More Produce Tips & Facts
Produce Tip for the week: Kiwis.
- Payoff: 65 percent more vitamin C than a small orange has.
Produce Tip for the week: Mushrooms
- It’s recommended that mushrooms are only wiped with a damp cloth and then dried.
- Remove the stalks if they are mouldy or stringy or, if they’re in good condition, just cut them off at the base.
- If you feel that you must wash your mushrooms, do it quickly but don’t let them become saturated with water because they can become soggy and affect their texture when cooked. If you prefer your mushrooms crisp, take extra care when washing them.
- Peeling mushrooms removes many of the nutrients and changes their texture.
Back to School produce tips and facts: Apples
- The environment working group's (EWG) 2014 dirty dozen list includes apples, with 99% of apple sampled testing positive to at least 1 pesticide residue.
- Apples are fat, sodium, and cholesterol free.
- Apples are a member of the rose family.
- 25 percent of an apple's volume is air. That is why they float.
- Apples ripen six to ten times faster at room temperature than if they were refrigerated.
- Keep cut apples from turning brown by dipping them in a solution of 1 part citrus juice and 3 parts water.
- Apples are best eaten with the peel since most of the fibre and antioxidants are found in the apple's peel.
- Apples should be stored separately because they can make other food spoil faster. They let off gases (ethylene) which is a ripening agent and this could be why your other fruit in the fruit bowl doesn't look very good. Peaches and bananas are a few other examples of fruits that let off these gases.
Enjoy this fruit for your lunch and remember the tagline "an apple a day keeps the Dr away"
Because pears do come of age, there is the challenge of knowing exactly the point at which they are peaking in flavour. Eat one before it is ripe and they are crunchy, but with very little flavour. Eat one past its peak, and the mushy texture is difficult to overcome.
The key to selecting a perfectly ripe pear is to understand that as they ripen this process is happening from the inside out. What this means is that a pear will always be riper on the inside than it appears on the outside.
Most people select their pears when they appear perfectly ripe based on exterior hints such as colour change, softness, and smell. While these hints may initially appear very helpful, they can in fact be a bit misleading. Typically, when a pear seems perfectly ripe based on exterior symptoms, the inside of the pear is already past its peak and will often have a mushy texture with a slightly fermented flavour.
The best way to trust in the ripeness of a pear is to look to the stem end of the fruit. When this end yields slightly to gentle pressure the pear is ripe and ready to eat. At this point the pear may not seem ripe by traditional standards, but trusting "the stem end method" should yield some very tasty results. Even though the exterior of the fruit appears to be saying "wait a few more days", the inside of the fruit is screaming "I'm ready now!"
Hopefully this helps you pick the best of this fruit!
Produce tip for the week: Figs
Figs are indeed fragile but fortunately, perfection is not always necessary. :) Even if you find a slightly wrinkled, but still plump fig, go for it. And, even a fig with a slight split (as long as it is not leaking or oozing) will also be fine. A bit of bend at the stem and a slight weariness to the skin both indicate better ripeness and flavour. Avoid figs that look shrunken, are oozing from their splits, have milky liquid around the stem, are very squishy, or have any sign of mould. The smell of fresh figs can provide an excellent indicator of ripeness. If they smell sweet, they are ripe; if they smell sour, it is an indication that they may be spoiled or overripe.
Enjoy this delicious, but often rare treat this summer. You will not be disappointed.