Fresh food matters. It nourishes so many parts of life.

HEALTH.
FAMILY LIFE.
FITNESS.
THE ENVIRONMENT.
ETHICS.
CULTURE.
Fresh food contributes to life in ways
that may surprise you — and that we're
pretty sure will inspire you to bring
more of fresh food's goodness into your life.

Fresh thinking from intriguing people
Notables from many fields talk about why fresh food matters to them.

A Little Dash of Indulgence
DAPHNE OZ A Little Dash of Indulgence
Daphne Oz TV Host, Bestselling Author

Fresh, healthy food can be fun, happy food. That’s a theme you’ll hear a lot from Daphne, a natural-foods chef, mother of two, co-host of ABC’s daily lifestyle show The Chew, and author of several books, including The New York Times bestseller Relish: An Adventure in Food, Style, and Everyday Fun.

"I eat everything," Daphne says, and she’s made a career of helping others achieve the elusive goal of balance by seasoning their healthful, whole-foods lifestyle with permission to indulge a little. The way Daphne sees it, good nutrition is easier to stick with if you don’t feel deprived.

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Fresh Food Saved My Life
RICHARD MORRIS Fresh Food Saved My Life
Richard Morris Food Producer and Author

Richard restored his health and lost over 150 pounds by cutting out highly processed foods and adopting a retro diet, the manner of eating his grandparents had followed on their farm. He and his family now live on a five-acre “foodstead” near Charlottesville, Virginia, where they produce most of their produce and meat. In addition to his own small-scale farming, Richard works for Polyface Farms, the influential sustainable farming operation in the Shenandoah Valley.

Richard tells “how I lost 150 pounds by ignoring the experts” in his book, A Life Unburdened: Getting Over Weight and Getting On with My Life.

The Girl With One Hundred Gardens
KATIE STAGLIANO The Girl With 100 Gardens
Katie Stagliano Hunger Fighter

This South Carolina teen is on a mission to end hunger one garden at a time. Her nonprofit, Katie’s Krops, provides grants to help youngsters 9 to 18 start vegetable gardens and grow fresh food for the needy. They now operate 100 youth-run gardens in 37 states, donating thousands of pounds of fresh produce annually through food pantries, soup kitchens, and direct gifts.

Katie started producing food to help others at age 9, when she grew a 40-pound cabbage for a third-grade homework assignment and donated it to a soup kitchen in her town.

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The Appeal of Real
LISA LEAKE The Appeal of Real
Lisa Leake Blogger, Bestselling Cookbook Author

When this wife and mother of two began a quest to cut highly processed food out of her family’s meals, it changed not only their life but the lives of countless others. Her quest led Lisa, her husband, and two daughters to a pledge: no processed food for 100 days. The pledge led to a blog, 100 Days of Real Food, intended for family and friends but that soon exploded into a nationwide phenomenon. A #1 New York Times bestseller, also titled 100 Days of Real Food, followed.

Through her blog and book, Lisa leads her millions of followers step by practical step to adopt not a diet but a real-food lifestyle.

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A Chesapeake Renaissance
RYAN AND TRAVIS CROXTON A Chesapeake Renaissance
Ryan and Travis Croxton Oyster Farmers

These cousins from Virginia never planned to reinvent oyster farming and, in the process, revive the ecosystem of the Chesapeake Bay. One was working in finance, the other in publishing when they inherited their grandfather’s oyster leases. As they learned about the critical role of oysters in the environment and how endangered the bay’s native oysters were, their modest plan to revive an old family business took on new life.

Hundreds of farms on the Chesapeake now practice versions of the sustainable aquaculture the Croxtons pioneered, helping restore wild oyster populations while providing cultured shellfish for home and restaurant tables.

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The Answer Was a Farm
DARON BABCOCK The Answer Was a Farm
Daron BabcockUrban Farmer

Daron says sheer defiance made him and his neighbors plant their first weedy vegetable patch on a vacant lot in Dallas’ inner-city Bonton neighborhood. Fresh food hadn’t been available there in decades. Shopping at the nearest supermarket cost three hours on the bus. Nutrition-related illness was rife. Miraculously, their hardscrabble garden burgeoned into a full-fledged urban farm, bringing food, jobs, and education to Bonton.

Daron left a career in private equity to move to the inner city and work side by side with his friends there. Bonton – the name comes from the French for “good times”– is seeing better days thanks to their efforts.

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The Renegade Lunch Lady
CHEF ANN COOPER The Renegade Lunch Lady
Chef Ann CooperChildren’s Nutrition Advocate

Ann gave up a career as a celebrity chef to work for safe, sustainable food for schoolchildren. Known as the Renegade Lunch Lady, she now serves as director of food services for a Colorado school district, consults with school districts nationwide on how to overhaul their food programs, and leads the nonprofit Chef Ann Foundation.

