It feels as if it’s been somewhere close to… oh, I don’t know… “forever”(?!) since I’ve been able to buy fresh, local produce. I’ve paid ridiculous amounts of money for fruits and vegetables over the winter months because, in my opinion, it’s always worth it.
It will be a few months yet (for many of us) before it’s high time to enjoy our fabulous, local harvest. But whether you’re shopping your local farmers market or buying the usual organics from your grocery store, you want to make sure you get the “most” out of everything you buy.
Sadly, the nutritional content of today’s conventionally-grown produce is believed to be dramatically decreased from 30 years ago. The vitamins, minerals and proteins are dwindling (due, in part, to the use of synthetic fertilizers that make them grow faster and inhibit the absorption of nutrients!) so this is another little testimonials for “going organic” too.
But whether your produce is conventionally-grown (afterall, the “Clean 15” is often considered) or you go 100% organic, there are a few helpful tips to get the “most” out of your produce:
- “Fresher is better” – all produce begins to lose nutrients are soon as it’s harvested, so consume it as soon as possible after you buy it. The rule of thumb should be one week maximum (plus, you must consider where your produce “originated”), so plan for what you need and don’t overbuy, even if it will “keep”.
- “Bigger isn’t better!” – choose smaller pieces of fruits and vegetables instead of the largest ones in the bunch. Plants have limited amounts of nutrients to pass on, so if the produce is smaller the nutrients are more concentrated.
- “Keep it together, people!” – while pre-washed, pre-cut, and pre-prepped fruits and veggies may sound appealing (and convenient!), skip them… this causes them to lose nutrients as well. And don’t do a lot a prep, cleaning, chopping or cutting at home until you actually need to consumer them either… no need to set those nutrients loose!
My kids have always been great eaters when it comes to a variety of fruits and veggies but, whether for us or our kids, we all know every bit matters, so use these tips to make the “most” of every precious bite!