Venturing into the produce aisle is a completely different experience than shopping in the rest of the grocery store. Beautiful colours, very little packaging and almost no nutrition facts tables to worry about. So where is the confusion? What should I buy? What do I do with it when I get home? And how do I prepare it?
What should I bu ray ban y?
The general rule is to buy what is in season. In the winter our choices are a little limited. Foodland Ontario only lists apples and rhubarb as being in season during winter. Other fruit you should stock up on are oranges, avocados and bananas. These, along with blueberries either fresh or frozen, are readily available in the winter and are usually flavourful. I tend to stay away from peaches, plums and most melons in the winter because I find them expensive and not very tasty.
You can also venture into the freezer aisle and choose plain frozen veggies that are ready to use or canned vegetables or fruit. For canned vegetables, choose low sodium option ray ban s; for fruit, choose those packed in water or 100 per cent juice.
What do I do with it when I get home?
I wash all the fruit and put it front and center so my family sees it first when they open the fridge or on my counter, depending on the type of fruit. Bananas and avocados go on the counter.
The vegetables have to be stored properly to extend their shelf lives. Most vegetables that are stored in the fridge don’t need to be washed until you are ready to use them. Keep them in perforated plastic bags and keep them in a separate dra ray ban wer from the fruit. Mushrooms, keep in the original packaging or paper bags. Lettuce can be washed and dried well and then stored in perforated plastic bags for easy use. Potatoes, whole squash and onions should be kept in a dark dry cupboard.
How do I prepare them?
One of the reasons for not experimenting with vegetables might be that you don’t know how to prepare them. Each month the H ray ban eart and Stroke Foundation’s Health Check team will feature one vegetable or fruit and provide both nutritional and practical information. Heart and Stroke Foundation and Health Canada have also produced a series of seasonal recipes that include lots of veggies and fruit. Check back in March for the spring batch.
As the weather gets warmer, the choices of vegetables and fruit will expand substantially. Have veggies and fruit at each meal and snack. Half your plate should contain veggies and fruit.
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