A huge range of seasonal fresh, local fruit and vegetables all carefully inspected and from leading suppliers, arrives daily at our fruit and vegetable market. For customers seeking something a little different or exotic, there is always a wide selection to choose from. We have a variety of exotic fruits, such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, redpitaya, granodilla, tamarillo, lychees, rambutann, mangostan and more. We also offer specialized salad vegetables such as beansprouts and fava beans, as well as Lollo rosso, Iceberg and Oakleaf lettuce, chicory and Chinese cabbage. Our pre-packed local and imported items are ideal for those who wish to complete their shopping as quickly as possible.
In addition we offer ready-to-cook fresh seasonal legumes, such as broad beans, fassolia, black-eye peas, etc., as well as other pre-prepared items like kolokasi and prickly pears. We also offer a very popular side range of approved Cypriot and imported organic products.
Why we must eat more fruits
These ideas might stimulate your fruit consumption!
- For the largest part fruit consists of water just like the human body does;
- Fruit is 100% bad-cholesterol free;
- Fruit stimulates the memory;
- Fruit makes you feel better;
- The human diet;
- Fruit juices - squeeze those fruits!
For the largest part fruit consists of water just like the human body does
Like 80% of our body is water so does 80% of fruit consist of water!
If you think about it, it's logical for the human body to consume food that contains as much water as the body itself. The nutrition that meets that requirement is fruit. There is no other food than fruit on this planet that contains on average 80% water.
Vegetables also contain a lot of water and are therefore second best.
Fruit is 100% bad-cholesterol free.
Too much bad-cholesterol is not good for our bodies and fruit doesn't contain bad-cholesterol.
Fruit stimulates the memory
If you didn’t know yet: fruit is the ultimate brain fuel. Fruit has a positive effect on our brains. The way this works still has to be found out and many scientists are looking into it as we speak. What we do know is that if you consume fruit effectively, your brains can recall information faster and more easily. This is very useful information for people who are preparing for an exam.
We do know now that a diet with plenty of fibers helps against corpulence, high blood pressure, and other factors that increase the chance for a heart disease. The consumed amount of fibers maybe even a more important factor than the amount of fat that is consumed by people!
The food that contains these healthy (natural) fibers are fruits and vegetables.
Fruit makes you feel better
Several stories have told us about people that were frequently depressed and how they got out of their depression slowly but surely after consuming substantial amounts of fresh fruit on a regular basis. Eating much fruit can have a mysterious healing effect on human beings. Even better is to drink a lot of freshly squeezed fruit drinks on a regular basis. It will take approximately 30 days until you start to notice the effects. Don't forget to drink these smoothies 20 minutes before the consumption of other meals. This way the fruit will not ferment in the stomach and the nutritious elements can be absorbed by the blood effectively.
A human diet
A healthy diet should consist for a great deal of freshly squeezed fruit juices, raw fruits and vegetables. Some tips:
- A good start is to eat and drink more fresh fruits;
- it’s as simple as that. Before you know it you will feel much better;
- Don't forget to eat fruit on an empty stomach, not after other meals
Fruit juices, go squeeze!
Fruit juices taste the best. You can consume the largest part of the required nutritional elements you need for a day in just 10 minutes...
Read further about how fruit juices can change your life!
Check what the fruit market’s expert staffs has to say about your favourite fruits
Apple season is typically fall through spring, although most varieties are generally available year-round.
Choose apples that are firm with no soft spots. Avoid apples that are discolored for their variety.
Keep apples in plastic bags in the refrigerator after purchasing to prevent further ripening. Apples should keep up to six weeks. However, check apples often and remove any apples that begin to decay or the others will do the same
Wash apples well with soap and rinse with water. Prepare apple dishes just before serving to minimize browning (oxidation). Protect cut apples from oxidation by dipping them into a solution of one part citrus juice and three parts water.
Selection and Storage
Look for plump apricots with as much golden orange color as possible. Stay clear of fruit that is pale yellow, greenish-yellow, very firm, shriveled, or bruised. Apricots that are soft-ripe have the best flavor, but they must be eaten immediately.
Apricots will ripen at room temperature. To help them ripen, place them in a paper bag with an apple. When they yield to gentle pressure, they are ready to eat. Refrigerate ripe apricots, unwashed, in a paper or plastic bag up to 2 days. Wash them before eating. They are a perfect fast food anytime. To cut fruit, slice around its seam, twist it in half, and lift out the pit.
