Of late the habit of buying Vegetables and Fruits and stocking them up in the Refrigerator is on the rise.
This is dangerous as Fruits and Vegetables also have expiry date.
The chemicals used include Carbide and Ethylene gas.
These are highly toxic and may even cause death in extreme case, minimum damage is stomach upset and Diarrhea.
It is better to buy afresh daily than stocking up in the Refrigerator.
Some tips to buy Vegetables and Fruits.
Cabbage leaves should be firm. When selecting, choose only the heads that are compact and firm. They should have fresh, crispy leaves that do not contain any markings or browning, which may be an indication of worm damage. The head should only contain a few loose outer leaves.
The coloring of the leaves should reflect the variety you are purchasing. In general, the darker green the leaves the more flavor they have. The stem should be trimmed and look fresh, not dry and cracked. Avoid purchasing precut or shredded cabbage. Once the cabbage is cut it begins to lose its vitamin C content, even if it is tightly packaged or well wrapped.
When purchasing carrots, look for firm, plump carrots without rootlets. They should be small, bright orange and smooth, without cracks. Buy carrots in bunches, with their leafy green tops still attached. Carrots lose moisture through their leafy green tops, so if you purchase them this way, remove the tops before wrapping carrots in plastic and storing. Instead of throwing away the tops, which are full of nutrition, try adding them to soups or chopping them and adding to your salads.
Storing fresh carrots: Carrots keep will for weeks in the refrigerator, although you will sacrifice sweetness and flavor if stored too long.
When purchasing cauliflower, look for a clean, creamy white, compact curd in which the bud clusters are not separated. Spotted or dull-colored cauliflower should be avoided, as well as those in which small flowers appear.
Heads that are surrounded by many thick green leaves are better protected and will be fresher. As its size is not related to its quality, choose one that best suits your needs.
Smaller, immature eggplants are best. Full-size puffy ones may have hard seeds and can be bitter. Choose a firm, smooth-skinned eggplant that is heavy for its size; avoid those with soft or brown spots. Gently push with your thumb or forefinger. If the flesh gives slightly but then bounces back, it is ripe. If the indentation remains, it is overripe and the insides will be mushy. If there is no give, the eggplant was picked too early. Also make sure an eggplant isn’t dry inside, knock on it with your knuckles. If you hear a hollow sound, don’t buy it. NOTE: Whether or not there is an appreciable difference, I don’t know.
When selecting garlic, it should be big, plump and firm, tight silky skins with its paper-like covering intact, not spongy, soft, or shriveled. Why buy small ones that are a pain to peel? As with all ingredients for cooking, buy the best garlic you can afford.
Fresh garlic is readily available year round. Garlic is available in forms other than fresh, such as powder, flakes, oil, and puree.
Also remember that a single bulb of garlic usually contains between ten and twenty individual cloves of garlic. The individual cloves are covered with a fine pinkish/purple skin, and the head of cloves is then covered with white papery outer skin.
Here’s how one buys Fresh Fruits.
|Fruit||Fruits to choose:||Fruits to avoid:||Tips:|
|Apples||Firm, well-colored, feels crisp; scald (tan spots) is okay, hardly affects the taste.||Shriveled, bruised, yields
slightly to pressure, or lacks color.
|Store in perforated plastic bag in refrigerator. Apples soften fast if left at room temperature.|
golden-orange and uniform in color, yields slightly to pressure.
greenish-yellow, very firm; Overripe: soft, mushy, dull-looking.
|Ripe: store in refrigerator for up to 1 week. Unripe: ripen in closed paper sack at room temperature.|
|Avocados||Slightly soft when pressed if want to use at once; firm if want to use in 3-5 days.||Cracked, broken, or patched with sunken spots.||Ripe (soft): use immediately. Unripe: ripen at room temp. for 3-5 days or until soft. Refrigerating slows down ripening process.|
|Bananas||Firm, without bruises or other injury; tasty when peel is specked with brown.||Bruised, discolored, or grayish
(exposed to cold and won’t ripen properly).
|Ripen green bananas at room temp. May refrigerate, uncovered, for a few days once ripe. Peel will turn
black, but banana still tastes good. Green tipped fruit is not ripe.
|Blueberries||Plump, firm, deep blue berries with their natural waxy silver coating; dry, uniform.||Mushy, soft, or leaky berries or
ones with leaves or stems still attached.
|Store in a loosely covered,
shallow container in refrigerator for up to 10 days.