A four-time TED speaker, Ann is the author of several books, including Bitter Harvest: A Chef’s Perspective on the Hidden Danger in the Foods We Eat and What You Can Do About It and Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children.

Common Ground
DAVID FISHER Common Ground
David FisherFarmer

Nowadays, few are the family farms that can succeed by growing just one or two kinds of produce for the wholesale market. David represents a generation of entrepreneurial farmers who have adopted a retail model, cultivating not only a large variety of crops but also a personal relationship with local consumers. Farmer to consumer. No middlemen.

David worked for years in the film and TV industry, living mainly in Asia before returning with his wife, Ya, and their four children to the East Texas farm where David grew up. See more of the farm and meet the family at fisherfarmandranch.com.

Bee Supportive
TANYA PHILLIPS Bee Supportive
Tanya PhillipsBeekeeper and Educator

With her husband, Chuck, Tanya owns Bee Friendly Austin, a certified naturally grown apiary on the outskirts of the Texas capital. A dedicated advocate for the imperiled honey bees that are vital to our food system, Tanya teaches beekeeping classes and hosts the annual Tour de Hives, taking members of the public to bee locations around the Austin area.

You can find tips for supporting your local bees, shop for hives and other products, and even adopt a beehive at Tanya’s website, beefriendlyaustin.com.

Does This Taste Funny To You?
EMILY FLAKE Does This Taste Funny?
Emily Flake Cartoonist

Living in Brooklyn, that great incubator of trends, Emily finds abundant inspiration for poking fun at current culture, including food culture. Her cartoons appear primarily in The New Yorker. She also is the creator of the Lulu Eightball comic strip, which has been running in alternative weeklies since 2002.

Emily is the author and illustrator of two books, including most recently Mama Tried: Dispatches from the Seamy Underbelly of Modern Parenting.

See more of her work at emilyflake.com.

A Healthy Helping of Soul
ADRIAN MILLER A Healthy Helping of Soul
Adrian Miller Soul Food Scholar

A self-described “recovering attorney” and former White House staffer, Adrian turned his formidable research skills to matters of culinary history and won a James Beard Award for the resulting book, Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time.

Adrian gives talks around the country on topics where the cultural and the culinary intersect, such as chicken and waffles, kosher soul food, and the subject of his next book: black chefs in the White House.

See his schedule of live appearances at adrianemiller.com.

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Powered By Plants
TIA BLANCO Powered By Plants
Tia Blanco Professional Surfer

A lifelong vegetarian and a vegan since age 15, 18-year-old Tia finds that her plant-based diet provides more than enough energy and nutrition for the demands of daily training and competing on the international surfing circuit. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Hawaii and California, Tia learned to surf at age 3 and signed her first professional sponsorship when she was just 12.

Tia enjoys cooking for her family and experimenting with new ways to make vegan dishes delicious, often finding flavor inspiration in the cuisines of South and Southeast Asia.

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Harvest Haven
Joel Chesebro Harvest Haven
Joel Chesebro Assistant Corporate Chef and Gardener

There’s a growing trend in corporate America: growing vegetables. Sub-Zero and its sister brand, Wolf, were early adopters of the idea. Chef Joel oversees the two-acre organic garden on the company’s manufacturing campus near Madison, Wisconsin, in addition to his duties as head chef at the adjacent training center.

Joel’s background as a chef embraces everything from fine dining to street food. A Wisconsin native who spent his formative years living in Mexico, he has a knack for making exotic foods approachable and down-to-earth ingredients elegant.

The Unlikely Crop
Klaas Martens The Unlikely Crop
Klaas Martens

Our friends at The Atlantic have put a lot of thought into matters related to fresh food. They’ve been speaking to organic farmers whose crops and methods are having a surprising effect on the environment and local communities.

One of those farmers is Klaas Martens. The crops from his upstate New York farm, Lakeview Organic Grain, have won fans ranging from influential New York chef Dan Barber to Klaas’ neighbors in the ag community. Klaas enlists some unusual allies in his farming work – worms and fungi, just to name two.

Read his and other Unlikely Crop stories.

What's Fresh Right Now
Your guide to the best fresh produce of the
season and how to make the most of it, from our friends at Saveur.

Spring

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BOK CHOY
BOK CHOY

Bok choy is a vegetable with crisp, sweet leafy greens and juicy white stems. This mineral-rich relative of the Chinese cabbage packs an earthy taste and ample nutrients.

