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This is why you need to wash your avocados

Avocado lovers, your favorite food has a bit of a dirty secret. A new report from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that washing avocados before eating them is crucial. A good portion of the avocado skins sampled recently tested positive for bacteria like listeria or salmonella during. Yikes! Of course you don’t eat the skin, but you’re still at risk if you don’t wash your fruit first. That’s because the knife you are using to cut through the avocado’s exterior (and you certainly have to use a knife to break through) can carry these potentially fatal bacteria into the flesh of the fruit — which you do eat. Of the 1,615 avocados sampled in the study, 17 percent carried the harmful bacteria, so this isn’t a one-in-a-million chance — this is very common. The study included avocados grown both domestically and internationally. The good news is that only .24…

17 fruits and vegetables in season in December

It sure is cold outside! You’re definitely not going to stumble upon a strawberry outside anytime soon. But winter isn’t all bad. Thanks to modern methods of extending the growing season, farmers are able to produce fresh food well into winter. It can be easy to ignore what produce is actually in season come December when you can walk into any grocery store and it still looks like summer. Thanks to shipments from South America and beyond, we are spoiled, eating whatever we want, whenever we want. But if you want to eat food that hasn’t been picked before its prime, artificially ripened, and trucked thousands of miles, it’s worth considering making your selections from this list. Depending on where you live, these crops may continue to grow locally, or they’ll be trucked in from shorter distances. Plus, they’re naturally in season this time of year so they’ll taste best.…

How to open a pomegranate

Pomegranates have deliciously tart seeds called arils that peak in season from August to January in the Northern Hemisphere. Their bright color, elegant arils, and complex flavor make them a popular addition to holiday recipes. They can top smoothies, salads, or other veggie side dishes, or try them as a delicious fresh centerpiece on your cheese or charcuterie board. When you buy prepackaged arils, you’re spending a lot of money for a fruit that can spoil rather quickly. If you’re looking to add pomegranate arils to your table this year, consider harvesting them yourself. Of course, if you’ve ever tried to cut a pomegranate without a little know-how, you’ve probably made a merry red mess on your kitchen countertop. There is an expert trick to seeding these fruits. All you need is a knife, a bowl of water, and of course, a pomegranate. Here’s 7 steps for opening a pomegranate…

Is there a difference between apple cider and apple juice?

Apples are the star fruit of fall: Whether they’re baked in a pie or spiced in a sauce, it’s obvious we love celebrating the return of apple season. But there’s one way we can consume apples that causes confusion even among the most ardent apple connoisseurs — cider. More specifically, what’s the difference between the stuff we scoop up exclusively during September and October at markets and that other stuff available on the grocery shelf all year long? This is how you make apple cider: Here is the difference between apple cider and apple juice: Apple Cider Apple cider is made from fresh apples that have been pressed into liquid. To make apple cider, apples are first washed and cut, then ground into a mash that’s about the consistency of apple sauce. The mash is then wrapped in burlap cloth and placed between wooden racks. A hydraulic press squeezes…

Produce: What’s in season in October?

There’s nothing like the taste of fresh produce when it’s perfectly in season — an apple pulled straight from the tree or greens pulled right from the garden. Knowing what is at its peak during the month of October can help you make your shopping list and plan your meals accordingly. Thankfully, October is full of all sorts of fruits and vegetables worth savoring. From delicate figs, to hearty squash, there are all kinds of fun flavors to explore.  So take this list to your local market and get shopping! 1. Apples Of course you know apples are in season — they’re everywhere! But certain types of apples peak throughout the month. Apples stay good for a while, so all varieties are still considered fresh, but for a just-picked variety, go with Fuji, Suncrisp, Pink Lady, Rome, Cameo, Sundance, Blushing Gold, Melrose, or Enterprise. 2. Beets These deep crimson beauties…

25 fun facts you never knew about apples

Crisp, sweet, and delicious, bushels of apples are a true symbol that autumn has arrived. Whether you stroll through the apple orchard and pick some yourself, or scoop a few pecks up from the store, Americans just can’t get enough. By volume, we eat more apples than any other fruit. But for all the love we show to apples, how much do you actually know about our favorite fall fruit? As you’re sipping on that warm glass of apple cider and snacking on some apples slices, consider these 25 fun facts about apples: 1. Archaeologists have found evidence that people have been eating apples since 6,500B.C. 2. The science of growing apples is called pomology. 3. There are more than 7,500 apple varieties in the world — about 2,500 varieties grown in the United States. About 100 of those are sold commercially. Apples are the second-most valuable fruit grown in the…

Cantaloupe salsa sweetens up end of summer celebrations

My oven broke last week, and I’ve been waiting for two weeks for the new one to arrive. But with this summer heat dragging on, I actually don’t mind the inconvenience one bit. Ive been using this time to get creative with foods that don’t require a heat source. That’s how this bright and cheery cantaloupe salsa came to be. I’ve always been a big fan of fruity salsas, whether on their own, or over fish or chicken. Mango salsa is the king of sweet salsas, closely followed by pineapple salsa — but this melon version is right up there. The cantaloupe and jalapeño create that delicious sweet heat I can’t get enough of. Tortilla chips and salsa might not seems like much of a dinner, but when it’s this delicious — and the weather is this hot — sometimes, it’s all you can handle. And don’t forget this fun…

Get relief from the heat with these 10 hydrating fruits and vegetables

According to the old rule of thumb, the average adult is supposed to drink 8 glasses of water every day. Some days that can seem downright impossible — and oh so bland! But here’s a tip for your water woes: You don’t have to drink all of that water. On a typical day, 20 percent or more of our water intake comes from solid foods like fruits and vegetables. While it’s still incredibly important to drink enough water, try incorporating some of these snacks into your daily routine. You’ll be checking off a few dietary boxes since all foods listed below are at least 90 percent water and they offer various other nutritional benefits, as well. Cucumbers 96.7% water Cucumbers have the highest water content of any solid food, so they are perfect for summer salads on those sweltering days you can’t seem to stomach much else. Try mixing with watermelon and red onions…

Citrus green salad with spicy shrimp

This super simple citrus salad with shrimp is so easy and flavorful, you’ll love adding it to your weeknight repertoire. It’s great in the summer when fresh greens are everywhere, but it’s also great in the winter, when citrus is at its peak. But during summer, canned segments can work just as well, and can be a real time saver if you’re in a hurry. This is also a great way to use up those random leftover greens. Toss in some arugula, kale, spinach, romaine — the more variety the better! I threw in some leftover cilantro, but you may choose to leave it out. I’ve been surprised by how many people hate cilantro. It’s delicious in this salad, but not necessary. The same goes for the cayenne pepper. If you hate heat, leave it out. But the combination of sweet citrus, spicy shrimp, and crunchy greens and almonds, is…

Arugula, mint and apricot salad

Apricots are too often overlooked in the summer. We repeatedly reach for fresh berries and cherries, even peaches and watermelon. But for many, apricots are a fruit only eaten dried. A ripe apricot, with its dainty golden blush-color, dripping with juices is a perfect fruit on its own or used in a summer salad. Apricots give you a boost of vitamin A which is said to help repair skin damage from the sun. They also maintain electrolyte balance in the body — great for sweaty, active summer days, since electrolytes reduce cramping and keep blood pumping through your body. Expand your fruit horizons this summer and try this refreshing arugula, mint, apricot salad while the apricots are at their peak. arugula, mint, apricot salad Serves 2 Ingredients 2 cups arugula 1/4 cup mint leaves 2 ripe apricots, sliced 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 1/2 cup almond slices 1/2 orange (for dressing), cold 1 tbsp extra virgin…