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How to freeze asparagus

Asparagus is one of the first official signs of spring and a promise that more homegrown produce is right on its heels. All winter long we wait for those green spears to show in the garden, but just like that, warm weather hits and the season is over. If you’re getting into June and you still have an abundance of asparagus in the ground, don’t fret. Freezing it means you’ll have asparagus spears available for the whole year to come. 1. Go homegrown Only bother freezing locally grown asparagus while it’s in season for your area. Asparagus that has been shipped from other states, or even internationally, will almost always be less tender and have less flavor — not a good place to start. 2. Size matters The spears you select for freezing should be at least as thick as a pencil. Thinner spears don’t hold up very well in…

June: What produce is in season?

The most obvious sign of summer? A plethora of gorgeous, local produce available. With temperatures on the rise and longer days, June’s harvest is full of colorful variety. In-season produce always tastes better and is almost always cheaper, so there is really no reason not to stock up on all the healthy, tasty options in season right now. Asparagus Asparagus is still in season but enjoy it now. The crop varies from year to year, but usually by the end of the month it’s difficult to find tender asparagus. Here’s how to cook asparagus four ways. Beets Get a healthy dose of fiber, folate, and vitamin C when you add beets to your diet. The earthy vegetable comes in season this month and sticks around through December, so you have plenty of time to try them roasted, in salads, juices, and more. Broccoli Broccoli is a sun-loving cool-weather crop, so…

Survey finds what makes the best grocery stores and supermarkets

Having access to quality grocery stores can make or break your relationship with food. A good grocery store sends customers home satisfied with reasonably priced bags full of fresh, tasty food, while the bad ones can leave shoppers frustrated for any number of reasons. For as much as grocery chains seems to have in common on the surface, experienced shoppers know they can be wildly different. So what do the best grocery stores have in common? Is it food selection? Customer service? Good product organization? A survey of more than 75,000 Consumer Reports members ranked grocery stores on these and a number of other categories to determine what makes the best grocery store. The survey’s findings pit 96 different national and regional grocery chains against each other to determine the very best grocery stores in America — and what makes them so great. So what’s the one thing most of…

What’s in season in May? A guide to spring produce

The list of in season fruits and vegetables starts to lengthen in May as weather turns warmer for even the northernmost states. Citrus is on its way out, along with cool weather crops, but most of the country can now enjoy spring icons like asparagus and rhubarb. Southern and western states start to welcome summer produce like berries and cherries. Asparagus We really only get good asparagus for about two months of the year, so enjoy it all the time now, while you can. Try this asparagus tart with strawberry salsa for the ultimate spring brunch. Or go back to the basics with 4 ways to cook asparagus. Cabbage Cabbage comes back in season this month. This hearty vegetable can handle frost, but not heat. So even if we get a late-season frost, the cabbage crop still stays strong, but cabbage heads (which are mostly water) will expand and split…

April produce guide: What’s in season

You’ve given your thick sweaters and snow shovels the boot. It’s time to welcome spring and all the tender, young produce making its way to your dinner table this month. Spring is full of vibrant and delicious produce, so clear build your menu starting with these in-season produce. Not only will using produce in-season save you money, but it tastes better, too. It’s a win/win! Here’s what’s in season in April: Artichokes (Best Mar. – May) Artichokes come into season pre-holidays, around October, but they’re at their best from March until May. They may be time-consuming to prepare, but the tender leaves taste great stuffed or served with any number of dipping sauces. Asparagus (Best April – May) Arguably, the king of spring. Asparagus taste great raw, tossed in a fresh spring salad, but they’re also easy to roast, sauté, or even grill. Chives (May – June) Chives are one…

The 2019 Dirty Dozen reveals fruits and vegetables with most pesticides present

Exactly how safe is that produce in your kitchen? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently released its annual “Dirty Dozen” report naming the fruits and vegetables contaminated with the highest number of pesticides — and the list is full of everyday, household favorites. The EWG analyzed data from the United States Department of Agriculture. Overall, the USDA found 225 different pesticides on the common fruits and veggies Americans eat everyday. The tests were conducted before produce was washed or peeled — which shows that simple washing isn’t enough to eliminate pesticides from your produce. As a reminder, researchers have long-warned us that consuming pesticides can lead to a number of health issues including cancer and low fertility. Some fruits and vegetables that appear on the 2019 Dirty Dozen list are regulars (hello again, strawberries), but some are newcomers to the pesticide-laden list of shame. This year, kale seems to be…

18 tips on how to eat healthy and still save money at the grocery store

The average American house hold spends $6,600 on groceries every year — that’s $550 a month!. Are you doing all you can to make sure you’re getting the healthiest foods for your dollar? It can cost a lot to eat whole, healthy foods. In fact, the Harvard School of Public Health found that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can cost about $2,000 more per year. But the real question is can you afford not to? With heart disease, cancer, and diabetes all on the rise, spending the cash now on fresh foods could save you big bucks on medical bills throughout your lifetime. This increased food expense is all the more reason to identify ways to make your money stretch. The most obvious area for savings is to eliminate food waste. Americans throw out $640 worth of groceries every year. Reduce this waste, and you’ve recouped a…

Save money and buy produce in season in March

March marks the beginning of the end of winter (yay!). It might not feel very warm when you walk outside your door, but spring is coming. March is also an interesting month for produce as many winter fruits and veggies fall out of favor and we see the start of sweet fruits we associate with summer (hello, pineapple!). Come April, you’ll be planting your own seedlings and start to see more local variety, but for now, you’ll have to purchase ripe produce from the southernmost states. Get more bang for your buck by buying fruits and vegetables that are in season. They cost less because they are more plentiful — and they’re tastier, too! A big win, win. Here are 10 fruits and veggies ready for your plate right now: Artichokes Artichoke season runs from March through June (and then again in the fall), and most artichokes in the United States…

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.…

Organic foods reduce your risk of certain cancers, study shows

If you’re still not a believer in organic food, consider a new study that suggests it can save you from some cancers. The study, published earlier this week in JAMA Internal medicine, found that those who frequently ate organic foods, had an overall lower risk of developing cancer. Specifically, those who primarily consumed organic foods where more likely to ward off postmenopausal breast cancer and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma than those who rarely or never ate organic. The study looked at the diets of 68,946 French adult volunteers. Researchers divided them into four groups depending on how often they said they ate organic foods including fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, ready-to-eat meals, vegetable oils and condiments, dietary supplements and other products. Participants were checked on, about four and a half years later. During that time, the volunteers developed 1,340 cancers. Breast cancer being the most common (459), followed by prostate cancer…