This week I will not be sharing a recipe, but I don’t want that to stop you from sharing your recipes with others. So please share your recipes or any other tips or tricks that you may have to picking produce in the comments.
Before I started going to farmers markets and cooking season I knew nothing about picking out produce. I had no idea what to look for. I just knew that brown was bad and mold was bad! So I started to ask a lot of questions and do taste tests of the produce and I was able to start to know what is good for picking out apples or oranges or squash. Little by little I got better and it got easier to do.
One thing I noticed was that fresh produce is always crisper then the store bought produce that has been shipped across the country or in from some foreign place. This is a sign that is it fresh. The longer produce sits the softer it gets. This is also the case for the produce that is supposed to be soft. If you think about things like banana’s that are supposed to be kind of soft, when they are green they are usually tougher and harder then when they ripen completely. This is a sign that the produce has just been picked and is fresh for you to eat.
Secondly, I have noticed that fresh produce smells…. well fresh. It smells better. The other produce isn’t a bad smell but the next time you go to a farmers market where you know the produce is really fresh, smell the produce. You may feel a little funny, but others really wont care because a lot of people do it at farmers markets. Just smell it and you will be able to smell what the fruits and vegetables will taste like when you take it home and cook with it.
Lastly, Ask those who are selling it when it was picked and how it was brought in. Some produce gets picked and put into cold storage so the store can have it for a while. Those types of things are preserving the fruit yes, but not the nutrients of the produce. So even though it may seem pretty fresh, it may be not as good for you as it seems to be. Asking those around you is key in finding the freshest produce and picking the healthiest produce.
Remember that this is your money, you are buying the stuff, so you have a right to know everything about it you want to know. So don’t be afraid to ask questions of the produce person or the person selling it at the farmers market. They want you to buy it just as much as you want to buy it and they want you to be happy so you will keep coming back to them for more. Be bold and get what your family needs!