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How to pick and store the freshest veggies

There is nothing more frustrating than buying all your groceries for the week only to have something spoil a few days later. Pure Flavor® has taken the guesswork out of it for you and outlines what to look for when you are picking out fresh produce at the store, and how to take care of them when you get them home! That way you can enjoy your fresh fruits and vegetables, longer!

Regardless of what kind of produce you are purchasing, there are three main things to remember when shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables: consistency, color and texture. Each of these are important factors to look for when choosing your produce at the store to pick the best for your family. When it comes to consistency, greenhouse grown tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers are available 365 days a year with the same consistent quality in flavor, texture, and color. Look for the little logo that says “greenhouse grown” when choosing your produce! 

CUCUMBERS

We all crave that crunch when we bite into a cucumber and that only comes from a fresh one! When shopping for cucumbers, you want to pick the freshest and highest quality cucumbers available to preserve that crunch even longer– but how do you know which cucumbers are the freshest? 

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Color– All cucumbers should always be a vibrant, consistent green color. Do not pick cucumbers with long streaks of yellow as that can indicate that they are not perfectly ripe. 

Texture Choose cucumbers that are firm – not stiff but not too soft either. Long English Cucumbers will have ridges on them but no bumps. It is normal for smaller cucumbers like Uno Bites™ Nano Cucumbers to have small bumps on them.

Now that you know what cucumbers to pick, you’re looking to extend the freshness, flavor, and crunch of your cucumbers at home. Here’s how to get the most out of your greenhouse grown cucumbers. You can store your whole cucumbers for up to two weeks or cut cucumbers for several days. 

For Long English Cucumbers, make sure to keep the plastic film on that retains moisture, so they don’t dry out. For smaller cucumbers, like Mini CucumbersPoco Bites®, and Uno BitesTM Nano Cucumbers keep them in their packaging to extend freshness! You’ll want to keep your cucumbers in the fridge for optimal freshness but keep an eye on that temperature!  Cucumbers can experience a chilling injury at temperatures below 50 degrees. To avoid this keep them near the front of your fridge, in the crisper, or on the door. Store your cucumbers away from avocados, bananas, or melons to avoid excessive ripening. These fruits release gases that may cause your cucumbers to ripen faster than normal. When you are ready to eat, make sure you wash your cucumber in cold water but only when you are ready to eat them. 

TOMATOES

There is nothing better than a fresh juicy tomato! If you want to pick tomatoes that stay fresh and flavorful for longer there are a few key characteristics including color, texture, and consistency to consider. Don’t be afraid to handle the tomatoes in the store to feel for signs of damage. 

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Color Always look for bright, vibrant, and consistent colors when purchasing tomatoes. Vines should always be green and lush and not dried out. Avoid choosing any tomatoes with blemishes, bruising or dark spots. 

Texture – Select tomatoes that are firm, not soft, but not hard either. You should be able to slightly squeeze your tomatoes without damaging them. They should also feel heavy for their size. Snacking tomatoes in packaging like  Cloud 9® Bite-Sized Fruity Tomatoes and Juno® Bites Red Grapes Tomatoes should be smooth, and look plump with no wrinkles.

Packages– Always inspect packs to make sure they’re properly sealed and the product inside is consistent!

Tomatoes are one of the few fresh fruits & vegetables that should never be stored in the fridge, as it can affect their flavor & texture! If they are chilled, there is little flavor development, and they tend to become mealy. They should always be stored at a cool room temperature, on the countertop and away from direct sunlight until they are ready to be enjoyed. Tomatoes are sensitive to bruising so remember to store them on their own to avoid any damage to them. When you’re ready to eat your tomatoes, make sure to wash them gently with cool water. 

SWEET BELL PEPPERS

When you buy peppers at the grocery store, you want to make sure they stay fresh for at least two weeks! By following the few key characteristics when making your choice in the produce aisle you can easily ensure this. In addition to the tips for picking fresh peppers below, look for the little logo that says “Greenhouse Grown” to ensure consistent long-lasting quality.

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Color– Always look for bright, vibrant colors when picking fresh peppers at the supermarket. Each pepper should be one consistent color without any blemishes and the stems should be bright green. 

Texture- Whatever type of pepper you are choosing you want to choose peppers that look glossy, and smooth. The stems should be sturdy and bright green. Peppers like Aurora Bites Mini Sweet PeppersAurora Long Sweet Peppers and Sweet Bell Peppers should be unwrinkled, while Shishito Peppers’ natural texture appears to be more wrinkled. 

As soon as you get your peppers home from the grocery store, remove any excess moisture from them as it can cause them to spoil faster. Then store them in the bag they came in or a mesh produce bag in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator which allows airflow with other vegetables. Both steps will allow you to preserve the freshness of your peppers longer. When you are ready to eat the peppers, wash them with cold water to enjoy!

FRESH IS BEST

Fruits and vegetables always taste best when they are at their freshest! It doesn’t have to be complicated when choosing produce and storing it properly when you get home. Greenhouse grown vegetables are picked right before shipping out to your local produce aisle, so remember to always look for the words “greenhouse grown,” when you are shopping. With all these tips, your fresh produce should be perfect for snacking or added in to your favorite recipes, for at least a week or two once you take it home! 

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Thank you Pure Flavor®

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