How To Buy

Look for crisp, bright-green leaves and a firm white stem. Avoid bok choy with dull, drooping leaves, yellow stems, or brown spots.

How To Store

Like other leafy greens, store bok choy in crisper in a loose or perforated plastic bag. Do not wash until directly before use.

How To Prepare

Wash with cold water and cut away the root at the base. Baby bok choy can be cooked whole or eaten raw. For mature bok choy, separate the stalks and leaves before cooking. (NOTE: Leaves cook quickly.) Recipes

BEETS
BEETS

This earthy, sweet vegetable grows in a multitude of colors and sizes. Both its bulbous root and leafy stalk are edible, making it a popular ingredient in raw and cooked dishes.

How To Buy

Beets should be firm, smooth, and blemish-free. Look for bright-green, perky leaves with no browning or wilting. If roasting whole, choose beets of uniform size.

How To Store

Cut the bulbous roots from the stalk. Store roots loose in crisper. Place leaves and stalks inside a perforated plastic bag prior to storing in crisper. Do not wash until directly before use.

How To Prepare

When cooking, leave the skin on to prevent juices from bleeding out (skins will slip off immediately after), and wear gloves to protect hands from color transfer. Recipes

MORELS
MORELS

Morels are a meaty, earthy-flavored fungus boasting woodsy aromas. Hollow from stem to crown, these mushrooms have rippled, honeycomb-shaped spores rather than a cap. NOTE: Never consume raw.

How To Buy

Look for fresh, plump mushrooms with cut ends that aren’t too dried out. Avoid bruised or softening morels, as they will rot quickly.

How To Store

Prior to refrigerating, remove any crushed or rotting fungi from the bunch. Store remaining morels in a paper bag inside the fridge.

How To Prepare

Do not clean until ready for use. Shake off any excess dirt, then wash in cold running water and blot dry with paper towel. Serve simmered or stewed with other spring vegetables. Recipes

CARROTS
CARROTS

This versatile vegetable can go far beyond the ubiquitous crudité platter. While the bright-orange variety is most popular, heirloom carrots range in color from white to yellow to purple.

How To Buy

Look for carrots that are smooth, firm, crisp, and rich in color (a flavor indicator). Avoid any with soft spots, discoloration, or sprouts from the root itself.

How To Store

Remove any leaves before storing, then place carrots in a perforated plastic bag in crisper. Avoid storing next to ethylene gas-releasing fruits such as apples, apricots, melons, and figs.

How To Prepare

Wash thoroughly with cold water, using fingertips or a vegetable brush to remove any surface grit. Spin or pat dry. Peeling is optional (but recommended for older, thicker carrots). Recipes

GARLIC
GARLIC

Garlic is the most pungent member of the Allium family. Though the plant’s leaves and flowers are edible, its incomparable flavor and vital seasoning power come from the cloves within the bulb.

How To Buy

Look for firm, plump heads and avoid anything feeling too light for its size (a sign of dehydration). The papery covering should be relatively intact, not wrinkled or shriveled.

How To Store

Store at room temperature in well-ventilated area with no sun exposure. Refrigerate green garlic in a perforated plastic bag. Refrigerate peeled or chopped garlic in an airtight container.

How To Prepare

Separate cloves by firmly pushing down on the head of garlic with the heel of your hand atop a cutting board. Trim root end, peel skin, and use as directed. Recipes

FAVA BEANS
FAVA BEANS

Though most popular in Mediterranean dishes, fava beans grow all over the world. These large, flat legumes (resembling lima beans) are a favorite in stews and purées but can also be grilled and eaten from the pod.

How To Buy

Look for fresh, bright-green pods, free of yellow patches. If buying the shelled variety, select beans with a smooth surface. Large beans are starchy and firm. Smaller beans are sweet and more tender.

How To Store

Store pods in crisper in a perforated plastic bag. Shell immediately prior to use. Shelled favas may be stored the same way but should be consumed within three days.

How To Prepare

To shell favas, unzip the seam of the pod and remove beans. The light-green skin should then easily slip off each bean. Once free of their skins, the beans are ready for use. Recipes

ARTICHOKES
ARTICHOKES

The artichoke is actually the edible bud of a thistle flower. Known for its earthy taste and meaty texture, it’s as versatile as it is flavorful.

How To Buy

Leaves should be tightly packed, never shriveled. Stems should feel firm and look plump. Select smaller artichokes for salads or frying, larger artichokes for steaming or stuffing.

How To Store

To delay wilt, store uncooked artichokes loose (unwashed, unpeeled, and unsealed) in crisper drawer where humidity is higher. Refrigerate cooked artichokes in an airtight container.

