Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Part 6: citrus fruits, tropical fruits, melons

Part 6: citrus fruits, tropical fruits, melons

Based on the book "Eating on the Wild Side" by Jo Robinson

Last, but certainly not least, our final fruit recommendations and produce tips for citrons, tropicals, and melons. Before I dive into this here is the list of how fruits ripen for better picking at the store.

Fruit ripening:

These are best picked when fully ripe (they do not ripen after harvest)

  • Citrus fruits

  • Berries

  • Cherries

  • Grapes

  • Pineapple

  • Pomegranates

These can be picked when semi ripe and can ripen after harvest

  • Apples

  • Apricots

  • Avocados

  • Bananas

  • Guava

  • Kiwi

  • Mango

  • Nectarine

  • Pear

  • Peach

  • Plum

  • Tomato

Recommended Citrus Fruits:

  • Blood oranges

  • Cara cara oranges

  • Valencia oranges

  • Washington navel oranges

  • Any variety of tangelos

  • Clementine

  • Satsuma

  • Tangerine

  • White, pink, and red varieties of grapefruit


  1. The naval orange is both popular and nutritious…choose the ones with deep orange skin and flesh…if all the oranges are uniform choose the largest one

  2. Choose citrons with the most color flesh (insides) they have more nutrients

  3. Red and pink grapefruits are higher in nutrients than white ones

  4. Choose the most nutritious OJ….deep colored with pulp or fresh squeezed

  5. Choose the most ripe lemons and limes, lemons should be yellow with no traces of green, more mature limes will turn yellow and should be heavy for their size (green limes are not ready yet)

  6. Store them properly, they can be kept on the counter for a week but put in the fridge for longer storage

Recommended Tropical Fruits:

  • Baby bananas

  • Red bananas

  • Burro bananas

  • Golden extra sweet pineapples

  • Caribbean red papayas

  • Solo papayas

  • Ataulfo, Haden, Uba, and Francis mangoes

  • Red or pink guava


  1. Extra sweet varieties of pineapple are more nutritious than traditional….look for dark green leaves with no signs of fading or browning…these are picked when ripe

  2. Papayas can finish ripening on the counter, eat them when ripe or refrigerate for a few days

  3. Eat mangoes in greater quantity…the darker the flesh the more nutrients it has…which is more than oranges and pineapples

  4. Guava is the most nutritious tropical fruit…red fleshed are the way to go, you can eat them fresh or drink juice and nectar 

Recommended Melons:

  • Small seedless watermelons

  • Pre Cut watermelon (the kind cut in half or ¼ with the rind still on)

  • Pre Cut cantaloupes (same as above)

  • Orange fleshed honeydew

  • All varieties of casabas


  1. Most melons are refreshing but hold limited nutritional value due to their high water content which is why you want to find intense color flesh

  2. Watermelons with a deep red flesh are a good source of lycopene…small seedless are more nutritious than large…the skin of a ripe watermelon has lost its gloss and the ground spot is yellow, listen for a deep sound when you thump it

  3. Honeydew and casaba melons are the least nutritious 

  4. Scrub melons thoroughly to remove surface bacteria because they are so low in the soil they are more prone to harmful bacteria 

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Part 5: strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, stone fruits, grapes and raisins

Part 5: strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, stone fruits, grapes and raisins

Based on the book "Eating on the Wild Side" by Jo Robinson

Next the recommended varieties and produce tips for strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, stone fruits, grapes, and raisins.

Recommended Strawberries, Cranberries, and Raspberries:

  • Fresh and frozen strawberries

  • All varieties fresh or frozen cranberries

  • Fresh or frozen black raspberries


  1. Select red, ripe, strawberries…..strawberries don't ripen beyond the point they are picked (¾ ripe) giving you less nutritious strawberries, get them at farmers markets or u-pick when in season otherwise go for frozen and thaw in the microwave to keep their nutrients 

  2. Eat cranberries throughout the year..they are very high in antioxidants…aim for whole cranberries or unsweetened juice 

  3. Raspberries are high in fiber and antioxidants, the darker the better with black raspberries at the top…buy frozen when not in season

Recommended Stone fruits: Peaches, Nectarines, Apricots, Plums, Cherries

  • White fleshed peaches and nectarines, they are higher in nutrients than the yellow ones

  • All varieties of apricots, choose the ones with the darker orange or red skin and flesh

  • Bing, hartland, and royal anne cherries

  • Red, dark blue, and black plums


  1. Buy ripe or nearly ripe stone fruits for the best quality

  2. Choose peaches and nectarines with care….the fruit should have no green on it and should give a little bit when pressed 

  3. Eat the skins, buy organic to reduce your ingestion of pesticides 

  4. Shop for dried apricots by color….look for deep oranges and reds

  5. Choose the most nutritious cherries…they are best when freshly picked, look for green flexible stems

  6. Buy dark colored plums…these hold the highest amount of nutrients…can also buy prunes

Recommended Grapes and Raisins:

  • Red, purple, or black grapes such as concord..these have the most nutrient value


