As warm days signal summer’s arrival, it gets harder to contain your excitement about all the tasty avocados and other fresh fruits and veggies just waiting to be discovered at the grocery store or local farmer’s market. If you have the tendency to turn market visits into a full-on shopping spree, you might need some tips to help you figure out how to buy in bulk and keep your delicious avocados and other produce fresh.
First, think about the meals you plan to cook during the week ahead and make a shopping list that reflects your actual needs. No doubt you’ll be tempted to buy whatever else looks fresh, delicious, and, fleeting in its seasonality, and that’s ok. Of course, one good thing about Avocados From Mexico, no matter the season, you’ll always find them fresh in your produce section. Just try not to buy more than you and your family can eat or preserve.
Every method of preservation results in some kind of nutrient loss, especially canning, so if you find yourself with more fruits and veggies than you can handle, consider freezing them in bags or containers instead. Proper storage will go a long way to ensuring you and your family get to really enjoy nature’s bounty.
Even when it comes to the avocados or other produce you’ll be consuming during the week, you’ll want to take care with how, where, and with what you store your fruits and veggies. First, consider ethylene, a gas given off as some fruits ripen.
Avocados are ethylene producers, along with other produce like apricots, bananas, cantaloupes, honeydew, kiwis, mangoes, nectarines, papayas, peaches, pears, plums, and tomatoes. This gas encourages ripening. In fact, this is why you can keep avocados in a paper bag if you want to speed their maturation.
Other types of produce don’t give off much ethylene, but are sensitive to it, so keep your avocados and other ethylene-producing fruits away from apples, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, eggplants, green beans, lettuce and other leafy greens, potatoes, squash, and watermelon.
Summer tree fruits (peaches, pears, plums, nectarines, apricots, cherries) and year-round tropical tree fruits like avocados all keep best on the counter until ripe. When ready to eat, move them to the fridge to keep them perfect for as long as possible. To keep avocados from ripening too quickly, put them in the fridge right away, and they will take longer to soften.
Tomatoes, along with onions and potatoes, should be kept in a cool, dry place outside the fridge, but not together! Berries should be kept cool and dry, so make sure not to wash them until just before you eat. Citrus fruits don’t need to be kept in the fridge as long as they are in a cool, dark place where they can breathe.
Leafy greens and herbs should be stored in bags that seal well, leaving a little bit of extra air for the best freshness. Fresh beans keep best in a plastic bag or reusable container in the crisper (drawers located at the bottom of the refrigerator), along with your unwashed summer squash/zucchini. And fresh sweet corn on the cob, is best stored in the fridge with the husk still on.
Now, go get shopping!