It is important to purchase fruits, vegetables and other ingredients when they are still fresh. You can easily check if the vegetables and fruits are already bad because you can find the telltale signs on their skins or leaves. However, it is not always easy to know if these ingredients are about to peak. If you are buying wholesale, check out www.kiril-mischeff.com, a reputable ingredient supplier where you can find plenty of high-quality ingredients.
How to purchase fresh and dried ingredients
These tips will guide you when you want to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, and what to look for when you need dried nuts, seeds, and fruits.
- Check for freshness
It is easy to determine if the fruits or vegetables are fresh. Aside from freshness, you want to make sure they are ripe. Do not pinch the fruits and vegetables because you will blemish them and spoil them for other consumers. Hold the fruit or vegetable in your hand and check if the outside is firm and smooth. They should have a little give. If the berries and pitted fruits like nectarines and plums are hard, they are unripe. Citrus fruits that are too firm are usually dry on the inside. Other fruits that feel heavier, like melons and cantaloupes, show that they are juicy. Smell the fruit. If it has a delicate aroma, it shows it is ripe and fresh. If the aroma is stronger, the fruit is overripe.
Leafy greens and vegetables should have an even, smooth and firm surface. Look for evenly coloured ones. Leafy greens should be crisp and firm. Some broken leaves and browning may occur, which is negligible.
Check seeds and nuts for mould growth. Do not taste them. If you find seeds and nuts with a white, greyish, or greenish powdery coating that was not because of the manufacturing process, do not purchase them. Some nuts, particularly those that have higher fat content, can go rancid. Bite into one and if it tastes bitter or sour, the item is already rancid. Do not buy seeds and nuts that are mouldy, shrivelled, and darkened in colour.
- Purchase in bulk
Bulk seeds and nuts are normally fresher than canned nuts. Buying in bulk allows you to see the condition of the items. Also, if you like to snack on nuts and seeds, buying in bulk is cheaper.
You can also buy vegetables and fruits in bulk but choose them carefully. Onions and garlic have long shelf lives but choose those that are firm and with unbroken skin. You can keep potatoes in the pantry for three to five weeks. Apples last for five to seven days at room temperature and about eight weeks in the fridge. If you want to store fresh produce, blanch them before you freeze them. Most fresh produce can keep its freshness inside the fridge for about five to six days.
- Buy raw ingredients whenever possible
Raw seeds and nuts have longer shelf lives. Purchase seasonal vegetables from local farmers’ markets or cooperatives. Most of them sell organic items, so they are healthier.
Make sure you store nuts and seeds in airtight containers away from moisture and heat. Do not wash vegetables and fruits before putting them in the fridge. If you like to wash them, make sure they are completely dry before storage.