In springtime we tend to return to nature when it comes to eating. Instead or settling for boxed starches and comfort foods—we have a tendency to eat light and turn to fresh berries, citrus fruits, melons, and more of the season’s fruits.

With that in mind, here are ten warm weather tips for enjoying fresh, ripe produce…

1. Apricots

When picking prized apricots at the market, seek out fruit that’s firm to touch and deeper orange-yellow in hue, which indicates ripeness.

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2. Lemons

Did you know that you don’t have to store your lemons in the fridge? They will remain fresh for up to 1 week if placed in a bowl on the counter at room temperature. After the week, they should go into the fridge.

3. Rhubarb

If you want the best rhubarb for baking and preserving, look for bright, pink, unblemished stalks.

4. Grapefruit

You can always tell if a grapefruit (yellow or pink) has reached ripeness by looking for color in the skin. If they are still a bit green—they are still unripe.

5. Strawberries

Strawberries with bright red color are ready to be savored—if they have white around the stem, they are under-ripe.

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6. Plums

Plums ripen best on the counter in room temperature. If you place them in the fridge, they’ll often stay too firm and won’t ever reach plump juiciness.

7. Watermelon

Watermelon, because of its high water content, can be stored in room temperature until its cut. After that, it should always be stored in the refrigerator.

8. Honeydew

To test a melon for ripeness, grasp it at either end and give it a shake. If you hear the rattle of seeds—it’s ready to eat.

9. Bananas

Bananas should never be put in the fridge or stored below room temperature—or else you’ll have blackened fruit on your hands.

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10. Mangoes

To ripen your mangoes quickly, store them on the counter in a paper bag.

Anna

Anna adores cooking, drinking wine, and listening to records, but she does a lot of yoga to balance things out ;) This explains the black bean brownie disaster of 2007 (don't bring that up). She's noshed in countries like Greece, Turkey, France, Ireland, Costa Rica, and numerous other weird, yummy places that will get her waxing all poetic about her favorite recipes.

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