When we pick vegetables and fruits, we definitely want to get the best bang for our buck! Picking the freshest pieces and finding the best selection are super important. When our fresh items go bad before we expect, we’ve wasted money. Here’s how to tell if the produce you pick up at the grocery store is fresh and ready to take home:
Oranges Good oranges are firm, heavy and have a smooth texture all over. You don’t want oranges that are spongey or rough.
Peaches A nice peach is firm and plump. You want it to be yellowish-orange with a little red blush around it. If it’s super soft, don’t buy it!
Grapes The best grapes are tender, plump, firmly attached to the stems. Green grapes should have a slight amber blush near the stem. Bad grapes are brown in color, have a wrinkled surface and brittle
Grapefruit Don’t bother looking at the color. Look for heavy, thin-skinned grapefruits that are slightly springy. Avoid thick or rough skin.
Apricots Good apricots are firm and have a nice, solid amber color. Stay away from pale yellow or greenish colored apricots. Apricots that are too soft are no good!
Cherries Pick cherries that have new looking stems and a smooth, shiny surface. Bad cherries have dried steams and dull surfaces.
Cantaloupe Perfect cantaloupes have a delicate aroma, yellowish skin and a thick texture on the rind. Do not buy cantaloupes with a sweet and pungent aroma or those that have a soft rind.
Watermelon Good watermelons should be symmetrical in shape. They should have a cream-colored underside. Do not buy watermelons with cushiony spots.
Strawberries Deep, shiny red skins are what you want. Avoid blemishes or green spots.
Pineapple Watch for fruit that smells sweet at the stem and is heavy for its size.
Kiwi Good kiwi gives slightly when pressed. If it’s too hard, don’t buy it.
Papaya Choose fruit with a red-orange skin. Avoid green or hard papaya.
Plums The best plums are those that yield slightly to pressure. They should have a deep purple color and semi-soft tip. Rock hard plums should be avoided, as they won’t ripen.
Blueberries You’ll want to buy firm, dry and brightly colored berries. If they are dull or watery, pass them up!
Mangos Mango can be several different colors. The best way to test it is to grab a yellow fruit, and expect it to be slightly soft to the touch. It should have a ripe aroma at the stem.
Artichokes Choose globes that have tight leaves and feel heavy for their size. The leaves should squeak when pressed against each other.
Asparagus Good asparagus have closed tips and straight green stalks. Bad asparagus have open tips and the stalks are curved. This is the first sign of wilting.
Avocados Avocados feel slightly soft to the touch. Firmer avocados may be ripened at home, but avoid rock-hard ones. Also avoid avocados with cracks or dents.
Beets Pick firm beets with fresh stems and slender taproots. Avoid beets with wilted leaves, scaly tops, or large, hairy taproots as they may be older and more woody.
Bell Pepper A bell pepper of any color should have bright and glossy skin. They are firm and thick, while bad bell peppers have soft spots and shriveled surfaces.
Broccoli To pick a nice batch of broccoli, you want it to be firm. It should have closed florets and have a deep green color. Stay clear of broccoli that are yellow in color, with open florets and water-soaked spots.
Brussels Sprouts Choose firm, compact, bright green heads. Avoid sprouts with wilted or loose outer leaves.
Cabbages Firm, compact heads that feel heavy for their size are the best. Check that the stems are also fresh and compact.
Carrot Picking carrots is easy. Carrots that are firm and have a bright orange color are good. Bad carrots have a rough texture, soft and have green roots.
Cauliflower Choose heads with tightly packed, creamy white florets. Avoid yellowed, spotted, or flowering florets.
Celery You want firm, unblemished stalks. The stalks and leaves should be green, not yellow.
Corn Pick corn with bright green husks and moist but not slimy silk. Peel back the husk to ensure the kernels are plump and not dry.
Cucumbers Choose cucumbers that are uniformly green (not yellow).
Eggplant You want an eggplant that is shiny, heavy for its size and firm. A slight bounce back will indicate a great piece of eggplant. Don’t bother with the ones that are dull or lightweight.
Garlic Pick firm, plump heads. Avoid heads with soft spots or green sprouts.
Green Beans Slender beans that snap rather than bend are green beans you want. Avoid bulging or dried pods.
Lettuce, Spinach, and Other Leafy Greens Choose greens with fresh, crisp leaves. Avoid any that are wilted or slimy.
Peas You’ll want crisp, green pods. Avoid bulging, dried, yellow, or white pods.
Potatoes These should be firm, smooth potatoes. Avoid those with bruises, green spots, or sprouts.
Radishes Go for radishes with fresh, green tops and firm, unblemished roots.
Summer Squash The best squash has naturally shiny, taught, unblemished skin. Avoid squash that appear dull or have soft spots.
Sweet Potatoes and Yams Choose potatoes with firm, unwrinkled skins and no bruises or cuts, as they are highly perishable.
Tomato Good tomatoes are plump, smooth and have a rich red color. Bad tomatoes look shriveled and have blemishes.
Winter Squash Choose squash that have stems intact and feel heavy for their size. Avoid squash with cuts or soft spots.
Do you have any suggestions that we missed? Let us know in the comments!