Don’t Be Shy! Squeeze Those Lemons!

One of my favorite things about summertime is all the delicious fruits and vegetables.  It’s not hard to eat healthy when there are so many delectable treats in season.  However, a quick trip to the grocery store’s produce section can turn into a scavenger hunt for the ripest fruit.  Here are some tips and tricks I’ve obtained recently from friends, and in one case, a knowledgable website.

Lemons.  I once read that you should choose the lemon that weighs the most.  Now you don’t have to get all technical and pull out the scale–weighing them in your hand will work just fine.  A heavier lemon is the best choice.  I have to be honest, I’m not completely sure why a heavier lemon is best although some websites like this one say it’s because a heavier lemon has more juice.  Makes sense, right?

Fun fact (also taken from here): To get more juice out of a lemon you can put it in hot water or a microwave for a few seconds.

Mango.  I’ve always had the most trouble with mangos.  All the reds, oranges, yellows and greens confuse me and I can never remember which colors mean it’s ripe.  I’ve read that mangos should generally be mostly red and yellow when ripe.  However, the easiest way to tell if a mango is ready to be eaten is to gently squeeze it.  A mango should be a little soft (like a peach or an avocado).

Pineapple.  I learned this tip from one of my cousins.  The way to know if a pineapple is perfectly ripe is to pluck a leaf from the center its stem.  If the pineapple is ripe the leaf will come out easily (and will smell like the fruit).  Of course, pineapples should also be bright yellow on the outside.  If it’s still green (and if the leaf doesn’t come out easily) give it a few more days to reach its fullest potential.

Watermelon.  Similarly to the lemon, a great watermelon should be relatively heavy.  Additionally, a ripe and tasty watermelon should have a yellow spot somewhere on the fruit.  This spot is called the “ground spot” and is where the watermelon sat until it was ready for picking.  If it has a white or green spot you should keep on looking–chances are it was picked too early.  (I found these tips here.)

In general:

Heavier fruit is always best
Fruit that is emitting sweet, enticing scents are usually ripe
Go for fruit with the brighest color

Do you have any other tricks for picking the best fruit?  Share them with us @20sTweet.

~J

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