12 Best Bets for Buying Organic
- Perfect PeachesThese popular summer fruits are a great source of vitamin C. Organic peaches, like other organic produce, are grown without using chemical fertilizers. Choose peaches that have firm, fuzzy skins. If they aren't yet ripe, store them in a paper bag at room temperature.
- Amazing ApplesThe apple, in all its varieties, is the second most popular fruit, behind the banana. The meat of the apple contains soluble fiber and a good dose of vitamin C. Organic orchards grow apples without the use of most conventional pesticides, which may pose health risks for infants and children.
- Beautiful Bell PeppersYellow, red, orange, or green—choose bell peppers with skins that are tight, not wrinkled. Keep them refrigerated and use within five days. Bell peppers are fat and cholesterol free and high in vitamin C. Peppers with the brightest colors harbor the most antioxidants. Conventionally grown bell peppers were third highest on the list of pesticide contamination ranked by the Environmental Working Group.
- Crisp CeleryWhat would a veggie hors d'oeuvre tray be without celery? Choose straight, rigid stalks with a fresh, not musty smell. When cut up, they are a perfect partner with hummus or peanut butter—or your favorite dip. Celery provides a healthy dose of vitamin C; celery leaves pack a punch of vitamin A.
- Nifty NectarinesDid you know that the nectarine is really a peach--minus the fuzz? Like regular peaches, nectarines can be ripened in a paper bag at room temperature. Although organic nectarines have less pesticide contamination than conventionally grown versions, you should still wash them under cold, running water. That goes for other fruits and vegetables, as well.
- Succulent StrawberriesStrawberries are rich in vitamin C and folate, a B vitamin. For a refreshing summer beverage, freeze whole, washed, and hulled strawberries, then blend with orange juice. Fresh strawberries are quite perishable. They are best if used in one to three days.
- Cherries to CherishYes, cherries are fabulous in pies, but don't pass up the chance to eat them fresh. Choose cherries that are firm with their stems still attached. They are a good source of both vitamin C and potassium—and they will keep for up to 10 days in the fridge.
- Curly KaleKale is in the cabbage family and chock-full of nutrients: vitamins A and C, calcium, and potassium! If you haven't cooked with kale, here's a quick dinner that will serve as an excellent introduction. Slice and cook potatoes until tender; remove the tough stems on kale and chop the rest; add the chopped kale and sliced low-fat turkey sausage to the potatoes. Cook until the kale is tender and the sausage is done.
- Leafy LettuceThis salad bowl favorite is low in calories, with no fat or cholesterol. It's also a good source of vitamin A and folate. Rinse the leaves under cold, running water and dry them on paper towels. The leaves will keep, refrigerated in a plastic bag, for about a week.
- Great GrapesThe concord grape is the only grape native to this country, but many other varieties--and colors--are available. Grapes are a perfect snack. A medium bunch (about 50 grapes) equals about 1-1/2 cups of fruit.
- Colorful CarrotsA crisp, crunchy carrot cut up is a great snack, an excellent source of vitamin A and not too shabby on vitamin C. Store carrots with their tops removed; they will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. To clean carrots before eating, use a scrub brush or a weak dilution of dish soap.
- Pleasing PearsChoose pears that are firm, then allow them to ripen in a paper bag at room temperature. The fruit is ready to eat when the stem end yields to gentle pressure. Bite into a pear and you'll be getting plenty of fiber and vitamin C.
12 Best Bets for Buying Organic