Spring Has Sprung – The best spring produce.

Spring has sprung; and, I could not be more happy about it.

No more winter coats. No more freezing my toes on the cold tile in the morning. No more dark dreary days.

I’m so ready for open-toed (with stockings of course) shoes, blooming flowers (or flowering blooms), and sunshine.

It’s glorious.

Today, I’m busting out an oldie-but-goodie . One of the questions I get all the time is: what produce is in season and how should I select it. Last year, we talked all about it.

So, for those of you who forgot and for those of you who are new readers, here it is again!

What fruits and veggies are you most excited to see in the stores?

The spring produce seasons brings us apricots, artichokes, asparagus, avocados, beets, fava beans, mangos, peas, radishes, rhubarb, strawberries, spinach, and sweet cherries.

Here is an easy-to-follow guide to help you select and store the best spring produce.

Apricots should be slightly soft with no bruises or mushy spots. They should look plump and have a deep orange or yellow/orange color. Store ripe apricots in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.

Artichokes should be deep green and heavy for their size. Look for ones with tightly packed leaves. Although artichokes are best eaten the day they are bought, they can be stored unwashed in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Asparagus stalks should be thin and tender with tight tips. Early in the season, they will have tender purple tips. Later in the season, the tips will be green. Either is fine. To store, refrigerate asparagus, for 3-4 days, standing upright in a cup filled with 1 inch of water.

Avocados should be mildly soft and yielding. Firm unripe avocados should be stored at room temperature for a day or two until they soften. Ripe avocados can be stored in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.

Beets should be deep red, unblemished, and uniformly sized. Choose beets with crisp bright-green leaves. Refrigerate beets in a dry place for 10-12 days.

Fava Beans should be a deep green color with mild bronzing. Look for pods that are long and plump without blemishes. Store refrigerated and tightly sealed for 4-6 days.

Mangos should be slightly soft and yielding when gently squeezed. Smell them for a faint floral aroma which should accompany ripe mangos. Unripe mangos can be placed in a paper bag and left at room temperature for 1-2 days to ripen. Store ripe mangos in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Peas should come in plump bright-green pods. The peas themselves should also be bright-green as well as glossy. Peas in their pods can be refrigerated, tightly wrapped, for 3-4 days.

Radishes should be firm when squeezed. Choose medium-sized radishes with crisp green leaves. Avoid radishes with blemishes or cracks. To store, wrap radishes in a damp towel and place in the fridge for 5-7 days. Radish greens can be stored for 2-3 days.

Rhubarb stalks should be crisp and be brightly colored. Store refrigerated, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, for 2-3 days.

Strawberries should be a vibrant red with crisp green leaves. Look for semi-firm berries that are free of mold and wormholes. Store uncovered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Spinach leaves should be bright green and crisp. Avoid spinach with a slimy coating. To store, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5-7 days.

Sweet Cherries should be bought on stems for the longest shelf life. Choose deep red plump cherries for the sweetest taste. Store in the refrigerator for 4-6 days.

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