Whether you’re biting directly into a crisp pepper or tossing a cucumber into a Pearl and Johnny pickle kit, choosing the best veggies is key to making your food taste great. While you may be used to grabbing the first vegetable you see sitting in the supermarket, you may not be getting the best possible produce. It is important to learn how to select the best produce, so that you can get the most out of your purchase.
You deserve better than a spotty, old cauliflower or a soft cucumber. Let’s go over some of the best ways to choose the freshest, tastiest produce!
Use your senses
Choosing a good fruit or veggie is a bit like doing detective work – you’ll need to engage all of your senses to make sure you’re picking the right one! When you pick up a fruit or vegetable, examine it carefully. For a vegetable, you’ll want it to have a nice even color and firmness. Fruits, on the other hand, will probably be a bit softer depending on their ripeness. Check for any dark spots or signs of rot – depending how long the fruit or veggie has been there, they may be starting to decay. That being said, often times fruit and vegetables are picked early in order to keep them fresh in stores, so you should also check that the produce isn’t unripe.
Now it’s time to use your nose – does the produce smell fresh? You can usually tell pretty quickly if something is off! Be wary if a fruit smells too sweet, as this can sometimes be a sign of rot. For produce like melons and squashes, you’ll want to listen to the sound it makes when you tap it. For most melons and squashes, you’ll want to hear a nice hollow sound. If you don’t hear any sound at all, it may be a sign that the item is not yet ripe.
Don’t be afraid of “ugly” produce. The taste of fruits and vegetables are not necessarily impacted just because an item is misshapen. As long as the produce passes all of the ripeness and flavor tests, the aesthetic look of the fruit or veggie really doesn’t matter. Often times, you can get deals on the “uglier” produce since it tends to be passed over. Plus, you’re helping eliminate food waste when you choose the produce that others won’t.
Opt for organic
As much as you can, we suggest always going for organic fruits and vegetables. Why go organic? Here are a few main reasons:
- Fewer chemicals. Nonorganic produce often contains pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and a wide variety of other chemicals – most of which haven’t been tested for long term health effects! When you go organic, it means your produce will be highly limited in its exposure to chemicals.
- Better nutrients. Since the soil used in organic growing is treated better than usual soil, your produce gets to suck up more of those nutrients from the soil. One study found that organic foods contain 20-40% more antioxidants than nonorganic produce, which can be a huge boost to your health.
- Better taste. It may seem subjective, but once you’ve tried organic produce you’ll believe us. Those added antioxidants combined with organic growing practices like smaller crop yields make for a far tastier fruit or vegetable.
Looking for the best way to use that tasty veggie you just found? Check out our pickle kits! In our opinion, it’s the best way to get your daily dose of vegetables.