Apricots are great to eat raw, but they are also terrific cooked. These are some common cooking methods:
Broiling or grilling: Try threading the apricots (whole or halved) on skewers. Brush them with a little honey, and grill until semi-soft. Broiling apricots is easy. Simply halve the apricots, place them on a cookie sheet with the skin down and the cut side up, and heat for 7 to 10 minutes.
Poaching: It’s a great method for making a delicious sauce. Simply place the apricots with their skins intact into simmering water or fruit juice, and cook until tender. Adding spices such as cinnamon or cloves enhances the apricot taste. When the apricots are tender, the poaching liquid can be used as a sauce. Poaching takes about 6 to 8 minutes.
Avocados are loaded with nutrients such as dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, and folate. They're also cholesterol and sodium free. Avocados contain 60% more potassium per ounce than bananas. This fruit is an excellent source of monounsaturated fat.
How to Select, Ripen, and Peel an Avocado
- Look for firm avocados if you're planning on using them later in the week, otherwise, select fruit that yields to gentle pressure for immediate use.
- Color alone will not tell you if the avocado is ripe. Ripe fruit will be slightly firm, but will yield to gentle pressure.
- To speed the ripening process, place the avocado in a paper bag, and store at room temperature until ready to eat (usually two to five days). Placing an apple together with the avocado speeds up the process even more.
- Cut the avocado in half, slightly twist the two halves, separate, and remove the seed. Starting at the small end and remove the skin with a knife, or, if you prefer, you can also scoop the flesh out with a spoon.
- To retain a fresh green color, avocados should either be eaten immediately or should be sprinkled with lemon or lime juice or white vinegar.
Bananas are the most popular fresh fruit in Cyprus. They have a peel that comes off easily, they ripen after they've been picked, there is a generous supply all year, and they are inexpensive. Bananas have both a high amount of carbohydrates as well as potassium, which also makes them the fruit of choice for many athletes.
Avoid bananas with brown spots that seem very soft. Select those bananas with a nice color, specific for the variety. Choose fruit that is firm and free of bruises. Best eating quality has been reached when the solid yellow skin color is speckled with brown. Bananas with green tips or with practically no yellow color have not developed their full flavor. Bananas are overripe when they have a strong odor.
To further ripen bananas leave at room temperature for a couple of days. Once ripe you can store in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. The peel may turn brown in the refrigerator, but the fruit will not change.
Berries signify summer and rightfully so, as the warmer months are the peak harvest for these fruits. Berries have traditionally included blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.
Many berries are suitable to eat raw and most types vary from 50 to 100 calories per serving if eaten raw. Berries are brimming with vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.
In general, berries should be dry, firm, well shaped, and eaten within a week after purchase. If you can’t eat them that soon, remember that berries freeze well! It’s best to buy berries that are ‘in-season’ as they’ll cost less and are more ripe and flavorful than ‘out-of-season’ berries.
Stay away from containers of berries with juice stains which may be a sign that the berries are crushed and possibly moldy; soft, watery fruit that means the berries are overripe; dehydrated, wrinkled fruit that means the berries have been stored too long.
Select blueberries that are firm, dry, plump, and smooth-skinned. Berries should be deep-purple blue to blue-black; reddish berries aren't ripe but can be used in cooking.
Select raspberries and blackberries that are unblemished dry, in an unstained container. Raspberries should be medium to bright red, depending on the variety. Blackberries should be shiny and black — avoid those that are dull or reddish. Moisture will increase spoilage, so the berries themselves should be relatively dry. Shelf life for raspberries and blackberries is short, and they should be consumed within 2–3 days of purchase. Eat at room temperature for fullest flavor.
Currants should still be firmly attached to their stems.
Strawberries should be a bright shade of red and the caps on the berries should be green and fresh looking. Berries that are green or yellow are unripe and will taste sour.
After purchasing berries, check the fruit and toss out any moldy or deformed berries. Immediately eat the overripe berries within 24 hours. Return the other berries back to the original container or they should be arranged unwashed in a shallow pan lined with paper towels, and washed just prior to use. The berries may be topped with a paper towel to absorb any additional moisture. Plastic wrap the entire container. This will ensure the fruit retains its freshness, but generally berries should be eaten within one week.
