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Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt January 10, 2016
FOR US WOMEN, it seems as if we have
everything to do and very little time in
which to do it. When the rush is on, it is
quite possible that you may just grab
whatever your hands land on when shop-
ping for fruits and vegetables. While this
is common, it is not common sense since
your money is being spent and you do
want healthy, great tasting meals for your
family. We urge you to take your time and
examine your fruits and vegetables when
shopping. Here is how you select the best
fruits and vegetables:
• Asparagus: A rare treat here in T&T, but
they do turn up in the occasional recipe.
Remember they're imported, so more
prone to spoilage. The stalks on these
should be brightly coloured, smooth but
firm. The tips should be compact. Do not
go for stale-looking, limp produce.
• Avocados (Zaboca): We have been
seeing these quite a lot lately. Mom
bought one and when she took it home,
the entire thing was rotten on the inside.
When purchasing avocados, they should
be soft when you touch them. If you do
not plan to use it now, you can get one
that is a bit harder, but avoid extra hard
ones. Do not purchase any with cracks
and marks on them.
• Broccoli: These green fellows (and by
green I mean GREEN, please do not pur-
chase yellow broccoli) should have firm
stalks, lovely green leaves and tight flo-
• Cabbages: Ensure that they are firm,
with compact heads that feel heavy for
• Carrots: These should also be firm and
smooth. Ensure that there are no signs
• Cauliflower: Again, avoid purchasing
yellowing produce. Cauliflower should be
tightly packed with white florets.
• Celery: Celery should be green -- that
means NO YELLOW! Choose stalks
that are firm and green.
• Cucumbers: These should be firm and
green throughout (not yellow).
• Eggplants (Baigan): Shiny and smooth
skin will be the first few things to look
for. Lift them and they should feel
heavy for their size. Using a finger, press
gently, and once it gives you that
spongy feel and bounces back, it means
the eggplant is ripe. However, if the egg-
plant is overripe, the dent when pressed
will stay and will not bounce back.
• Garlic: When choosing garlic, look for
firm heads and not soft, mushy ones.
• Lettuce, spinach, and other leafy
greens: Crisp, fresh leaves that do not
appear wilted or slimy -- those are the
things you should look for.
• Onions and shallots: Stay away from
soft onions and shallots. Choose dry,
• Peppers: These should feel heavy for
their size, should not appear to be
melted, and should be naturally shiny.
• Potatoes: Avoid bruised potatoes with
green spots and sprouts. Choose those
that are firm and smooth.
• Tomatoes: Nobody likes wrinkles, so
stay away from them. Choose toma-
toes that are wrinkle-free and feel
heavy for their size. Don't buy soft ones,
• Apples: Shiny, heavy, deeply coloured
apples are what you should be looking
• Bananas: Brilliantly coloured bananas
without bruises and sores are the ones
you should purchase.
• Grapefruits: Lift the fruit. Does it feel
heavy for its size? Then that is the first
step. Now, is its skin smooth and thin?
Great! Does it feel firm to the touch, but
slightly springy? Then, you would have
selected the perfect grapefruit.
• Grapes: Heavy, firm, plump grapes
without wrinkles or sores are the ones
you should select.
• Kiwi fruits: When pressed, these
should bounce back just a little. They
should not be extra hard or extra soft.
• Lemons and limes: Like with grape-
fruits, these should be heaviest for their
size and fragrant. Avoid damaged-look-
ing lemons and limes.
• Peaches: While these should be firm,
they should be a bit soft to the touch.
Choose the ones that are brilliantly
• Pears: This time of year you will see
many of these in the markets and su-
permarkets in Trinidad and Tobago.
Avoid those that are bruised or getting
soft below the stem. Since most will be
hard (because they are picked before
fully ripened), placing them in paper
bags can speed up the ripening process
• Pineapples: These usually smell sweet.
Do not purchase those with sore or soft
• Strawberries: Stay away from yellow
or green strawberries. Choose the ones
that are red throughout and fragrant.
Many times, at the supermarket, there
are crushed, soft ones at the bottom of
the container, so look out for that too.
• Watermelons: These should be firm,
heavy, and sound hollow when tapped.
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