The peak season is from July-September.
Look for red or yellow beefsteak, roma, cherry and grape varieties.
1 large tomato=1 cup
There are 40 calories per cup.
Health benefits–Tomatoes contain lycopene, which reduces the risk of cancer.
The best way to store them is to ripen and store unwashed at room temperature for 2-3 days.
The best seasonings for tomatoes are basil, oregano, scallions, garlic, chives and parsley.
Their peak season is from July-December.
Look for Seckel, Anjou, Bosc, Bartlett, and Comice. Also look for pears that are unblemished and have a light scent; the flesh should yield to pressure near the stem (which means the pears are underripe but will ripen in a day or two. Don’t buy pears with soft spots, scars and/or bruises. And don’t buy any that feel very firm to the touch (for this means that they’ve been refrigerated and will often taste ‘mealy‘).
1 pound=2 cups
There are 25 calories per ½ cup.
Health benefits-They contain vitamin K, which strengthens bones.
The best way to store pears is to let them ripen at room temperature, then refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Pears are best seasoned with cinnamon, ginger, allspice, anise, lemon and vanilla.
July-September is the peak season.
Look for yellow or green zucchini, pattypan or crookneck varieties.
1 pound=1 cup
There’s 50 calories per ½ cup.
The health benefits of squash are that it’s high in vitamins A and C (they both boost the immune system).
For the best way to store squash, wrap whole in plastic and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
The best seasonings for squash are oregano, tarragon, sage, thyme, onions and shallots.
The peak season is from June-September.
Look for calico, sweet hybrids, yellow and white.
1 large ear=1 cup
There are 75 calories per cup.
Among corn’s health benefits are that it’s high in dietary fiber (which lowers cholesterol).
The best way to store corn is to refrigerate in the husks in a plastic bag for up to 2 days.
Corn is best seasoned with chili powder, green onions, rosemary and marjoram.
Their peak season is year-round!
Look for: frisee, endive, arugula, romaine, Bibb and Boston varieties.
1 cup=1 serving
There’s 20-30 calories per cup.
Among the many health benefits of leafy greens are that they’re a rich source of folate (which prevents heart disease).
The best way to store leafy greens is to wash, dry and wrap in damp paper towels up to 5 days in the fridge.
The best seasonings to use are herbs, mustard, garlic, shallots and flavored oils.
The peak season is June-October.
Cling or freestone, Babcock, and Georgia Belle are the varieties to look for.
1 pound=2 cups
There are 50 calories per ½ cup.
Health benefits-The beta-carotene that’s in peaches helps reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
The best storage method is to ripen at room temperature; peaches will keep 2-3 days on the countertop.
Peaches are best seasoned with nutmeg, mint, vanilla, orange and lemon verbena.
Look for berries that have a vibrant color and are plump and firm. Raspberries should be bright red, blackberries should be black and shiny, and blueberries should have a silver “bloom.”
Do not buy containers of berries that have one or two moldy ones or berries that look wet. And also check the bottoms of the containers for stains; this is a sure signal that the berries are mushy.
Look for bananas that are plump and bright yellow. The stem should have a firm touch (which means the bananas aren’t ripe yet, but will be in a day or so).
Don’t buy bananas that have black spots (they’re overripe). Brownish spots, however, are OK and won’t affect the flavor. If the bananas have a grayish tint, avoid them (this means they were chilled or overheated).