The following is Part I of a guest post by Cat McAfee of Queen Bee McAfee. Wife to Master Gardener Jason McAfee, Cat shares her tips for selecting the freshest veggies. This list is a compilation of things she has learned over time from different sources, and she is open to feedback and additional tips and information that might improve this list.
Artichokes: The freshest artichokes will feel firm, heavy for their size, and squeak slightly when squeezed. Also, look for ones that are a bright shade of green with tightly closed center leaves.
Asparagus: The best asparagus bundles will have straight, bright green stalks with closed purplish tips. If the stalks are curving or the buds are starting to open, keep looking. The thickness of the stalks is not a major factor in whether it will be more or less tender, so just go with your personal preference when it comes to size.
Squash: Small to medium squash are the best because the seeds are smaller.
Avocados: A ripe avocado will be soft, but not mushy, and free of any brown spots. A quick tip for picking an avocado is to remove the tiny stem at the top to see the flesh underneath is bright green. If you don’t want to use the avocado right away, you can buy one that isn’t ripe and let it ripen in a brown paper bag on your counter.
Corn: Feel the tip through the husk. The fatter, less pointed tip is the ear you want. A very pointy tip means the ear hasn’t filled out yet. (From Heather: I once saw a lady at the store opening and looking at the tip of them, so I do that now, too.)
Do you have any comments/tips to add to this list?
Cat McAfee, sweet as can be, is the mother of three lucky kids Cole (10), Cooper (5) and Ivy (2). She blogs about her life and family at Queen Bee McAfee.