Produce Fun Facts

FUN FACTS!

I just read a handful of truly fascinating facts about the proper way to eat certain foods and I had to share! I feel like I have had it wrong this whole time!

1) STRAWBERRIES: Eat them whole!

If you are eating pre-sliced strawberries, the fat-burning vitamin content of these sweet treats can be compromised due to prolonged exposure to oxygen. Instead, it’s best to eat them whole, or at least wait until you are ready to eat to slice and dice them. One thing you do not want to do is slice them and then store them, as this will reduce the fat-burning power of the great strawberry – and who wants to do that?!

2) GREEK YOGURT: Don’t dump the water!

When you peel back the lid, you are probably used to seeing some “water” that has settled on the top. Most people dump this down the sink, but this “water” is actually whey that is packed with protein, vitamins, and calcium. Don’t get rid of it! Instead, mix the watery whey back into the yogurt to avoid missing out on Greek yogurt’s fat-burning punch!

3) AVOCADO – Ripen overnight

The greener and harder the avocado the less ripe. If you refrigerate they will not ripen, so you can store them in the fridge until you are ready to use them to prevent waste. Once ready to use you can ripen them by placing them in a brown paper bag, which traps the ethylene gas they produce and helps them to ripen. To speed the process and ripen overnight, place them in a brown paper bag along with a tomato, apple or banana. This will produce more ethylene gas and speed up the ripening process. You can actually do this with many fruits including peaches, tomatoes, mangoes and pears.

Conversely, if you want to know when the avocado is over-ripened you can shake it. If you hear a rattle it means it is overripe and the pit has pulled away from the flesh. It will also appear to be more of a deep brown color and be softer to the touch.

4) To Cook or Not To Cook – Veggies:

You may have heard that most fruits and veggies are better consumed raw rather than cooked, as cooking can reduce their vitamin and mineral content. While this is true in many cases, it’s the exact opposite with tomatoes and carrots.

Why?
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a phytonutrient with many positive health benefits. Cooking actually increases concentrations of lycopene in tomatoes, so enjoy tomato sauce, roasted tomatoes, and other cooked dishes with tomatoes more often!

Same goes for carrots. Studies show that when carrots are cooked their levels of beta carotene go up. Beta carotene is a carotenoid that the body converts to vitamin A. It’s essential for the function of many systems in the body, from normal iron metabolism to vision to skin and immunity.

For more information on which vegetables to cook and which to eat raw (and why), check out this slideshow:

vegetables-raw-or-cooked-

 

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