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Summer Fruit Guide

How to select the best fruit of the summer season.
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Peaches continued...

The red or blush color on the skin is a characteristic of variety, not ripeness.

Avoid any peaches that are overly green—they were picked too early and won’t ripen properly.

Never squeeze peaches, as they will bruise.

Storage Tip: If your peaches need ripening, set them in a single layer on the counter, not stacked, and allow to ripen for a day or so at room temperature. Once ripe, transfer them to the refrigerator and use within a week.

Raspberries

Pop a few juicy raspberries in your mouth and enjoy a sweet-sour sensation of summer anytime. Delicious unadorned, they’re easily adapted for sweet or savory dishes.

What You Get: Raspberries are a great source of fiber—some of it soluble in the form of pectin, which helps lower cholesterol—and an excellent source of vitamin C. The gorgeous red color is from anthocyanins, an antioxidant.

Shopping Tips: Choose juicy-looking, brightly colored fruit, as raspberries do not continue to ripen once picked.

If the hulls are still attached, don’t buy the berries—they were picked too early and will be sour.

As with all berries, check raspberries often for signs of mold or spoilage.

Storage Tips: Fresh raspberries are fragile and highly perishable. Store them in the refrigerator and use within 2 days.

To wash raspberries, gently spray with a fine mist just before using—the weight of water pouring from a faucet may crush them.

Watermelon

Experience a quintessential summer pleasure: take a big bite from a slice of watermelon and then spit the seeds as far as you can. Redolent with tangy sweetness, watermelon is refreshing without being filling.

What You Get: Watermelon averages 40 percent more of the cancer-fighter lycopene per serving than tomatoes. Lycopene in watermelon is easily absorbed without cooking, unlike that in tomatoes, and is relatively stable when the fruit is stored and refrigerated. Watermelon is also a good source of vitamins A and C, and provides some vitamin B6, beta carotene, thiamin and potassium.

Shopping Tips: Watermelon should be firm and symmetrical, without bruises, cuts or dents.

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