Lemons, Turnips, and Bok Choy – Oh My!

As the leaves change color and the days become shorter, remember that as we say goodbyecauliflower to summer produce like melon, corn, and tomatoes, it’s important to continue to fill your plate with a variety of produce in the fall and winter seasons. When you eat a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, you get a wide variety of nutrients! The fall and winter have a lot of delicious and nutritious options to offer us, including broccoli, celery, citrus fruits, and collard greens. [1]

Buying seasonally is cost effective because you’re purchasing from the abundance of the season’s produce. After purchasing, proper storage of your fruits and vegetables can extend their life and save you from frequent trips to the store! Stretch your dollar and extend your produce’s life with these tips for proper storage and care of certain fruits and vegetables:

  1. Ripeness: Most fruit will continue to ripen at room temperature! Putting it in the refrigerator stops that process. So if your bananas get to the stage of ripeness you like, and you can’t eat them all today, put them in the fridge to halt ripening. Bananas, stone fruits like avocados, apricots, and peaches, as well as tomatoes and citrus fruits can be loosely stored on your countertop, away from heat, sunlight, and moisture. [2]
  2. Refrigeration and Freezing: You can freeze most fruits and vegetables to extend their life and remove them for consumption or cooking at a later time. The American Heart Association recommends storing items like fresh herbs, lettuce and leafy greens, broccoli, and peppers in plastic bags with holes in your fridge to keep them fresh, and always refrigerate cut or peeled produce that you want to eat later!
  3. Pantry Storage: Specific produce requires storage in a cool, dark place like your pantry or cellar, including items including onions, garlic, shallots, potatoes, yams, watermelon, and hard squash!

The American Heart Association recommends eating eight or more fruit and vegetable servings every day to get the vitamins, minerals and fiber you need to live a heart-healthy lifestyle. Learn more about healthy eating, seasonal produce, and how to get more fruits and vegetables in your diet by visiting heart.org/heathlyliving.

 

[1] Seasons of Eating

[2] Storing and Preparing Produce

[3] About Fruits and Veggies

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