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Fresh Produce Keeps Costs Down and Health High
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables in season saves you money and tastes better. By preparing and eating what you buy the week you bring it home, you’ll be making the most of the vitamins and minerals fresh fruits and vegetables provide to your family.
Adding fresh produce to your family’s diet is the simplest way to improve their health and reduce the risk and severity of illnesses.
Buy only what you will eat in one week • Plan your meals ahead; shop with a grocery list • Keep your grocery list after you shop and make notes about what everyone liked and what went fastest • Buy small amounts to reduce waste • If you have picky eaters, introduce one new fruit or vegetable each week until you determine favorites
Prepare fruits and vegetables the same day you buy them
• Preserve freshness by correctly washing and storing what you buy • Keep washed apples crisp in the refrigerator • Do not refrigerate potatoes and bananas; keep them in a basket on the counter allowing air to circulate around them • Keep carrots cold and dry • Discard moldy or rotten produce immediately • Use or freeze overripe fruits immediately Blend, puree and freeze the fruits for fast smoothie meals and snacks
Cook and bake on one day for a full week of enjoyment • Cook a batch of vegetable soup once a week and you’ll have snacks and a stew/sauce base for the week • Lightly steam veggies like cauliflower, broccoli and carrots and store in air-tight containers, cutting prep time on busy weeknights • Bake fruit tarts to introduce new fruits • Add shredded carrots or zucchini to cupcake and muffin batter
Buy smarter • Seasonal produce costs less and has more flavor; the fresher the produce, the longer it lasts • At farmer’s markets or stands, ask for new recipes and preparation ideas • Look for slightly blemished items for best value • Only buy bulk if you’ll use it!
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