Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tips for Selecting Vegetables at the Supermarket

It’s frustrating to bring home fresh vegetables from the supermarket only to have them be less then ripe or overly ripe. To help you avoid this problem here are some tips for selecting the most common vegetables.

Onions- You want an onion to feel firm. The papery skins should be dry. Avoid onions that have soft spots or discoloration.

Peppers- Make sure the stem on peppers is bright green. You want firm bell peppers with tight skin.

Potatoes- Avoid potatoes that are soft or have wrinkled skin. Firm potatoes are best. You definitely don’t want to buy potatoes with sprouts, or a green tinge. The green is an indicator that it isn’t ripe yet. If possible, buy them individually because when buying in the bag you can get bad potatoes.

Corn- Looking at the outside of the corn cob you want tight, bright-green husks. The silk should be moist and a golden brown color. Avoid the dark brown silk. When you pull back the husk, you should see tightly packed, juicy kernels.

Cucumbers- If possible, don’t buy the waxed cucumbers. You will know it is waxed because it will have a shiny sheen and you can feel the wax. Cucumbers should be firm without wrinkles and soft spots. They can have variable color from light to dark green. The best ones are around 6 inches long.

Summer Squash- Whether you are selecting the yellow or green variety, choose squash that is about 5-6 inches in length. The bigger it is the more watery and fibrous it becomes. You want firm, smooth, and shiny squash.

Lettuces- Most people do quite well selecting lettuce. Avoid the brown, wilted lettuce.
Beans- You want firm, spot free, wrinkle free, bright pole beans. When you bend them they should snap.

What other tips do you have for vegetables that I have not included?

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