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The top produce items you're probably not buying -- but ought to be

Are you in a fruit and vegetable rut -- you know, buying the same old fruits and vegetables, week in and week out? For me, it's broccoli, baby carrots, zucchini, and spinach that fill my vegetable bin. Then it's apples, oranges, pears, bananas, and grapes for the fruit bowl.

But it's time we all walk on the wild side and try some new spring and summer fruits and vegetables. And I've got 10 great ones for you to start with -- as well as a couple of recipes to use them in.

Don't know how to store or eat them? Don't know how to pick them out in the supermarket? You have no more excuses, because I've also got the answers to those questions for the 10 lucky produce winners.

If you're still not convinced, consider this: Recent studies have shown that eating plenty of produce has been linked to lower rates of heart disease and some types of cancer, and may help lower blood pressure.

Fabulous Fruits

1. Mini Watermelons

Who doesn't like watermelons! These are easy to eat, easy to store, and generally have great flavor, too.

Available: Year-round.
Buying tips: Find firm mini watermelons that feel heavy for their size, but that yield slightly when you press on them.
How to store: Ripen at room temperature. Once ripe, store cut or whole mini watermelons in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Nutritional attributes: 2 cups diced mini watermelon contains 20% of the Daily Value for vitamin A and 25% for vitamin C, according to data from Melissa's Produce.
Eating/cooking/serving tips: Use wedges or half slices to garnish plates. Or serve fruit salad in a hollowed-out mini watermelon half. Serve cubes or balls alone as a side dish, or in a fruit salad or fruit kabob.

2. Pluots

You've got to try this new fruit, a hybrid of a plum and an apricot. I liked them even though I'm not crazy about plums.

Available: June-September.
Buying tips: They are ripe when they give under gentle pressure.
Best way to store: To ripen pluots, keep at 65-70 degrees.
Nutritional attributes: Nutritional information was not yet available for this new variety.
Eating/cooking tips: Anywhere you would eat and serve plums or apricots, have these instead!

Healthy Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.

Top searches: Chicken, Chocolate, Salad, Desserts, Soup

Healthy Recipe Finder