skin that is either smooth or slightly bumpy; ripe avocados should have a slight give to them if you squeeze gently with your palm.  They ripen rapidly when stored, so be sure not to get ones that are too dark or soft.  You can store them either in or out of the refrigerator; storing them at cooler temperatures will slow the ripening process.

Bananas — Ripe bananas are uniform in color, which will range from a pale yellow to more of a red depending on the variety.  Avoid ones that are spotted, soft, or bruised.  Store at room temperature in a paper bag, or hang from a banana “tree.”

Carrots — Look for ones that are uniform, bright orange.  Bigger carrots tend to have a “woody” texture; avoid carrots that are longer than 6 inches or more than an inch in diameter.  Cut off tops before storing, either in the fridge or at room temperature.

Celery — It should be a pale, light green.  Avoid celery that is too dark.  Don’t store it in the plastic bag it comes is; it will stay fresher longer if you opt for a paper bag.

Corn — Look for ears that are blunt at the tip, not tapered.  The silk should be dry and darkened.  If you pierce a kernel with your fingernail, it should squirt juice at you.  It will stay fresh longer if left in the husk.  Store it in the fridge, either uncovered if it’s in the husk or covered if you’ve removed the husk.

Green Peppers — They should be firm with a deep green color.  Avoid peppers that have uneven coloring or are soft or wrinkly.  Store covered in the fridge.

Lemons — A good lemon will be heavier than it looks, with a deep, uniform yellow color and smooth, thin skin.  Avoid lemons that have a greenish tinge to them.  Store at room temperature.  If you cut them up, store them covered in the fridge.

Limes — Should also be heavy for their size.  Avoid ones that are soft, wrinkled, or pale in color.  Store as you would a lemon.

Onions — Should be slightly flat in shape and firm to the touch.  The top should be shriveled and brown.  Avoid ones that are wet or show signs of molding.  Store at room temperature.

Oranges — As with other citrus, they should be heavy for their size, either bright orange or slightly green.  They should be firm, yet yield to pressure.  Avoid oranges that have discolored, sunken, or wrinkly patches.  Store as you would lemons or limes.

Peaches — Choose ones that are firm, with a rosy blush to their coloring.  Stay away from ones that have a greenish color or ones with soft, brown areas.

Potatoes — Look for skins with a web-like texture on the skin.  A good potato should be firm with shallow eyes.  Steer clear of ones that smell bad (they’re rotting), or that are greenish on the inside (they could be poisonous) or that have sprouts (the sprouts are poisonous).  Store in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place.  Do not store them in the refrigerator.

Tomatoes — They should be firm, but should yield to pressure.  They should feel heavy for their size and have a deep, uniform red color.  Avoid ones that are soft, hard, or feel light.  Store at room temperature to ripen; store covered in the fridge to slow down ripening.

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