How To Prepare

Artichokes can be steamed whole, simmered, sautéed, batter-fried, marinated, or chopped and served raw. When prepping, keep a bowl of acidulated water nearby to help minimize browning of trimmed leaves. Recipes

SCALLIONS
SCALLIONS

A milder variety of the common onion, true scallions have straight sides (rather than the curved beginnings of a bulb) where stem meets root.

How To Buy

Look for bright-green tops and firm white bases. Avoid wet, wilted, or slimy scallions.

How To Store

Remove any wilted or slimy outer layers, then place scallions loosely in a perforated plastic bag and store in crisper.

How To Prepare

Discard all roots, and wash immediately prior to use. Both the white and green parts of the scallion are edible. Recipes

PEAS
PEAS

Native to southwest Asia, peas grow in many varieties. Plump, round garden peas can be served fresh or dried. Sugar peas can be eaten in the shell. Pea shoots make a delicious, crunchy garnish.

How To Buy

Look for firm, green pods, avoiding any with discoloration or wilting. Pick medium (rather than large, thick-skinned) pods. Pea shoots are available only in early spring, so get them when you see them.

How To Store

Once picked, peas begin to lose sweetness; eat within two days of purchase to avoid dull or starchy taste. Prior to consumption, separate pods and shoots into perforated plastic bags and store in crisper.

How To Prepare

Snap the stem end, pull along length of the pod to open the seam, remove the peas, and discard pod. Snow and sugar snap peas can be eaten raw within their shells. Recipes

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Tomatillos
Tomatillos

A cousin of the tomato, this pale-green fruit imparts a citrusy tartness. Encased in loose, papery protective husks, tomatillos can range from the size of a walnut to that of a tennis ball.

How To Buy

Look for firm, taut-skinned tomatillos with fresh-looking, closely fitting husks. Avoid soft, bruised fruits or dried-out, shriveled husks. Smaller tomatillos pack a more concentrated flavor.

How To Store

Store tomatillos loosely packed inside a paper bag in the refrigerator. Do not remove husks until you are ready to cook.

How To Prepare

Remove and discard the papery husk. Wash the fruit under cold water just before use. Recipes

Eggplant
Eggplant

Technically a berry, this versatile nightshade fruit takes well to baking, boiling, and frying. Though the bulbous purple variety is most common, eggplant grows in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors worldwide.

How To Buy

Choose firm, smooth fruits that are heavy for their size. Avoid any with soft or brown spots. Buy just before intended use, as eggplants do not store well.

How To Store

Keep eggplants in a cool, dry place and use them within a day or two of purchase. If needed, store them in crisper for a few days, but overall, these subtropical fruits do not fare well in cold storage.

How To Prepare

Skin on younger, smaller eggplants is edible. Peel older eggplants. Rinse, trim cap, and cut before use. Add salt to help mask the slightly bitter taste of older or larger eggplants. Recipes

Stone Fruits
Stone Fruits

Named for the center “stone,” or pit encasing their seeds, peaches, plums, apricots, and nectarines comprise much of the stone fruit family.

How To Buy

To prevent bruising in transport, most stone fruits are picked before they’re fully ripe. Therefore, look for fruit that smells sweet, is firm to the touch, and has no brown spots or wrinkling.

How To Store

Stone fruits can sit at room temperature for a day or two to ripen. Once ripe (slightly tender to the touch), store in crisper, uncovered and unwashed, for up to five days.

How To Prepare

Wash in cold water prior to use. To pit, slice through flesh along the seam and in a full circle around stone. Twist in opposite directions to separate halves. Remove stone with a knife end. Recipes

Cherries
Cherries

Cherries come in two main varieties: sweet (which includes Bing and Rainier cherries) and sour (the most popular of which are Early Richmond and Morello). This summer staple is great cooked or raw.

How To Buy

Choose bright, plump, shiny fruit; cherries with stems still attached will keep longer.

How To Store

Store cherries unwashed in a perforated plastic bag inside the fridge.

How To Prepare

Though leaving cherry pits intact will intensify the flavor in cooked dishes, most uses necessitate pitting. Use a cherry pitter, a pastry tip, or a clean, bent paper clip to remove the pits. Recipes

Chard
Chard

A relative of the beet, chard is a mellow, earthy green that peaks from June through October. Both the leaves and stems, which are often vibrantly colored, are edible.

How To Buy

Choose bunches with crisp stalks and fresh-looking leaves that are not cracked; avoid wilted or browning leaves.

How To Store

Wrap in a perforated plastic bag and store in crisper away from ethylene gas-releasing fruits like apples, apricots, melons, and figs. Use within three days.

