Summer’s Top 5 Produce Picks

July 09, 2014

Shopping for summer fruits can be overwhelming, Here are five of SupermarketGuru’s favorites. And yes, avocado is a fruit!

Summer is one of the best times to enjoy fruit; there are so many ripe choices and flavors making it a fun and delicious time of year. Here are SupermarketGuru’s 5 tips and top summer fruit picks.

Choosing the best fruit means avoiding brown spots, dents or bruises in apples and soft dimpling in citrus fruits. All should feel heavy for their size. Let’s head to the produce department or farmer’s market and talk summer specifics.

Avocados come in seven varieties, each with a slightly different size and shape, although most are pear-shaped. Unripe, the skins are a rough green, and turn black to indicate ripeness. The pulp is buttery and creamy, easy to digest, and is one of the few fruits that contains saturated fat (although it has no cholesterol and is loaded with other healthful nutrients, vitamins, and minerals). California produces much of the world’s supply, year-round. Store at room temperature until they ripen; refrigerate if not using within one or two days of ripening.

Berries are very vulnerable to moisture, which causes mold. When purchasing, look at the top and the bottom of the package carefully to make sure you don’t see any mold. Buy in small quantities, eat promptly, and wash them only prior to eating, and very gently. Dry in paper towels then serve. Among the most popular berries are strawberries, blackberry, blueberries, marionberries and red or golden raspberries. Their flavors are best if unrefrigerated.

Melons have two ends, one where the stem of the fruit attached to the plant and the other where the blossom was. The blossom end is the important one in determining ripeness — it should move slightly when you press in your thumb and is where you should sniff for a whiff of sweetness. Major varieties are honeydew, Crenshaw, cantaloupe and watermelon.

Pineapples. Stumped about shopping for pineapples? One trick is to pull a green spike or two out of the top. If they don’t move out easily, the pineapple is not ripe. Or, if it has lots of sugar crystals or brown spots on the rind, it may actually be rotten. Again, the sniff test is the best indicator. It should definitely smell like a pineapple — sweet, light and exotic.

Kumquats are small football-shaped orange fruit that are entirely edible. Their skin is sweet and pulp is tart, so the combination is a little startling and satisfying. Limequats are round and have an acidic flavor (somewhat like the limes they are named after). They should look glossy, be firm, and be eaten at room temperature. If not consumed within two days, refrigerate them for up to two weeks. Bring to room temperature for best flavor.

SupermarketGuru's top tips: Be sure to make fruits a part of your diet, with two to four servings every day. Yes, they do contain sugar, but that is far outweighed by the fact that they’re full of fiber, vitamins and minerals. In other words, they’re a much more healthful alternative to sugary, nutrient void, desserts.

Summer means more fresh fruit for the picking, so enjoy!