Fruits & Vegetables

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Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for the Whole Family

Introducing Anjou Pears

Anjou Pears

Green D’Anjou (Anjou) pears are recognizable for their egg-shaped appearance; they have a larger spherical lower portion that begins a gradual taper above the mid-point to a narrower rounded top. Additionally, they are recognizable because their skin color is bright green, and sometimes has a soft red blush.

The Anjou is truly an all-purpose pear. They are juicy when ripe, and their subtle sweetness hints at a refreshing lemon-lime flavor. Their dense flesh holds up well in heated applications like baking, poaching, roasting, or grilling. They are also delicious when sliced fresh in salads or eaten as an out-of-hand snack.

Ripen Anjou pears at room temperature. Once ripe, you can store them in the refrigerator, where the ripening process will be slowed for a few more days.The most important thing to know about Anjou pears is that they DO NOT change color as they ripen; they will remain green even when fully ripe.

Harvest for Green Anjou pears begins in the fall and they arrive in produce departments in late September.

Uses: Fresh, Baking, Cooking, Poaching, Beverages, Salads, Anjou pears can be served in desserts and appetizers, but also make a great addition to savory dishes (such as pizza) as well.

Storing Pears: If the pears are ripe, they can be utilized right away or refrigerated to slow further ripening. If they need to be ripened, the one thing you need to do is leave them at room temperature.  Some people place them in a paper bag to help them ripen faster. Be sure to check them daily so they don’t get overripe. Once they are ripened, pears will generally keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. Unripe fruit can generally be kept for a week or more, however, pears will not ripen properly inside the fridge.

Ripening Pears: Pears are a unique fruit in that they ripen best off the tree. As such, pears are transported when they’re fully mature, but not always ripe. This assures that pears you buy are in good condition to properly ripen them at home after you buy them. Pears need to ripen at room temperature, so leave them on the kitchen counter or on the dining room table. Placing your pears in a paper bag will help them ripen faster. Be sure to check them daily so they don’t get overripe. Add apples or bananas to speed up the process, as ripening fruit naturally gives off ethylene, so more ethylene in the air around the pear will help speed ripening. Place ripe pears in the refrigerator to slow further ripening. Because they ripen from the inside out, the best way to check for ripeness is to “check the neck.” To do this, gently press near the stem with your thumb. When it gives to gentle pressure it is ripe, juicy, and ready to eat. If you wait until the pear is soft around the middle, then it will be overripe.  

Mandarins and Oranges

Give Thanksgiving a Citrusy Twist

What’s the difference between mandarins and oranges?

While both are citrus, orange-colored, and grow from trees, oranges tend to be larger and tarter with a thick skin that’s often tough to peel. Mandarins are much smaller, sweeter, and generally easier to peel.

How do I pick the right ones?

When your mandarins are completely orange with no green left on the skin and soft to the touch when held in the palm of your hand, they are ready to enjoy.

How can I use mandarins and oranges this season?

One of the best ways to enjoy either fruit is simply to peel it and eat it, but you can also use citrus to add depth to some of your favorite Thanksgiving recipes. Add a touch of sweetness to savory dishes or brighten up salads and desserts. You can add mandarins or oranges to your fruit salad, cranberry sauce and stuffing. The juices can help enhance the flavor of your turkey, too.

Gobble Gobble? Oh Yes!

Celery, sage and onions…mmm, you can almost taste the holidays! But pink ladies, portobellos and leeks? This isn’t Thanksgiving at grandma’s! Add a savory-sweet twist to your stuffing and turn this year’s bird into a cornucopia of flavor.

FAQs & Fresh Tips

How do I keep produce fresh?

Follow these tried and true tips for keeping fruits and veggies at their freshest:

Apples: Apples should be stored in the crisper drawer for maximum crispness for 7-10 days. They can be stored in a cool location out of the refrigerator for 4-7 days.

Avocados: Store ripe avocados in a crisper drawer in the fridge for 2-3 days. To ripen avocados, store out of refrigeration next to bananas for 2-4 days until the avocado gives to gentle pressure.

Berries: Store unwashed in the original container in the fridge for 2-4 days.

Cabbage, Broccoli, & Cauliflower: Refrigerate, quartered, in sealed containers, or uncut in a crisper drawer for 3-7 days.

Celery: Cut into stalks and submerge in water in the refrigerator for 7-10 days.

Citrus: Store on the countertop for up to a week.

Carrots & Baby Carrots: Remove leafy greens if applicable. Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to 2 weeks.

Leafy Greens: Remove and discard wilted or discolored leaves. Refrigerate unwashed, sealed in plastic zipper bags, for 3-5 days.

Onions & Garlic: Store in a ventilated space, on the counter in a paper bag, or in a basket for 2-3 weeks.

Pears: Pears should be stored out of refrigeration for 3-5 days until ripe. Ripe pears can be stored in the refrigerator for an additional 2 days.

Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes: Store in a cool, dark place with relatively high humidity and air circulation for 2-3 weeks.

Tomatoes: Store ripe tomatoes upside down on the counter for 3-5 days away from bananas. Avoid storing in the refrigerator as this diminishes the eating experience.

How do I clean fresh produce?

Even in squeaky-clean environments, produce can become contaminated. Protect yourself (and your favorite people) from becoming sick due to airborne ilnesses, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA):

  • Wash your hands prior to preparing fresh produce.

  • Cut out and remove damaged or bruised areas of produce.

  • Rinse produce before peeling to prevent bacteria transfer from the fruit to the knife.

  • Gently rub produce under warm water to clean it. (Don't use soap or produce wash.)

  • To clean produce like melons or celery, use a clean vegetable brush or toothbrush.

  • Dry produce with a clean cloth or paper towel to remove residual bacteria.

  • Remove the outermost leaves of cabbage or lettuce prior to food prep.

For more information, please visit https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/7-tips-cleaning-fruits-vegetables

How do I get rid of fruit flies?

Tired of buzzing hordes hovering over your gorgeous produce? Battle bugs with these five, simple tips:

  • Throw out overripe produce.

  • Store fruits and vegetables away from open air.

  • Clean up sweet, sticky spills right away.

  • Take out the trash regularly.

  • Make a fruit fly trap: Leave out a bowl filled with vinegar (or stale beer) and 3 drops of dish soap to drown the fruit flies.

What fruits can dogs eat?

Fruits are naturally filled with nutrients and vitamins. Offer dogs fruit in small, bite-sized pieces to avoid choking. Pureeing, chopping, and steaming in advance will help with digestion. Here are some of the fruits that dogs can safely enjoy in moderation:

 

  • Bananas

  • Blackberries

  • Blueberries

  • Cranberries

  • Cucumbers

  • Kiwi

  • Mangoes

  • Oranges (Peeled)

  • Peaches (Pitted)

  • Pears

  • Pineapples

  • Pumpkin

  • Raspberries

  • Strawberries

  • Watermelon

 

Fruits to AVOID feeding your dog:

 

  • Apples

  • Apricots

  • Avocados

  • Cherries

  • Dates

  • Figs

  • Grapes

  • Lemons

  • Limes

  • Plums

Be aware that fruit contains sugar, which can affect dental health and weight. If you have any questions about what diet is best for your dog, consult your trusted veterinarian.

What vegetables can dogs eat?

Veggies are among man's best food friends, and they're good for your pooches in moderation. Gently steam, blanche, or puree veggies prior to feeding them to your dog (or cut into small pieces to avoid choking). Don't add oils, sauces, toppings, or spices (which can be harmful). Here are some vegetables dogs can safely enjoy in moderation:

  • Cabbage

  • Carrots

  • Celery

  • Cucumbers

  • Beets

  • Broccoli

  • Brussels Sprouts

  • Butternut Squash

  • Green Beans

  • Kale

  • Peas

  • Peppers

  • Potatoes (fully cooked)

  • Canned Pumpkin

  • Sweet Potatoes/Yams

  • Spinach

  • Zucchini

Vegetables to AVOID feeding your dog:

  • Asparagus

  • Corn on the Cob

  • Leeks

  • Mushrooms

  • Onions

  • Garlic

  • Rhubarb

  • Tomatoes

If you have any questions about what diet is best for your dog, please consult your trusted veterinarian.

How do I choose fresh fruits?

When buying fresh produce, for the most flavorful, produce with the greatest nutritional value: use your senses. How does the item look, smell, and feel? Keep these things in mind when picking the perfect produce:

How to choose fresh fruit:

Apples: Look for good color that's firm to the touch. Avoid fruit with bruising or soft spots.

Bananas: Pick for yellow for consumption today or tomorrow, choose light green to enjoy in 2-3 days. Choose bananas that are blemish and bruise free.

Berries: Look for bright, firm, plump, smooth fruit. Always avoid fruit that’s dull or shriveled.

Citrus: Look for bright, firm, plump, smooth fruit. Always avoid fruit that’s dull or shriveled.

Grapes: Choose tender, plump, well-formed clusters with green, pliable stems.

Kiwi: Ripe kiwi give to slight pressure.

Mangoes: Choose solid and not too soft with smooth skin.

Melons: Look for symmetry and blemish free skin. Smell for a pleasant aroma. Avoid pockmarks, bruising, or shriveled skin.

Nectarines & Peaches: Choose plump, fairly firm fruit. Smell for a pleasant aroma.

Pears: Ripe pears give to slight pressure. Choose pears that are smooth and blemish free.

Pineapples: Choose fruit that's golden yellow in color. Ripe fruit will be slightly soft and have a sweet smell at the stem end.

Plums: Look for fruit that's plump that yields to minimal pressure. Avoid shriveled, hard fruit.