The Smartest Ways to Buy and Store Summer Produce

by in In Season, June 26, 2014

apricots
How you pick and store summer fruits can mean the difference between mealy disappointment and juicy perfection.

Berries
Buying: Turn to these antioxidant-packed fruits for a burst of sweet-tart flavor and vitamin C. When shopping for strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, look for plump and well-shaped pieces that are brightly colored and firm.

Storing: Berries can be stored at room temperature for about 1 to 2 days. After that, get more mileage by keeping them in the fridge. Wash just before using and dry gently with a paper towel. Want to freeze berries? Use these tips.

Melons
Buying: Whether it’s watermelon, cantaloupe or a lesser-known variety like Sun Jewel or Casaba, melons boast vitamins A and C plus a wide array of cell-protecting phytochemicals. Look for melons that are heavy and have a firm skin. Wash the outside well before cutting to prevent outside germs from being pushed into the flesh by your knife.

Storing: Keep whole melon at room temperature for up to 1 week. Once sliced, store in the fridge in a sealed bag or container for 4 to 5 days.

Stone Fruit
Buying: Summer is the absolute best time for peaches, plums, apricots and nectarines. Pop them on the grill, add to salsa and salads or incorporate them into a batch of homemade frozen yogurt. When shopping, choose stone fruits that are firm and colorful and avoid pieces that are bruised or have broken skin.

Storing: Store on the counter for 2 to 3 days or, once ripe, in the refrigerator produce bin for 3 to 5 days (1 to 2 days for apricots).

Tomatoes
Buying: Look for heirloom varieties of these lycopene-filled delights and choose pieces that are bright and smooth and possess tight skin.

Storing: Whatever you do, don’t refrigerate. The chilly temp will ruin the flavor and sap the fruits of their juiciness. Simply keep tomatoes in a cool, dry place and savor every bite. Making and freezing homemade tomato sauce is just one way to hold on to tomato goodness for months after the season has ended.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

Similar Posts

Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

It’s the time of year where pumpkin fever sets in. Cans of pureed pumpkin and sugary pumpkin pie filling are flying off store shelves. And while...

Comments (5)

  1. [...] Stone FruitBuying: Summer is the absolute best time for peaches, plums, apricots and nectarines. Pop them on the grill, add to salsa and …read more [...]

  2. diane says:

    I find giving my berries a vinegar and water bath, then letting them dry before storing in fridge extends their shelf life immensely. I now do it to all my fruit, cuts down on mold spores.

  3. Nanci says:

    Peaches freeze beautifully by peeling, removing the pit and slicing into a container. Cover with orange juice, cover tightly and store in the freezer.

    • Sandy Longenbach says:

      Thanks Nancy
      My son bought a big case of peaches from the Amish and I must put them up. I never thought to put juice on them! Do you just eat them as a fruit desert afterwards?
      Sandy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>