How To Prepare

Remove any browning or wilted leaves. Wash with cold running water or agitate in a bowl of cold water. Spin or pat-dry with kitchen towels. For larger stalks, peel off any tough outer strings before use. Recipes

Arugula
Arugula

Also known as “rocket,” arugula is a peppery, nutty-tasting member of the mustard family. This leafy green can be served raw, or used in a wide variety of cooked dishes.

How To Buy

Dark-green leaves indicate freshness and flavor. Avoid anything yellow, brown-spotted, wilting, or excessively moist. Older, larger leaves are generally spicier than the younger varieties.

How To Store

Store packaged arugula in its original container. If roots are still attached, wrap stems in a moist paper towel, then store in a perforated plastic bag inside crisper. Do not wash until just before use.

How To Prepare

To remove grit, agitate leaves in a bowl of cold water. If necessary, remove leaves and repeat with fresh water. Spin until arugula is thoroughly dried, or shake and pat dry with clean kitchen towels. Recipes

Melons
Melons

Melons – which are actually a different species from watermelons – come in many varieties, including the smooth-skinned honeydew and the orange-fleshed muskmelon (often mislabeled as a cantaloupe).

How To Buy

Melons should feel heavy for their size and give slightly to pressure at the stem end. While textured melons should smell sweet, smooth-skinned varieties emit aroma only after slicing.

How To Store

Ripe melons can be kept at room temperature for several days. Store cut melon in the refrigerator, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or in a sealed container.

How To Prepare

Slice the melon in half, then scoop out seeds with a large spoon. Next, peel off the tough outer skin and cut as needed. Recipes

Okra
Okra

Prized for the gelatinous substance released from its pods when cooked, okra is a popular thickener for soups and stews. The vegetable is also served braised, baked, breaded, and fried.

How To Buy

Choose firm, springy pods no longer than three to five inches (larger pods can have a woody texture). Look for a rich green color and a fine coat of sticky white hairs.

How To Store

Uncooked okra should be kept in the refrigerator and used within a few days.

How To Prepare

Before cooking, wash the pods and cut off the stem ends. Recipes

Watermelon
Watermelon

Watermelons belong to a family of vines that include cucumbers, gourds, and other melons. The fruit varies tremendously in size, shape, and even hue – with flesh colors ranging from canary yellow to deep red.

How To Buy

Look for smooth, symmetrical melons with no flat sides, bruises, cuts, or dents. A dull, hollow sound upon tapping signals ripeness.

How To Store

Store whole and sliced watermelon in the refrigerator; wrap sliced watermelon tightly in plastic before refrigerating.

How To Prepare

Slice the melon into quarters and cut away the rind before cutting the flesh as desired. Recipes

Fall view allx

Mushrooms
Mushrooms

While the white button mushroom is most familiar to the American palate, many other varieties, such as the cremini, portobello, shiitake, and enoki, make equally delicious additions to raw and cooked dishes.

How To Buy

All varieties should be firm and dry to the touch, with caps slightly open and emitting a pleasant earthy odor. Avoid fungi with slimy spots, wrinkles, or gills with signs of moisture.

How To Store

If mushrooms are prepackaged, remove immediately from packaging. Store all mushrooms loosely in a paper bag, preferably in layers between damp paper towels. Refrigerate.

How To Prepare

Gently brush off dirt with a damp paper towel or soft brush. Dunk varieties like chanterelles, which can collect dirt in their many ridges, in a water-vinegar mixture. Pat dry immediately. Recipes

Grapes
Grapes

With an impressive number of culinary uses ranging from wine to raisins to tannic leaves to fresh off the vine, grapes are just as delicious out of hand as they are in salads, salsas, jams, and cocktails.

How To Buy

Look for plump, firm fruit, avoiding limp-looking stems. Green grapes should have a yellowish tinge. Red grapes should appear bright crimson. The powdery bloom on dark purple grapes is a sign of freshness.

How To Store

Refrigerate unwashed grapes in a plastic bag in crisper drawer for up to one week.

How To Prepare

Wash grapes in cold water and pat dry. If seeded, cut in half and remove seed with the tip of a paring knife. To slice multiple grapes at once, place between two plastic lids and cut horizontally. Recipes

Figs
Figs

Aromatic, delicate, and less sweet than their preserved counterparts, fresh figs come in vivid colors and hundreds of varieties, ranging in flavor from jammy and fruity to honeyed and floral.

How To Buy

Choose smooth, unblemished figs with a fragrant aroma.

How To Store

Figs are extremely perishable, so use them quickly. They’re best within a day or two, but if necessary, can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.

