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How to pick and store fresh fruit

July 21, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
One of the best ways to ensure freshness is shopping the farmers market each week so you know your produce is local and more than likely will have more of its nutrients intact.If you can't, look for locally grown fruit at your local market, then remember these tips to choose and store.

You want deep blueberries with a silvery coating. Tilt the container back and forth to check to see if the berries are all able to move freely. Remove any soft or moldy berries. Store the rest in the clamshell container as air circulates through the holes.

When it comes to grapes you want the dark and rich looking. Take a good hard look at the stem for mold and soft spots as that area will decay first. Keep the bunch intact and wrap in a small kitchen towel in a plastic bag with holes in it. You can then store in the crisper up to 10 days.

Cherries, like grapes, should be a dark red. Check to see if their green stems can bend without breaking, that's a test of freshness. Store them in a small kitchen towel or a paper towel and they can stay in the crisper for up to three weeks.

It's tough to tell how ripe a watermelon is with their thick green rind. But experts say a ripe one will have a creamy white or yellow spot where it rested on the ground growing. To store it, leave it on the counter whole for up to 5 days after you buy it. After cutting, cube and refrigerate leftovers in a covered container for up to a week.

Peach season is right now and you will want to go for the yellow peaches rather than white as the color of the fruit means more protective plant chemicals inside. A fresh peach will have a peach perfume smell to it and will hold up against a gentle squeeze. Store them in the crisper drawer away from other produce as they release a gas that can ripen other fruits far too quickly. But do bring them back to room temperature to eat so they are really juicy.

Don't wash your fruits until right before you're ready to eat them. That can really cut down on the growth of mold.

 

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