Make Picking the Perfect Fruit a Piece of Cake With This Seasonal Guide

By Jacqueline Saguin
Picking the Perfect Fruit

Picking the perfect fruit can be a big challenge, and there is nothing worse than coming home with fruit you think is good, just for it to be a waste. Shop smarter, and not harder, by knowing when it’s prime time to pick your fruits, and find out how to find fresh ingredients from local farmers markets. And, fruits actually cost less when they’re in season! Check out whether your produce is so last season with this ultimate guide to picking ripe and ready foods.

Spring Summer Fall Winter
APPLES X X X X Look for solid, firm skin with no blemishes. Typically stay ripe for about 6 weeks in the fridge.
APRICOTS X X Look for ones that are plump, golden-orange without blemishes.
AVOCADOS X X X Look for skin that is dark and almost a black color. Feels soft, but not mushy. Avocados ripen, so buy green if you prefer not to eat right away.
BANANAS X X X X Ripen nicely after purchase, so buy green. Ready to peel after its turned a completely yellow color with subtle hints of brown.
BELL PEPPER X X Look for smooth skin, with no bruises or marks.
BLACKBERRIES X Look for ones that are smooth and stemless. Avoid mushy or wrinkled berries at the bottom of the container. Spoil easily, so eat soon after purchase.
BLUEBERRIES X Avoid any with pink or red, which signals an unripe berry.
CANTALOUPE X Give a sniff test! Sweet = ready to eat.
CHERRIES X Look for ones that are dark red, plump and firm. Stems attached.
CRANBERRIES X Squeeze test! Check that it’s firm, but with a little give.
CUCUMBER X X Look for a dark green color skin and firm to the touch.
EGGPLANT X X Look for firm, smooth-skinned and heavy for its size. Has a slight give.
GRAPEFRUIT X X Look for a firm, oval shape, with a slightly flattened end. If too round, it’s likely underripe.
GRAPES X Look for ones that are full and round. Avoid wrinkles where the stem meets the fruit.
GUAVA X X X X Look for soft yellowish-green color, but you can buy green and wait to ripen. Bonus: If you see a touch of pink, it’s at its best.
HONEYDEW MELON X Look for a dull, pale yellow and a well-rounded melon.
KIWI X X X Look for an even brown color, with gentle give.
LEMON/LIME X X X X Look for firm and bright-colored skin.
MANGO X Usually cannot tell from color, so smell for strong sweetness. Press for a gentle give.
ORANGE X X X Look for shiny, thick skin with a little give.
PEACH X Look for fuzzy and soft skin, with a sweet sensation. Choose ones with more red than orange. Typically already ripe when harvested.
PEAR X X When bought at the store, they aren’t usually ripe yet, so leave out and wait for the stem-end to give a little when squeezed
PINEAPPLE X X X Smell test for a sweet fragrance. Leaves are a healthy green, and the skin is yellow.
PLUM X Look for smooth, unwrinkled skin, with a white, waxy coating. Firm, with a little give. Gives off a sweet scent.
PUMPKIN X X Look for deep orange color. Knock to make sure it’s hollow.
RASPBERRIES X X Look for bright colors without blemishes. Like other berries, they don’t ripen once they’re picked and are best eaten right away.
STRAWBERRIES X X Peek under the leaves. Should look vibrant and healthy, not dry. White or green means it’s underripe.
TOMATO X X Fragrance over color! Smell the stem-end for a garden aroma.
WATERMELON X Trickier to spot for ripeness. Look for smooth skin that’s full and rounded. Safest to pick in season.
ZUCCHINI X Look for fairly firm. Soft zucchinis mean they might be approaching their deadline.


Related articles:

Iconic Foods In The US: Must-Try Foods From The South!

Walk It Out: Learn To Improve Your Gait With These Tips

Which Rice Is Right For You?

Read The Newest Issue Of Wellness360 Magazine!