To Buy, Or Not To Buy: How to Pick Produce

As wonderful as it would be if we could always have our own fresh-grown produce, that just not a possibility for the vast majority of people I know. We have limited time, space, resources and seasonal cooperation. So, for those times when you have to go to the grocery store, here are a few tips on how to pick the best produce.

How to Pick Produce:

Bell peppers: Firmly (yet gently) rub your finger on the pepper. If the skin stays taught, then you have a winner. If it wrinkles, then it's probably a little older then you want.

How to pick peppers

How to pick peppers

Pineapples: Take a hold of one of the leaves and give it a tug. If it comes out with minimal resistance, then get it in your cart.

How to pick pineapple

Watermelon: I used to always look for the most picturesque and symmetrical watermelon I could find, and I might try knocking on it, not really knowing what I was listening for. Then I learned to go for the ugly ones: look for bee stings (speckley brownish spots) a sun-bleached side and a flat spot.

How to pick watermelon

Celery: Give it a sniff. The less celery-ish it smells, the better. Odorless is best.

How to pick celery

How to pick celery

Grapes: Give them a little squeeze. They should be hard. Really hard. I'm talking no give. And try it on several.

How to pick grapes

Oranges: The heavier it is, the juicier it will be; the juicier it is, the taster it will be.

How to pick oranges

Hopefully that'll get you started. If you know any other produce-picking tricks, please share in the comments; I'd love to hear them!


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Hi! I'm Felicia. I believe that food should be simple and the ingredients should be just that: ingredients. I also believe that balance and moderation are essential. So come to my kitchen, and let's make everyday family foods healthier. Or click here to learn more about me.