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Produce Buying Guide & Nutrition Facts

This section will assist you in purchasing fresh quality produce at the peak of its season. Fruits and vegetables are listed alphabetically so you can quickly find an item. It contains basic information about the produce items and lists many uses, how to select best quality, what to avoid, storage tips and the nutrition label to help you make healthy balanced food choices for you and your family.

There are hundreds of different apple varieties with colors ranging from various shades of red, green and yellow. The flavor of apples also varies from tart to sweet.

Asparagus is a root vegetable that produces green stalks with tight tips. By limiting sun exposure during sprouting growers are able to produce a white variety.

Available in green and yellow, beans are also known as string beans, snap beans or wax beans

Also known as garden beets, the most common color is red although they can range in colors from different degrees of red to white and rings of red and white. Greens from beets are also edible.

Mildly sweet to tangy and tart blueberries are low in calories but packed full of nutrients.

This deep green flower heads looks like a tree with thick, edible stalk.

Cabbage grows in various shades of green, as well as red and purple. Head shape varies from the standard round to flattened or pointed. Most varieties have smooth leaves, but the Savoy types have crinkly textured leaves.

Cantaloupes have brown web like look on outer rind with soft orange flesh inside.

The carrot has a thick, fleshy, deep orange colored root, which grows underground, and feathery green leaves that emerge above ground.

White being the most common color, but new varieties are available in green and purple. The entire flower part is edible.

There are two main types of cherries, sweet and sour. Sweet cherries are great for eating raw and many other uses. Sour cherries on the other hand are almost too tart to be eaten raw and are widely used in desserts, preserves and other cooked dishes.

Available in White, Yellow and Bi-colored. Corn grows in "ears," each of which is covered in rows of kernels that are then protected by the silk-like threads called "corn silk" and encased in a husk.

This common salad ingredient is also best known for pickling into small sweet pickles or grown larger for dill pickles.

Most common is the dark purple color but newer varieties are available in pale yellow to white. One can generally describe the eggplant as having a pleasantly bitter taste and spongy texture.

Grapes are available in green, red, and black and vary in size. Some contain edible seeds while others are seedless.

The melon is large (4 to 8 pounds) oval in shape, and generally very smooth with only occasional surface marks. The color of the outer shell can range from pale green to pale yellow.

Leaf lettuce has ruffled edges and comes in red and green varieties. Romaine is oblong in shape with dark green outer leaves.

Iceberg lettuce is the most common type of lettuce. Heads are large, round, and solid, with medium-green outer leaves and lighter green or pale-green inner leaves. Butter-head lettuces, including the Bibb varieties have smaller heads than iceberg. This type will have soft, light-green leaves in a rosette pattern in the center.

We usually describe mushrooms as having a cap -- the wide portion on top, gills -- the numerous rows of paper-thin tissue seen underneath the cap when it opens, and a stem.

The many varieties of onions fall into three general color ranges: yellow, white, and red.

Two general types: freestone (flesh readily separates from the pit) and clingstone (flesh clings tightly to the pit). Freestones are usually preferred for eating fresh or for freezing, while clingstones are used primarily for canning, although they are sometimes sold fresh.

Pears grow in a wide range of shapes from almost round to bell shaped. Their color can vary from green to yellow to red. The flavor also ranges from spicy to sweet to tart sweet.

Also known as English peas, these peas should be removed from the pod before cooking. Other types such as snow peas and sugar peas, are eaten pod and all.

Also known as bell peppers are available in green, red, yellow, orange, and purple. The green pepper is a pepper that has not fully ripened before being picked and will not ripen after picking which gives longer storage time before spoilage. The richer the color red, orange, and purple the sweeter the flavor and higher in Vitamin A and C nutrients.

Varieties differ slightly in appearance from oval to round and their color can be yellow, green, red, purple and deep blue. The flavors vary slightly so you should buy and taste one to see if that variety appeals to you. Dried plums are called prunes.

Potatoes are broken into four basic categories: russet, long white, round white and round red.

Large, round and orange, the flesh has a mild sweet flavor and the seeds are edible roasted.

Radishes can be purchased in bunches, with their greens attached, or in bags with greens clipped off. The flavor ranges from mild to peppery and is determined by age and variety.

Raspberries are available in red, black, purple and gold, with red raspberries remaining the most common.

Rhubarb looks like a pink or red stalk of celery and is a vegetable, but used like a fruit in sweetened sauces and pies.

Spinach is available in curly and smooth leaf varieties.

Strawberries vary in size, shape and color (some are off white). In general the flavor of smaller berries is better than larger ones.

Many varieties are available ranging widely in size, color and shape.

The most popular turnip has white flesh and a reddish-purple tint on top. It may be sold "topped" (with leaves removed) or in bunches with tops still on. Small young turnips have a delicate slightly sweet taste. As they age the taste becomes stronger and the texture coarser, sometimes almost woody.

The flesh ranges in color from white and yellow to the most common -- pink and red. The two main varieties are with seeds or seedless. Seeds or seedless does not change the flavor.

Also know as summer squash, is commonly 4 to 8 inches long. On overly large summer squash, the skin becomes thick and needs peeling and large seeds should be removed before cooking.

This section will assist you in purchasing fresh quality fruit at the peak of its season. Fruits are listed alphabetically so you can quickly find an item. It contains basic information about its many uses, how to select best quality, what to avoid, and storage tip to help you make healthy balanced food choices for you and your family.

This section will assist you in purchasing fresh quality vegetables at the peak of its season. Vegetables are listed alphabetically so you can quickly find an item. It contains basic information about its many uses, how to select best quality, what to avoid, and storage tip to help you make healthy balanced food choices for you and your family.