Because berries have a short shelf life, an alternative to enjoy them year round is to buy them fresh and freeze them yourself. The secret to successful freezing is to use unwashed and completely dry berries before placing them in a single layer on a cookie sheet in the freezer. Once the berries are frozen, transfer them to plastic bags or freezer containers. Frozen berries should last approximately ten months to one year.
Preparation of Berries
When you’re ready to use the berries, go through the lot once more to sort out any undesirable fruit. Then, rinse, drain, and pat dry the fruit. Commercially frozen berries do not need to be ‘cleaned’ or thawed.
There are two main types of cherries: sweet and sour. Sour cherries are lower in calories and higher in vitamin C and beta carotene than sweet cherries.
Buy cherries that have been kept cool and moist, as flavor and texture both suffer at warm temperatures. Good cherries should be large (one inch or more in diameter), glossy, plump, hard and dark-colored for their variety. Buy cherries with stems on — they should be fresh and green. Reject undersized cherries or those that are soft or flabby. Avoid fruit that is bruised or has cuts on the dark surface.
Loosely pack unwashed cherries in plastic bags or pour them into a shallow pan in a single layer and cover with plastic wrap to minimize bruising. Store cherries in the refrigerator and cherries in good condition should last up to a week. Check the fruit occasionally and remove the cherries that have gone bad. Wash the fruit before eating.
You can freeze cherries by rinsing and draining thoroughly, spreading them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and placing in the freezer overnight. Once the cherries are frozen, transfer them to a heavy plastic bag. The frozen fruit may be kept up to a year.
For cooking, pit cherries either by hand or with a pitter. Poaching is the most common form of preparation. Drop cherries into a small amount of simmering water, or a combination of water and wine, and cook for one to three minutes until soft. Poach using the formula of one cup liquid to two cups cherries.
The grape is one of the oldest fruits to be cultivated going back as far as biblical times. Some of the most popular ways in which the fruit is used, is eaten fresh, in preserves or canned in jellies, dried into raisins, and crushed for juice or wine.
Grapes are about 80 percent water, making them a delectable low-calorie snack or dessert; Grapes also add fiber to the diet and are naturally low in sodium. Raisins, or dried grapes, contain only about 15 percent water. For this reason, nutrients and calories are more concentrated in raisins-one cup contains 464 calories! Like other dried fruit, raisins are a good source of iron. Serving Size 1-1/2 cups (138g)
Look for firm, plump, well-colored clusters of grapes that are securely attached to their green stems. Fully ripe grapes are soft and tender. Grapes showing signs of decay, shriveling, stickiness, brown spots or dry brittle stems should be avoided. Blue Concord grapes are excellent for table use and for making juice and jelly. The large, purplish-red catawba variety is used primarily for making juice and wine, but can also be served fresh for eating.
Using and Preserving Grapes
- Fresh grapes maintain good quality for two to three days in the refrigerator. Store in a covered container or plastic bag.
- Just before use, wash grape clusters under a gentle spray of water, drain and pat dry.
- Table grapes are at their best served slightly chilled to enhance their crisp texture and refreshing flavor.
- Seedless grapes are used whole. For seeded grapes, remove seeds by cutting grapes into halves lengthwise and scooping out seeds with the point of a knife.
- Grapes are easier to peel when they're frozen. Just rinse frozen grapes in lukewarm water until skins split. Skins will then slip right off.
- When preparing small clusters of grapes for garnishing, cut the clusters with scissors. This helps keep the grapes attached to the stem.
- For longer storage, grapes can be canned, frozen or made into juice or sweet spreads to enhance meals throughout the year. Grapes can be dried as raisins for use as a snack or in baking.
There are three major types of grapefruit white, pink/red, and star ruby/rio red varieties. All grapefruit have a similar tangy-sweet flavor and are very juicy. The grapefruits that are used to make juice are those which contain seeds. The pink or red variety contains more vitamins than the white.
Choose grapefruit that is glossy, round, smooth and heavy for its size. Avoid any grapefruit with brown and/or soft spots.
Store grapefruit at room temperature up to a week, or up to 8 weeks in a refrigerator. Leave at room temperature for a couple of hours before eating.
Select kiwifruit with no bruises or soft spots. Avoid fruits with wrinkles or signs of exterior damage. Buy firm kiwifruit and let them ripen at home for a juicier flavor. A kiwifruit is ripe when plump and slightly soft to the touch with a fragrant smell.
