My family loves fruit especially during the summer when it’s so abundant and full of variety. I was raised by my grandmother and she definitely handed down some wisdom. Here are some tips on how to pick the best fruit, keep them fresh longer, avoid waste, and how to reap the most flavor too.
– Let peaches, plums, apricots, pluots, plumcots, apriums soften in a closed paper bag on the counter until they are slightly soft. Store them in the fridge if you’re not ready to eat them up to delay the ripening process.
– To prevent mold in cherries, wash them only when you’re ready to serve.
– Like cherries, don’t pre-wash blueberries for storage. If you can’t eat them all, freeze them on a tray and then transfer to an air tight storage bag in the freezer.
Ripe cantaloupes and honeydew melons have a yellowish, creamy color. Watermelons have a creamy yellow spot on the underside (where it sat on the ground).
They are ripe when it gives slightly when squeezed. Sniff for a sweet aroma. My favorite is Champagne (honey mangoes). They are smaller and sweeter and less stringy. Snack on frozen ones if you don’t like peeling or cut it on either side, length-wise avoiding the pit and make checker crosses to open up into cut squares.
Let ripen at room temperature until the skin is yellow-orange, cut into chunks, and squeeze fresh lime to allow the acidity to enhance the flavor.
If you don’t like peeling, cut it in half width-wise and scoop it out with a spoon. With the golden variety, you can eat the skin and it is sweeter. Gold ones have twice as much vitamin C but green ones have more vitamin K. Variety is always your friend. Try kiwi berries too. They are grape-sized kiwis.
Look for deep green leaves and yellow skin. Cut them when they smell sweet. Serve chilled.
Keep then on the counter. If they are too ripe, never throw them away. Peel, chop, and freeze for smoothies, baking, or other desserts. Store away from other fruits and wrap the stem with plastic wrap if you don’t want them to ripen quickly.
The skin has half the amount of the apple’s fiber so eat them up.
For grapefruit, look for thin, smooth skin. The heavier, the juicier they are. I love Meyer lemons. They are sweeter and less acidic. I also enjoy Cara Cara oranges (pink-fleshed oranges), honey tangerines, satsumas, and Sumos (the larger variety).
I find that all of these fruit go well in salads to add some sweetness and flavor. They are delicious on their own as snacks, in oatmeal, smoothies, or frozen.
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~ Samantha Hua, Nutrition & Holistic Health Coach, San Diego, CA