Practical Shopping, Preparation, Cooking, and Storage Tips
Follow these practical tips and tricks on how to pick up the best choices, bring out more
nutrients, and extend the shelf life of your wholesome superfoods.
- Choose only fresh produce that is not bruised, wilted, browned, or show any signs of damage.
- When selecting fresh-cut produce, such as a half watermelon or bagged salad greens, select items that are refrigerated or surrounded by ice.
- Go for locally grown organic produce that is free of pesticide and other harmful chemicals.
- Buy meats sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised animals that were not given antibiotics or growth hormone enhancers.
- Put fresh fruits and vegetables in a separate bag, away from meat, poultry, and seafood
products to avoid contamination.
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after preparing fresh produce.
- Do not wash soft herbs and mushrooms until right before they are used.
- Cut away any damaged or bruised areas on fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Wash fruits and vegetables under running water just before cutting. Nutrients may leach out of the vegetables and into the water if you cut them first before washing.
- Throw away any fruit and vegetable that looks rotten
- Keep the peel on if at all possible. Many of the important nutrients in vegetables are at
their highest concentration right under the skin.
- Do not wash fresh produce with soap, detergent, or commercial produce washes.
- Scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers, with a clean produce brush.
- Dry produce with a clean cloth towel or paper towel. This may further reduce bacteria
that may be present.
- Store fruits and vegetables separately. Some fruits release enormous amounts of the ripening chemical ethylene, which can speed up the ripening process and eventually spoil the vegetables around them.
- Before storing your vegetables, don’t forget to remove ties and rubber bands and trim leafy ends.
- Punch holes in plastic bags where you’ll store your vegetables to allow good air circulation
- Pack vegetables loosely in the refrigerator. The closer they are, the quicker they will rot.
- Unripe non-cherry stone fruits, avocados, tomatoes, mangoes, melons, apples, and
pears should be left on the countertop to continue the ripening process.
- Refrigerate bell peppers, grapes, citrus fruits, and berries. Bananas in particular ripen
very quickly, and will also speed the ripening of any nearby fruits.
- For fresh produce, RAW is the best way to go.
- Baking is the best option to take if you want your vegetables cooked. Study shows that baking doesn’t diminish the antioxidant and other nutrient content of vegetables as much as microwaving, roasting, frying, or girdling.
- In hot dishes, always add vegetables last so as not to overcook them, as it’ll strip them off of their valuable nutrients.