Take the guesswork out of vegetable shopping with our handy tips:
Select: Look for straight stalks with closed, compact tips. They should be solid green in color. Stay away from those with shriveled stalks or spreading tips.
Select: Look for firm beans that are bright green in color. Skin must have no spots or blemishes.
Select: Look for peppers which are firm and thick-fleshed. Whether red, green, or yellow, the color must be vibrant and fresh. Stay away from those with soft spots and blemishes, as well as those with dark stems.
Select: The head must be dark green and firmly clustered. The stalk must be firm.
Select: The head must be firm and heavy for its size. Its outer leaves must be green to light green in color with no blemishes or dark edges.
Select: Look for firm, straight carrots; stay away from limp ones or those with cracks. Must be bright orange in color, preferably with fresh green leaves.
Select: The head must be firmly clustered with fresh green leaves. Stay away from those with black spots or blemishes.
Select: Look for firm, crisp, pale green stalks with fresh green leaves; stay away from limp ones or those with tears.
Select: Look for firm, unblemished vegetables which are bright green in color. Stay away from those with soft ends. Pick straight cucumbers; they say the curved ones may be infested with worms.
Select: Go for firm vegetables that are heavy for their size. Must be shiny purple in color with a fresh green cap. Stay away from those which are wrinkled or soft, or too thick-skinned. Pick straight cucumbers; they say the curved ones may be infested with worms.
Select: Go for herbs which are firm, crisp, and distinctly aromatic.
Select: Look for leeks with a firm and unblemished white base. The leaves must be fresh and green.
Select: Leaves must be vibrant in color, crisp in texture, with no blemishes. Stay away from those with discolored edges.
Image from Pixabay.com; Shopping tips by Jing Lejano originally appeared in the August 2014 issue of Yummy magazine