Ripen kiwifruit at room temperature for 3 to 5 days. If necessary, ripe kiwifruit can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. If they need to be stored longer, put kiwis in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. The plastic bag helps reduce moisture loss so kiwifruit stays fresh longer. Putting kiwifruit near fruits that produce ethlyene gas, such as apples, bananas or pears, will speed up the ripening process. So if you want to ripen kiwifruit quickly, put kiwi in a bag with these kinds of fruit for a day or two.
You can eat the fuzzy skin on the outside of the kiwifruit. The skin is very thin and just needs to be rinsed and rubbed lightly to dry. Then, cut in quarters like an orange and enjoy-skin and all! It's easy to peel kiwifruit. First, cut off the top and bottom ends, and then peel down the sides with a vegetable peeler or knife. Slice or quarter into bite-size pieces and enjoy kiwifruit's refreshing taste.
Little known Facts
Did you know kiwifruit could also be used as a natural meat tenderizer? That's because kiwifruit contains an enzyme called Actinidin. Just cut in half and rub kiwifruit over the meat, or peel and mash with a fork then spread it on the surface of the meat and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes or longer. The enzyme Actinidin also breaks down protein in dairy products. That's why when kiwifruit is combined with low fat ice cream, yogurt, or sour cream, it's best to serve and eat it right away.
Lemons are valued for their many uses in flavoring the food we eat, as a garnish, and for household purposes.
Lemons should be firm and have a bright yellow color. Avoid soft, shriveled lemons with spots. The best lemons will be fine textured and heavy for their size. Thin skinned fruit tends to have more juice, while fruit that has a greenish cast is likely to be more acidic. One medium lemon has about 3 tablespoons of juice and 3 tablespoons of grated peel.
You may store lemons at room temperature for about two weeks. They will keep for up to six weeks in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Use lemons as quickly as possible after cutting.
- Freeze lemon juice in ice cube trays for later use.
- Add a twist of lemon to the water in ice cube trays for added zip to beverages.
- Use juice on fruit or white vegetables to help them keep their color.
- Remove odors, such as fish, onion, or bleach by rubbing with fresh lemon.
- Lemon and salt can be used to treat rust spots, and to clean copper pots.
- Get the most juice out of your lemon by warming it in the microwave for 15 seconds or rolling it with your hand on the counter if it is at room temperature.
- Add a few drops of lemon juice to whipping cream if it doesn't stiffen.
Mango is an exotic delicious fruit.!Choose firm plump mangos that give slightly when pressure is applied. Avoid those with bruised or dry and shriveled skin. The ripeness of mangos can be determined by either smelling or squeezing. A ripe mango will have a full, fruity aroma emitting from the stem end. Mangos can be considered ready to eat when slightly soft to the touch and yield to gentle pressure. The best-flavored fruit have a yellow tinge when ripe; however, color may be red, yellow, orange, green, or any combination.
Store mangos at room temperature and out of the sun, until ripened. The ideal storage temperature for mangos is 55 degrees F. When stored properly a mango should have a shelf life of 1 to 2 weeks. While the mango will not ripen in the refrigerator, it can be kept chilled there once ripe. Store cut mangos in a plastic bag for no more than 3 days.
Cutting Know How
- With a sharp thin-bladed knife, cut off both ends of the fruit.
- Place fruit on flat end and cut away peel from top to bottom along curvature of the fruit.
- Cut fruit into slices by carving lengthwise along the pit
Melons are a good source of vitamin C and potassium. They have high water content are relatively low in calories, and also fat and cholesterol free.
In general, melons should be shaped according to their variety. For example, cantaloupes should be round, etc. In addition, melons should not have cracks, soft spots, or dark bruises. You should look for a clean and smooth break at the stem and for most mature melons have a fruity fragrance (if not chilled).
Keep uncut melons at room temperature for two to four days or until fully ripe, then refrigerate for up to 5 days. Refrigerate cut up melon in a covered container up to 3 days. Remember that cut melons are aromatic and their smell will penetrate other foods
Melon preparation is easy! Always wash melons in warm soapy water before cutting to get rid of any impurity on the rind that might be carried from the knife blade to the flesh. Simply cut the melon in half and scoop out the seeds and strings. Melons can be cut into halves, quarters, wedges, cubes, or scooped into balls with a melon baller. Most melons will benefit from a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to enhance the flavor and served at room temperature.