How To Prepare

Because of their low acidity, high moisture, and heavy sugar content, figs spoil easily, so always slice open to check for spoilage prior to serving. Then, rinse each fig and remove the stem. Recipes

Fennel
Fennel

Though best known for its licorice-scented seeds, the actual fennel bulb boasts a delicate anise flavor while its feathery fronds add an herbaceous note to salads and soups.

How To Buy

Look for bright-white, unblemished, and firm bulbs. The cut bottom of the bulb should not have more than a trace of browning. If available, buy fennel with stalks still attached.

How To Store

Store loosely wrapped in a perforated plastic bag in crisper. Avoid storing in overly cold temperatures or next to ethylene gas-releasing fruits.

How To Prepare

Trim the bottom of the bulb and peel off any wilted or browning layers from the outside. Stalks can be saved for salad ingredients. Fronds can be washed and used as garnishes. Recipes

Leeks
Leeks

Related to both garlic and onions, leeks pack a mild, sweet flavor that adds punch to soups and sides without overpowering delicate ingredients.

How To Buy

Look for unblemished, firm stalks with bright-green leaves. Avoid dark-green tops or rounded (rather than flat) bottoms. Smaller, younger leeks are more tender and mild.

How To Store

Since leeks exude an aroma that can be absorbed by other foods in your fridge, wrap them loosely in a plastic bag before storing them for up to five days. Do not wash until you're ready to use them.

How To Prepare

After chopping or slicing according to preference, rinse leeks in cold water, separating the layers to remove any grit. Pat dry with kitchen towels. Save leafy green tops for use in soup stocks. Recipes

Apples
Apples

With over 7,500 kinds worldwide, apples vary greatly in taste, texture, and size. Many are delicious eaten raw, some are perfect for making applesauce, and others are best-suited for baking.

How To Buy

Choose apples that are firm and unblemished. Apples emit ethylene gas, which accelerates the ripening process of other fruits and vegetables; the riper the apples, the greater the ethylene.

How To Store

Store in a cool, dark place away from ethylene-sensitive produce. Early-season apples should be eaten right away. Midseason apples will keep for weeks, and late-season fruit can last a few months.

How To Prepare

To core apples, cut into quarters and use a paring knife to remove stem and seeds. While cut apples will oxidize quickly, a squeeze of lemon will prevent browning. Recipes

Persimmons
Persimmons

There are two types of persimmons. Astringent varieties are bitter prior to ripening, but creamy and sweet in their prime. Non-astringent varieties deliver crispy fruit taste for snacking, salads, and stews.

How To Buy

Bright-orange Hachiyas (astringent) should be firm with a touch of softness around the tip. Fuyus (non-astringent) should be firm with a yellowish-orange tinge. Avoid any squishy or brown-spotted specimens.

How To Store

Allow Hachiyas to ripen on the counter or in a paper bag. Store Fuyus in the refrigerator to help maintain crispness.

How To Prepare

Once ripe, the flesh of Hachiyas can be scooped directly out of the skin. Fuyus can be sliced, unpeeled, and added to salads as a substitute for tomatoes or other fruits. Recipes

Quince
Quince

Closely related to apples and pears, quince can be found at farmers markets and specialty stores. Hard and astringent when raw, it’s usually cooked before eating and often made into a paste or preserves.

How To Buy

Look for firm, fragrant quinces with bright-yellow or golden skin. Avoid fruits with blemishes or soft spots.

How To Store

Quinces last two to three weeks when stored at a cool room temperature or wrapped loosely in plastic and refrigerated. They emit ethylene gas, so use caution when storing next to sensitive produce.

How To Prepare

Rinse in cold water, rubbing off as much fuzz as possible. Cut away brown spots. Use entire fruit for pastes and preserves. Quarter, peel, and core fruit when poaching or cooking with other ingredients. Recipes

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes

Neither a potato nor a yam, this starchy root vegetable evokes flavors of pumpkin, vanilla, and toasted nuts. Interior textures range from creamy to fluffy, to deep orange to nearly white.

How To Buy

Choose small to medium sweet potatoes that feel heavy for their size, and buy shortly before you plan to use them. Avoid sprouted tubers and those that have been refrigerated.

How To Store

Store whole sweet potatoes in a cool, dark place for up to one week. Do not refrigerate, as cold temperatures will negatively impact flavor and texture.

How To Prepare

Scrub well under running water. Depending upon preference and cooking method, peel or leave skin intact. Placing raw, cut pieces in water will help prevent discoloration. Recipes

Winter view allx

Potatoes
Potatoes

The potato readily absorbs flavors and seasonings. Use high-starch varieties for baking or frying. Choose red, white, or yellow potatoes for salads or gratins. New potatoes can be steamed, boiled, or roasted.

