- When buying: They should be green in color some have a bit of purple which is fine. Make sure that the leaves are close together and firm. Look out for widen leaves and blackening or dark tones on the steam, those are indications that they are not fresh.
- Refrigerate unwashed in plastic bag up to a week.
- Did You Know? Artichokes have great medicinal properties. They strengthen liver and gall bladder function, aiding digestion. They also help lower cholesterol!
- When Buying: They should be bright green, straight as well as firm. Look out for: tips (the head) should closed and dry. Wet tips can be an indication that they are going bad. Also make sure that the ends aren’t woody looking.
- Store them in the fridge for up to 3 days or as long as they don’t have the characteristics that I told you to look out for, written above.
- Did You Know? Asparagus are not only low calorie but rich in folate (which helps protect against heart disease) ,potassium, and Vitamin C. According to Reader’s Digest “..six spears contain some 135 micrograms (μg) of folate, almost half the adult RDI (recommended daily intake), 20 milligrams of potassium,”.
- When Buying: Beets are sold with the leaves as pictured and without. If the leaves are attached look for the ones with the freshest, crisp, green leaves. If not then make sure they are firm and that the skin is smooth as well as dark in color. The smaller the more flavor. Look out for wrinkled skin or soft which are indications that they are old.
- Store in refrigerator in a plastic bag. Make sure to poke holes in the plastic bag to keep it at its freshest. If the leaves are attached cut them off leaving at least 1/2 inch of stem on the beet, before storing.
- Did You Know? Beets are loaded with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C. Drinking beet juice eases constipation, helps cleanse the liver, fortifies the health of blood (due to its fine quality of Iron), and helps prevent varicose veins.
- When Buying: They should be firm, deep red, and green, fresh leaves if they are attached. Look out for: If the leaves have been trimmed, check that the ends arenot spongy or soft, those are indications that they are old.
- To store place in plastic bags, with leaves if still attached, in the refrigerator, up to 2 weeks, or until they become limp.
- Did You Know? Rhubarb can ease constipation and has been used for at least 5,000 years for this purpose. You can clean burnt pots and pans by adding an application of rhubarb and ease your pain by bringing back the shine to them (honestly, I haven’t tried this yet, but I found this through research.. will put it to the test soon).
- When Buying: They should be plump, red, and shiny. Look out for: Bruises, dry or browning in the green cap. If sold in a clear plastic container, I always also make sure to pick up the box and look at the strawberries at the bottom, making sure that there aren’t any rotten ones, which can quickly spoil the batch.
- When storing make sure to keep them unwashed. They are highly perishable so try to eat them asap or store for up to 3 days.
- Did You Know? Strawberries are the only fruit with its seeds on the outside (about an average of 200 seeds). They are rich in Vitamin C, folic acid, potassium and fiber. They are the first fruit to ripen in spring.
- When Buying: Cherries this season either come as depicted here, red, and those that are yellow and pink (aka Rainier Cherries). With both types make sure that they are firm to the touch and shiny. Look out for: bruising ,which is easily seen in the yellow and pink variety, and in the red look for darker spots (if the color is not uniformed), this is an indication that they are not optimal.
- Place in refrigerator, unwashed, in a bowl or a plastic bag, for a up to 2 days if they don’t have stems (those having the stems will typically last longer) . If stored in plastic bag either leave the bag open or poke holes in the bag.
- Did You Know? Cherries have strong anti-inflammatory properties. According to the California Cherry Advisory Board website “20 cherries are 10 times as potent as aspirin and have positive effects on gout and arthritis pain.”