  1. Look for the freshest grapes…they should be plump and firmly attached to the vine with stems bright green and flexible..if their are loose grapes at the bottom choose a different bag

  2. Store grapes properly…chill them as soon as you bring them home in the crisper drawer

  3. Buy organic to reduce the exposure to pesticides 

  4. Golden raisins have more nutrients than black raisins…if you are sensitive to sulfur dioxide don’t eat anything dried (this is sprayed to help prevent browning)

  5. Eat more currants if raisins are not your thing

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Part 4: Apples, Blueberries, and Blackberries

Part 4: Apples, Blueberries, and Blackberries

Based on the book "Eating on the Wild Side" by Jo Robinson

Fruits are the next item on our list to cover starting with apples, blueberries, and blackberries, their recommended varieties, and produce tips.

Recommended Apples:

  • Braeburn

  • Cortland

  • Discovery

  • Fuji

  • Gala

  • Granny Smith

  • Honeycrisp

  • Liberty

  • Melrose

  • Red Delicious


  1. Choose the most nutritious varieties at the store (the ones listed)

  2. Choose the most colorful fruit on display..if an apple is supposed to be red on all sides, make sure it is red on all sides when purchasing

  3. Eat the skin…it doubles your health benefits

  4. Lower your exposure to pesticides by washing or buying organic

  5. For the widest selection, shop farmers markets, u-pick, and farm stands

  6. Store apples in a cool, humid environment…summer apples can be stored for a week or two and fall apples can be stored for months in the crisper drawer

  7. Choose cider or cloudy apple juice….it gives you more nutrients than sugar compared to filtered juice

Recommended Blueberries and Blackberries:

  • All varieties fresh or frozen blueberries

  • Blackberries, boysenberries, loganberries, and marionberries, fresh or frozen


  1. Eat more of them!! They are the most nutritious foods you can eat, full of fiber and help decrease inflammation

  2. Frozen berries are available year round so when they are not in season choose frozen over fresh

  3. For the greatest variety shop at farmers markets, specialty stores, and u-pick

  4. Eat them right away or freeze them to keep their integrity and nutrients

  5. Cooking and canning them can increase their phytonutrient content by making it more bioavailable to our bodies

Monday, July 3, 2023

Part 3: Tomatoes, Cruciferous Veggies, Legumes, Avocado, Asparagus, Artichoke

Part 3: Tomatoes, Cruciferous Veggies, Legumes, Avocado, Asparagus, Artichoke

Bases on the book "Eating on the Wild Side" by Jo Robinson

Finishing out our veggies list, their recommended varieties and produce tips, I present to you tomatoes, cruciferous veggies, legumes, artichokes, asparagus, and avocados.

Recommended Tomatoes:

  • Cherry 

  • Grape

  • Currant


  1. Deep red tomatoes have more lycopene and overall antioxidant activity than yellow, gold, or green tomatoes

  2. The smaller the tomato the more lycopene and sugar it has

  3. On the vine are not field ripened tomatoes

  4. Processed tomato products can be more flavorful and nutritious than fresh tomatoes….the heat process increases the absorption of lycopene

  5. Store fresh tomatoes at room temp to preserve flavor

  6. Cooking tomatoes converts lycopene into a form that is easier to absorb

  7. Use everything but the stem of the tomato for maximum benefit

Recommended Cruciferous veggies:

  • Green and purple broccoli

  • Red cabbage and savoy cabbage

  • White and colorful cauliflower

  • All varieties of kale


  1. Once harvested, broccoli loses its sugar and nutrients very rapidly, eat this within a day or two

  2. Shop for brussel sprouts in season

  3. Cut cabbage and steam it briefly to reduce odor and increase nutritional value

  4. White cauliflower has more cancer fighting compounds, but the colorful varieties have more antioxidants…make sure there are no spots or mold growth before buying and steam it rather than boil it

  5. Kale is the most bitter and beneficial of the cruciferous veggies and better raw

Recommended Legumes:

  • Pod peas

  • Dried peas

  • Fresh or frozen edamame

  • Lentils

  • Common dried beans like black, red, kidney, and pinto in that order (the most nutritious is canned)


  1. Choose pod peas over shelled garden peas for more fiber and nutrients

  2. Frozen is not as nutritious as fresh

  3. Dried peas and beans are very high in phytonutrients 

  4. Steam or pressure cook dried beans to retain their antioxidant level, canned are even higher

  5. There are ways to help with digestibility…choose varieties low in oligosaccharides like lentils and pinto beans, and discard the soaking liquid before cooking them 

Recommended Artichokes, Asparagus, Avocados:

  • Green globe and purple artichokes

  • All green and purple varieties of asparagus 


  1. Artichokes are high in antioxidants and fiber...get the freshest ones you can find or get them jarred

  2. Asparagus does not keep well, again, get the freshest you can find and consume or cook within a few days, look for short, straight spears with tightly closed tips

  3. Avocados contain soluble fiber and amazing fats..hass avocados are the most common and most nutritious….you can ripen firm avocados in a paper bag with a banana to speed up the process