How To Buy

Choose firm potatoes with no spots, cuts, or holes. Decline any with a green-tinged hue (which indicates toxic alkaloids). Avoid old potatoes that have started to sprout.

How To Store

If purchased in bags, open immediately and discard any rotting potatoes. (One bad potato can spoil the bunch.) Store in a cool, dry space away from sunlight.

How To Prepare

Do not wash potatoes until you’re ready to cook them. Scrub well with a vegetable brush under running water, and remove sprout buds or dark spots prior to use. Recipes

Horseradish
Horseradish

While its leaves can add a peppery addition to salads, horseradish is best known for its gnarly-looking, pungent root. In fact, the horseradish owes its infamous heat to the root’s tear-inducing potency.

How To Buy

Look for horseradish that’s firm, without any soft spots, blemishes, or sprouts. Despite its twisted, knotted appearance, the root should not be shriveled or dry.

How To Store

Wrap unpeeled in a slightly damp paper towel. Store in a plastic bag inside crisper drawer. Peeled and grated horseradish, tempered with vinegar, can be frozen for up to six months (though it will lose some zing).

How To Prepare

Rinse root just before use, removing any dirt or grit. Peel or cut away outer surface. Grate using a zester, mince with a chef’s knife, or cut into cubes and run through a food processor. Recipes

Turnips, Rutabagas
Turnips and Rutabagas

Members of the cabbage family, turnips and rutabagas have a mild, sweet flesh. While both pack an earthy flavor, rutabagas (which are a turnip-cabbage hybrid) are larger and generally sweeter than turnips.

How To Buy

Look for firm, solid vegetables with unblemished skin that feel heavy for their size. Avoid specimens larger than four inches across. If still attached, leaves should be green, fresh, and free of spots.

How To Store

Wipe off any dirt but keep vegetables dry. Cut off greens, then store bulbs and greens separately in plastic bags in crisper. Greens will stay fresh for four to five days; bulbs will last up to one month.

How To Prepare

Clean leaves using fresh, cold water. Trim the tough parts of the stems, then shred leaves or keep whole, depending on use. Always peel rutabagas. Peeling is optional for turnips. Recipes

Chicory
Chicory

Members of the lettuce family, chicories deliver a pleasant, bitter flavor. Varieties include red-leaved radicchio, torpedo-shaped Belgian endive, lacy green-and-white endive, curly-leaved frisée, and lettuce-like escarole.

How To Buy

Look for brightly colored, firm leaves free of brown spots. For Belgian endives, select tissue-packed varieties with no prior light exposure. Light greens the leaves, rendering them unpalatably bitter.

How To Store

Store wrapped in a plastic bag in crisper for up to one week. (Chicories can still be used past one week, but discard any leaves that show signs of yellowing.)

How To Prepare

Rinse before using. Chicories brown when cut or torn, so break them down by trimming the base to separate leaves just before serving. Recipes

Cauliflower
Cauliflower

Mild and delicate, cauliflower is flavorful raw or cooked. Along with the familiar white variety, it grows in a yellow-and-purple variety, as well as a swirling, fractal-like pattern known as romanesco.

How To Buy

Look for firm, dense heads with tight clusters and crisp leaves. Avoid cauliflower with bruises, brown spots, or other blemishes.

How To Store

Store cauliflower heads in a perforated plastic bag in refrigerator for up to two days. Cooked cauliflower can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to five days.

How To Prepare

Scrape off any brown spots and rinse under cold water. Remove outer leaves (but reserve if using; the leaves can be delicious). Cauliflower is cooked through when the flesh is just tender enough to pierce with a fork. Recipes

Winter Squash
Winter Squash

The term “winter squash” encompasses a staggering array of hard-skinned varieties. Their flesh is usually yellow to deep orange with a starchy consistency that turns creamy and sweet when cooked.

How To Buy

Choose very hard squash that does not give when pressed. Skin should be deeply colored, relatively dull in appearance, and should not be easily nicked or scraped off.

How To Store

Thanks to its thick, hard skin, whole winter squash can be stored in a cool, dark place for several weeks. Once sliced, raw squash should be refrigerated and will keep for a few days.

How To Prepare

If cooking whole, simply wash the vegetable. Otherwise, peel skin and cut the bottom so that it’s level. Then, remove outer layer with a sharp knife, slice in half, scoop out seeds, and cut into cubes. Recipes

Citrus
Citrus

From miniscule kumquats to large oranges to heavy, yellow-green pomelos, the myriad species and hybrids in the citrus family are prized for their fruits, juices, and oil-rich peels.

