When you go to the supermarket, the last thing you want is to bring home overripe fruits that are inedible within a day or two. Ideally, your produce will last until your next grocery run, or at least until you’re ready to dig in a few days later. Unfortunately, choosing the freshest fruits can be a challenging skill to master.
We’ve gathered some of our best tips to help find the freshest fruits so you aren’t throwing away apples after only a few days in your fridge.
Why you should shop in season
Before you head off to the produce section, make sure all the fruit on your list is in season. Fruits and vegetables have distinct growing seasons and are often more flavorful and fresh during their harvest cycle.
Today, it’s possible to buy apples in the spring or blueberries in the winter, but those aren’t the natural harvest times. Many chain grocery stores import their out of season fruit from halfway around the world and can reach their destination weeks after harvest.
While technology and agriculture do their best to locally grow products out of season, the fruits that are harvested at their natural time tend to be far fresher and more delicious. Additionally, when shopping for in-season fruit, you can purchase from local growers and support small businesses in your area.
What to look for in fruits
Once you have your seasonal list of fruits and vegetables, it’s time to fill up your shopping cart with all the good stuff.
Apples are in season during autumn, which falls between September and early December for most countries in the Northern Hemisphere. However, depending on where you live, you can still purchase juicy, ripe apples up until the end of May!
When looking for ripe apples, don’t focus too much on finding one with the shiniest skin, brightest color, or largest size. Many of these are qualities don’t always depict freshness, as many industrial farms enhance their products to look good for far longer than they taste good.
To find the perfect ripe apple, hold it in your hand. If it feels heavy for its size and firm to touch, it’s probably at its peak freshness. Avoid apples with bruising, tears, or discoloration, as apples with those characteristics become overripe much quicker than normal.
Strawberries are at their peak between June and August. When choosing the freshest strawberries, look for packs with bright red coloring that extends to the stem. If you can, touch the strawberries to ensure they are neither mushy nor too hard. Avoid strawberries with discoloration, and keep an eye out for molding as this fruit is particularly prone to mold.
If you’re a banana fan, you’re in luck: bananas are a year-round fruit. When picking fresh bananas, it’s more about preference than it is freshness. Bananas are great whether they are bright green or deep yellow. Some people even prefer bananas that are turning brown, which are especially good for baking.
The more yellow and brown the banana is, the sweeter and softer it is. If you want your bananas to last a while on the kitchen counter, purchase green bananas that will ripen over time to reach their signature bright yellow color.
Add blueberries to your grocery list between June and August, so you can spend your summer enjoying blueberry pie, pancakes, and lemonade.
When choosing fresh blueberries, look for plump, indigo-colored berries that are covered in a light frosty shade and have taut, rather than mushy, skin. Unlike bananas, blueberries that aren’t quite ready will not ripen over time, so don’t pick up any packs with reddish and green-colored berries.
Like blueberries, mangoes are also in season during the summer. If you’re ready to eat your mango within the next day or two, choose a mango that is red in color with splotches of yellow. The skin should be soft and easily broken with a bit of pressure. If you’re planning to enjoy your mango at a later date, grab one that’s mostly green with red splotches and has slightly firmer skin.
As long as you understand what fruits are in season and when you plan to eat them, you’ll be buying the best fruit from the supermarket in no time.
Disclaimer: BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring.
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