We're bringing you our best tips and tricks to slay it at the grocery store! Learn how to pick produce the right way so you'll end up with ripe and delicious fruit and veggies every time.
Isn't it so frustrating when you go to the store to buy a watermelon or corn and just stand there, looking clueless? How in the world are you supposed to know how to pick the best produce? Sometimes you get a good one, sometimes you get a dud. So annoying, right?
Well, no more wasting money for you! I'm about to share all my produce picking secrets and tell you how to find the perfect fruit and veggies that are ripe and ready to be eaten.
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Okay, you made it! That was pretty easy, right? Make sure that you keep on reading for a recap on how to pick produce!
HOW TO PICK THE PERFECT WATERMELON
Oh, this one can be hard! Try out these tips and you'll be sure to pick out the perfect watermelon!
KNOCK AND LISTEN
Give the watermelons a good thump. I may look like a crazy person walking around and knocking on all of the watermelons, but it really makes a difference! You want to make sure that you keep knocking until you find the one that makes the most hollow sound. For whatever reason, that tends to mean that it's ripe.
LOOK FOR A YELLOW, FLAT SPOT
Another thing that you want to look for on a watermelon is a yellow, flat spot. Rumor has it that that means that it has been resting on the ground for a long time. It's had plenty of time to ripen up and should be sweet and ready to eat!
LOOK FOR BEE STINGS
My grandma taught me that you want to look for a watermelon with a bee sting in it. Rumor has it that if you find a watermelon with an imperfection from a bee sting, that it's all the sweeter. Whether it's true or not, I don't know. But Grandma doesn't lie!
HOW TO PICK THE PERFECT PINEAPPLE
Pineapple is just too darn expensive to buy it and it not be a good one. Here are some tips for picking the perfect pineapple.
CHECK OUT THE COLOR
When it comes to pineapples, yellow is good! A yellow pineapple means that it's had time to ripen up. You can also smell the pineapple. If you can really get that delicious pineapple aroma, then you're on the right track.
LOOK FOR THE SAME SIZE “EYES”
You want your pineapple to have the same size eyes from the bottom to top. This means that the pineapple has had time to fully mature. If they're smaller at the top than at the bottom, then keep looking for a better one.
PULL AT A LEAF FROM THE CROWN
My craziest tip of all is to pull on a leaf from the crown of the pineapple. You've found a good one if the leaf comes out easily when you yank on it. Put it in your basket and take it home to mama. And don't forget to use a pineapple corer to make your life easier when you're ready to eat that tasty and juicy bad boy!
HOW TO PICK PRODUCE THAT COMES IN A PACKAGE
Here are some handy tips on how to pick produce that comes in a package. I'm talking strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, kiwi, even bagged apples!
First of all, look at your produce and check to make sure they're a good color on top. Check the date and make sure that there's plenty of time left on the package. But the real trick is to flip the package over.
This is so important! Don't buy the package if you see any on the bottom that are smashed, juicing, or have little bits of mold on them! Even if the top looks good, don't buy it. You know the rumor – one bad apple ruins the whole bunch – this definitely is the case with packaged produce.
If you have problems with your packaged produce going bad before you can eat it, look into getting some vented containers! They really help to extend the life of your fruit and veggies in the refrigerator once you get them home and help you to waste less.
HOW TO PICK AVOCADOS
Avocados can be the bane of my existence! How do you possibly buy them and have them be ripe and ready to be eaten when you're ready for them?! Try these tips out and you'll be sure to take home some delicious avocados.
CHECK FOR SOME GIVE
If you need an avocado right away, buy one that gives a little when you squeeze on it. It's ready to be eaten if it's soft. It should feel about as soft as your thumb. You want the avocado to have a little bit of give, but not be mushy or squishy.
CHECK THE COLOR INSIDE THE “BELLY BUTTON”
Another tip you may not have heard before is to check the belly button of the avocado. If you pop the belly button off and it's white and yellow inside, then it's not ripe yet. You want to see green when you pop the belly button off, that means that it's ripe and ready to be eaten! If it's brown, that means it's overripe.
BUY MORE FOR LATER
If your store has a lot of underripe avocados and you don't need them right away, buy several that are lighter green and hard. These ripen really well at home! Put the avocados in a paper bag to ripen on the counter. They should only take a few days to ripen and they'll be ready to go when you need them.
HOW TO PICK CUCUMBERS
Let's talk cucumbers for a minute. My grandma taught me that while it may be tempting to buy the nice, big, chubby round cucumbers – the most flavor actually comes from the long, skinny ones. You also want to make sure that it feels nice and firm, like it would have some crunch to it. Nobody wants a mushy cucumber!
HOW TO PICK CORN
Corn can be so hard to choose since you can't see or feel through the husks. But did you know that most stores are okay with you peeling back the husk to look at the corn? This allows you to check the kernels and make sure that there aren't any that are moldy or dried out.
If you find a good one, then get it! If you find a bad one, then put it back and keep looking.
HOW TO PICK CANTALOUPE
Cantaloupe can be another really hard one to pick! Here are a few tips for picking the best one.
AVOID SQUISHY OR POCKMARKED
You definitely want to avoid any that are squishy, indented or pockmarked. This means that they're overripe, and that they've been bruised and handled too much.
CHECK THE NAVEL OF THE MELON FOR FIRMNESS
The navel at the top of the cantaloupe should give ever so slightly when you press on it. The cantaloupe is ripe and ready to be eaten when you find one like this!
Just like with the pineapple, smell your cantaloupe! If it smells like cantaloupe, then you're on the right track to finding the perfect one.
If you do find one that has a little bit of give at the navel but doesn't smell super strong, don't worry! You can take it home and leave it on your counter for a few days while it ripens.
RIPEN YOUR FRUIT AT HOME
My final tip for any of the fruit that you take home to ripen is to rotate it. This goes for pineapple, cantaloupe, watermelon, you get the gist! Be sure to give it a little turn every day or so. This allows the juices and the ripening to happen evenly throughout the fruit instead of it getting overripe on one side.
So there you go! Those are my tips, tricks and hacks on how to pick the perfect produce at the grocery store! What are yours? Please share in the comments below!
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Do you want more grocery shopping tips?
- Come watch and read about how I grocery shop on a budget!
- Learn how to save BIG on groceries without using coupons.
- Here are some great food hacks on how to store and freeze groceries!
- Learn how shelf cooking can cut your grocery bill in half!
Happy produce pickin'!
As someone who grew and sold a lot of corn at my own market for years, I had to know which ones were ready to pick. Just pinch the top of the ear between your thumb and index finger. If you can feel the kernels pop, it is ripe and fresh!
Another tip….it is a mistake to husk your corn in the store unless you are planning on eating it that day. Get it to the frig as soon as you can. Never keep in a hot car! Do not husk it until just before preparing it. Also, corn only has to be boiled a minute or two. I used to eat it raw in the field while I was picking! Good corn is just as tender raw as when cooked. Too much cooking actually can make your corn too hard…..if it wasn’t picked at the peak of ripeness.
That’s all great advice, thanks for sharing!
I’m hopeful that after I’ve read it, I’ll be able to make better purchase from market.