How To Buy

Fruit should feel firm and heavy in the hand, with no soft spots or bruises. If zesting or candying the rind, pick fruits with unblemished skin, preferably organic.

How To Store

Most fruits keep at room temperature for three to five days. Refrigerating in crisper may extend freshness for a few days but can also dim flavor.

How To Prepare

Rinse and scrub rind, making sure to remove any wax. When peeling, remove the pith (the white material between the rind and fruit) as it has an acrid, bitter taste. Peel and separate into segments. Recipes

Brussels Sprouts
Brussels Sprouts

These mild-flavored members of the cabbage family become tender and sweet when roasted, fried, or steamed. They only release their infamous sulfur aroma when overcooked.

How To Buy

Pick Brussels sprouts that are still on the stalk, as they stay fresh longer. Look for small sprouts, about an inch in diameter. Avoid those with yellow or damaged outer leaves.

How To Store

If sprouts are on the stalk, store in the coldest area of the refrigerator. If sprouts are loose, remove any damaged or wilted leaves, then place inside a paper bag and refrigerate.

How To Prepare

Wash under cold running water and remove any loose or damaged leaves. Pat dry, then trim the woody end of the stem. If using whole, slice an X into the bottom of each to help them cook evenly. Recipes

Pomegranates
Pomegranates

Each pomegranate holds up to 600 juicy, jewel-like seeds. While the removal of seeds from the inedible rind is notoriously tedious, the effort yields a deliciously distinctive sweet-tart flavor.

How To Buy

Select large fruits that feel heavy for their size. Don’t worry about the color of the skin, which is not an indicator of ripeness, but do avoid any with bruises or damaged skin.

How To Store

Whole pomegranates will keep at room temperature for about a week and in the refrigerator for a few weeks. Pomegranate seeds will keep for five days in the refrigerator or several months in the freezer.

How To Prepare

Cut the fruit into quarters and drop into a large bowl of water. Working under the water, pull apart the skin and nudge out seeds. Skim out pith and skin. Drain seeds in a colander. Recipes

THE NAKED FRIDGE
Would you bare all? All the contents
of your fridge, that is. These homeowners did.

HOW DO YOU STORE THAT?
Pick a fresh food. We’ll show
you how to keep at its best, the longest.

x

Fresh Herbs

Store in a refrigerator drawer – up to a week for delicate herbs such as cilantro, up to three weeks for heartier varieties such as rosemary. Do not freeze.
Fresh Herbs
x

Milk

Store on a refrigerator
shelf for 1-2 weeks,
not in the door where the
temperature is most variable.
Freezing milk is not recommended.
Milk
x

Lettuce

Most varieties may be stored in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer for 2-3 weeks. If roots are attached, wrap roots loosely in a damp paper towel.
Lettuce
x

Tomatoes

Store on countertop away from ethylene-emitting foods such as apples. Don’t refrigerate tomatoes unless very ripe and you need to prolong their usefulness a day or two.
Tomatoes
x

Corn

Store whole ears of corn, preferably in the husk, in refrigerator drawers for 5-8 days. Freezing corn on the cob is not recommended.
Corn
x

Pineapple

Whole fresh pineapple is a resilient fruit that can be refrigerated for 2-4 weeks. Simply place on a refrigerator shelf. Freezing is not recommended.
Pineapple
x

Eggs

Refrigerate for up to three weeks, preferably on a shelf where the eggs will not be agitated. As the saying goes, a still egg is a happy egg.
Eggs
x

Asparagus

Store in crisper drawer for 2-3 weeks or loosely wrap in plastic and stand stalks upright in an inch or two of water and refrigerate. Do not freeze.
Asparagus
x

Avocados

Ripen on countertop,
then store in refrigerator,
on a shelf, for 2-4 weeks.
Do not freeze.
Avocados
x

Cheese

Wrap and store inside your refrigerator’s top drawer, covered compartment in the door, or in a freezer drawer. Keeps 3-4 weeks refrigerated, 6-8 months frozen.
Cheese
x

Raspberries

Store in refrigerator drawers; 3-6 days is the optimum storage time. Don’t wash raspberries until just before use. Freezing is not recommended.
Raspberries
x

Shrimp

Store in a refrigerator drawer and use within one day, or freeze in an airtight container or bag for up to six months.
Shrimp

HELP FIGHT HUNGER IN AMERICA
Use the hashtag #freshfoodmatters and we’ll donate $5 to Katie’s Krops.

Each time you use our hashtag #freshfoodmatters, Sub-Zero will donate $5 to Katie’s Krops, up to $25,000. With 100 youth-run gardens, Katie’s Krops is working to end hunger one garden at a time. The $25,000 you help raise will provide grants for kids to start 25 new gardens.