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How To Pick & Store The Best Ripe Summer Fruits

Posted: 07/01/11 02:10 PM ET

How to Pick the Best Ripe Summer Fruit
By Carolyn Malcoun, contributing food editor for EatingWell Magazine

There's one time of year when fruit really grabs my attention and that's summertime! Even though many fruits are available year-round, as a contributing food editor for EatingWell Magazine I know that picking fruit at its peak means it tastes better and has more nutrients—and can cost less too.

Don't Miss: The #1 Fruit You Should Buy Organic

I'm oh-so-excited because my favorites are ripe and in season right now. I recently nibbled my way through a half-pint of raspberries on my way home from the supermarket. Sweet strawberries and fragrant peaches incite me to—gasp—bake shortcakes and cobblers. Pureeing watermelon into juice is the perfect summer drink, whether alone or jazzed up with some soda water and a little vodka. And I have a special soft spot in my heart for blueberries, as one of my first dates with my husband was picking blueberries at a berry farm.

Here are some expert tips on shopping for and picking the best ripe fruit so you get the most flavor and nutritional bang for your buck, plus delicious summer fruit recipes!

Must-Make Summer Fruit Recipes:
Summer Fruit Pies and Tarts
Press-to-Bake Homemade Fruit Bars
100-Calorie Fruit Desserts

What's your favorite summer fruit?

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Raspberry Recipes to Try: Moist Lemon-Raspberry Muffins and 16 More Fabulous Summer Raspberry Recipes

Why we love raspberries: Beyond enjoying raspberries on their own, we love them in pies, chutney and even wine.

Health benefits of raspberries: One cup of raspberries has 64 calories and is a great source of fiber—some of it soluble in the form of pectin, which helps lower cholesterol—and an excellent source of vitamin C. The gorgeous red color is from anthocyanins, an antioxidant.

How to pick ripe raspberries: Choose juicy-looking, brightly colored raspberries, as raspberries do not continue to ripen once picked. If the hulls are still attached, don't buy the raspberries—they were picked too early and will be sour. As with all berries, check raspberries for signs of mold or spoilage.

How to store raspberries: Fresh raspberries are fragile and highly perishable. Store raspberries in the refrigerator and use within 2 days. To wash raspberries, gently spray with a fine mist just before using—the weight of water pouring from a faucet may crush them.
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What's your favorite summer fruit?

By Carolyn Malcoun

Carolyn Malcoun
Carolyn Malcoun combines her love of food and writing in her position as contributing food editor at EatingWell. Carolyn has a culinary arts degree from New England Culinary Institute and a degree in journalism from University of Wisconsin--Madison. Carolyn lives in Portland, Maine, and enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking and running in her free time.

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