Farmers Table

Summer is coming to an end. When I was a classroom teacher I LOVED my summers. It gave me over sixty days to relax, recenter, and get back on track with some healthy eating and exercise.

But now as an administrator, I have to work during the summer and fit all of that juicy relaxation and recentering into a week. With such a short period of time, last week, during my vacation, I focused on resurrecting a meaningful morning routine which included drinking a warm cup of water with lemon in the morning, listening to music, meditation, and finding things to be grateful for.  The other major piece of my staycation was “refreshing” how I ate. As part of Walmart’s Fresh Crew, I went on a tour of one of their produce sections and learned about what Walmart was doing to bring fresh produce to the communities it serves.

I learned a lot from the assistant manager and division supervisor. In addition to learning about their 100% Money Back Guarantee:Walmart allows you to get your money back if you’re not happy with the freshness of a fruit of vegetable at its stores. All you need to do is bring in your receipt.

I learned some very useful tips on what to look for when I pick produce in the summer and throughout the year. Here are twenty tips. (If you have not checked out my last post on how to store your produce in order to keep them from spoiling and you from wasting your money, click here.)

Summer Produce

Berries: should be plump and shiny (except blueberries, which look duller when ripe).

Cantaloupe/honeydew: should be heavy and sweet smelling.

Cherries: should be smooth and shiny (buy them ripe because they won’t continue to ripen).

 Corn: should be fresh-looking with a husk that’s tightly closed with brown tassels. Look for plump kernels.

Eggplant: should be shiny, smooth and heavy for their size.

Green beans: should snap easily. Look for a bright green color.

Peaches: should be slightly firm with a bit of softness, heavy.

Peppers: should be smooth, shiny, heavy and firm to the touch.

Squash: smaller is better (fewer seed and more flavor).

Tomatoes: should be firm and heavy for their size.

Watermelon: should be firm, should have yellow (not white) spot from where they ripened on the ground. The rind should be shiny and rough to the touch. Unripe melons have a hollow sound when you “thump” the top, while ripe melons have a dull thud.

Zucchini: look for small to medium zucchini with firm skin and free of cuts and bruises.

 Popular Year-Round Produce

Apples: should be firm and fresh. Look for a smooth skin that’s sweet-smelling and free of bruises.

Bananas: should be slightly green, firm, plump and free of bruises. Select ripe yellow bananas for immediate use and green bananas for later use (they’ll ripen on the counter).

Blueberries: should be firm and dry with a uniform dark purple color (they will look duller when they’re ripe). Avoid wet or leaky packages.

Grapes: should be firm (not squishy), clean and uniformly colored and shaped. Look for green stems for the freshest grapes.

Spinach: should be thick, fresh, crisp and bright green in color. Avoid slimy, limp or brown leaves.

Strawberries: smaller berries are more tender and sweet. Strawberries should be bright red with the caps intact. Avoid berries with soft spots.

Plums: should be heavy, uniformly colored and firm. Plums should give slightly to pressure.

Potatoes: should look clean, firm and smooth. Avoid wilted, wrinkly potatoes with bruised or green surfaces.

 **I am a compensated member of the Walmart Fresh Crew campaign. All opinions are my own.**

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