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Enjoy the Bountiful Harvest of Fall Vegetables

Do you enjoy the green leaves turning gold, red and orange? Nature's changing colors can be a cue to add color to your plate. How about some roasted carrots, potatoes, onions, beets, and rutabagas?
Enjoy the Bountiful Harvest of Fall Vegetables

Photo used under license from www.istockphoto.com

Vegetables provide fiber, vitamins A, C (and others), and minerals such as selenium and potassium. In general, adults and kids need about 2 1/2 cups of vegetables daily. Selecting vegetables at their best and storing them properly can help you get the best value for your money - and colorful, delicious food on your plate!

When you select vegetables, which of these tips do you already use?

  • I buy in season. Vegetables that are purchased in season usually will be the best quality and give you the best buy.
  • I consider the storage available, and I buy only what I can store and use within the recommended time.
  • I handle produce gently because the bruised parts are most likely to spoil.
  • I choose high-quality vegetables without bruises.
  • I pick frozen vegetables that are frozen solid and get them to my freezer as quickly as possible.
  • I buy canned vegetables in cans without sharp dents in the seams.
  • I buy dried vegetables in tightly sealed, undamaged packages.

When you store vegetables, which of these tips do you already use?

  • I store the vegetables properly. Most fresh vegetables should be kept cold and humid.
  • To increase storage humidity, I keep vegetables in a plastic bag or in the hydrator (crisper) compartment of the refrigerator, or both.
  • I do not refrigerate potatoes, sweet potatoes and hard-shell (winter) squash. Cold temperatures convert the starch into sugar which affects the flavor. Store them at cool room temperature; about 50 degrees Fahrenheit is best. Potatoes should be kept in a dark, dry place.
  • I sort vegetables before storing and remove any with bruises or soft spots.
  • I store frozen vegetables at 0 F or lower; they can be stored for eight to 12 months.
  • I store canned vegetables in a cool, dry place.
  • I store dried vegetables in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. I use them within a few months.

Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Featured in Food Wise October 2015 newsletter (PDF)

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