*For Peas and Lima Beans
Choose pods that are well-filled but not bulging. Avoid spotted, dried, yellow or limp pods.
Select long, slender ones for best quality. Should be dark or medium green but yellow ones should be avoided.
Avoid beans with dry looking pods. The ones with small seeds inside the pods are best.
*For Broccoli, Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts
Broccoli and cauliflower flower clusters should be tight and close together. Brussels sprouts should be compact and firm. Dirty, smudgy spots may indicate pests or soft rot.
Avoid black or brown gills. Caps should be closed around the stems.
Tips should be close and compact and stalks should be tender and firm. The more tender stalks have very little white. Asparagus toughens quickly, so use it right away.
*Cabbage, Head Lettuce
Avoid cabbage with worm holes and lettuce with discoloration or soft rot. Go for heads that are heavy for their size.
Avoid heads with leaves that are brown or separated. Look for compact, tightly closed heads with clean-looking, green leaves.
Tips for Buying Fresh Fruits
Cantaloupes are ripe when the stem scar is smooth and the space between the netting is yellow or yellow-green. Thick, close netting on the rind indicates best quality. Look for fully ripe with a fruity odor.
Watermelons are not ripe if they have white or pale green on one side. Look for yellow color on one side.
Honeydews should not be whitish-green. Look for the rind to have a creamy to yellowish color and velvety texture.
Avoid stained containers indicating wet or leaky berries. If you see clinging caps in blackberries and raspberries, they may be unripe. Strawberries without caps may be overripe. Go for plump solid berries with good color in general.
Purchase slightly green and allow them to ripen at room temp. The skin should be free of bruises and black or brown spots at the store.
*Oranges, Lemons and Grapefruit
Oranges with a slight greenish tinge may be just as ripe as fully colored ones. Lemons with light or greenish-yellow color are more tart than the deep yellow ones. Avoid citrus showing withered sunken or soft areas. Go for those heavy for their size. More juice is usually in ones with smoother, thinner skins. Most skin markings do not affect quality.