Oranges are highly valued for their vitamin C content. It is a primary source of vitamin C for most people. This wonderful fruit has more to offer nutritionally than just this one nutrient, containing sufficient amounts of folacin, calcium, potassium, thiamin, niacin and magnesium. Most of the consumption of oranges is in the form of juice. Eating the whole fruit provides 140% of the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C, less than the juice, but with more fiber, which is not present in the juice.
All varieties should be firm, heavy for size, and have fine-textured skin. Look for fruit that is firm and heavy for its size, with bright, colorful skins. Skin color is not a good guide to quality. Fruits may be ripe even though they may have green spots. Avoid fruit with bruised, wrinkled or discolored skins; this indicates the fruit is old or has been stored incorrectly. Citrus fruit peel may vary in thickness, depending on weather conditions during the growing season. Thinner skins tend to be juicier than thick skin fruits
Oranges can be stored at room temperature, in the refrigerator without plastic bags or in the crisper drawer for up to 2 weeks. They do not ripen further after harvest
Fresh-squeezed juice and grated peel or zest may be refrigerated or frozen, but whole citrus fruit should not be frozen.
Oranges may exhibit some re-greening of the skin; this does not adversely affect internal fruit quality. Neither does surface scarring, which occurs when wind brushed young fruit against the tree.
Varieties include the sweet orange, the sour orange, and the mandarin orange, or tangerine.
The peach is a member of the rose family. It was first cultivated in China and revered as a symbol of longevity. The image was placed on pottery and received as a gift with great esteem.
Peaches are available almost all year. They most common colour is yellow- pink and they are either sweet or sour.
When selecting fresh peaches, look for ones that are soft to the touch, blemish free, and have a fragrant smell. Peaches that are mildly fragrant ripen into sweet and delicious flavors. Choose fruit that has a background color of yellow or cream and has a fresh looking appearance. Peaches may have some red "blush" depending on the variety, but this isn’t a sign of how the fruit will taste after it’s ripened. At home peaches can be ripened at room temperature in a brown paper bag in 2 to 3 days. Peaches are highly perishable, so don't buy more than you plan to use. When selecting can peaches, choose those labeled "packed in it's own juice" and "no added sugar"; these are the healthier choices.
The best way to ripen stone fruit is to place the fruit in a paper bag, fold the top of the bag over loosely, and place the bag on the counter for one to three days. Never store hard fruit in the refrigerator, in plastic bags, or in direct sunlight.
Check the fruit daily. When it is ripe, it will be aromatic and will give slightly to gentle pressure. Once ripened, it can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week.
Wash peaches carefully in cool soapy water, then rinse well before eating or using. Unless a recipe calls for it, you never need to peel the fruits; in fact, many of the nutrients found in stone fruits are contained in the peel, and it’s highly recommended that the peel be consumed along with the flesh. If used in cooking they peel really fast if blanched in boiling water for a minute then plunged into ice water to cool. In fruit salads or platters, sprinkle cut peaches with lemon juice to help them keep their great color.
Pears (Pyrus communis) are a pome fruit relative of the apple. They can be eaten and used in a lot of the same ways as the apple. One distinct feature of the pear besides the shape is the soft texture. This soft texture is the result of the starch converting to sugar after being picked from a tree to ripen.
The very shape of a pear speaks of its luscious nature. When ripe and ready to eat, the pear has a honeyed flavor and beckoning perfume that bewitch your senses.
With the numerous varieties and extended growing seasons, pears of all sizes and colors are available year-round.
Fresh Pears are a Healthy Choice!
They have no cholesterol, sodium, or saturated fat. They offer a natural, quick source of energy, due largely to high amounts of two monosaccharides: fructose and glucose, plus Levulose, the sweetest of known natural sugars, found to a greater extent in fresh pears than in any other fruit. A pear is a nutrient dense food, providing more nutrients per calorie, than calories per nutrient. Carbohydrates make up 98% of the energy provided by a pear, and carbohydrates are helpful in weight reduction diets because they contain half as many calories as fat.
Fresh pears offer dietary fiber, much of it in the form of Pectin. A pear weighing 166 grams provides 2.32 grams of crude fiber, and 4 grams of dietary fiber, of which 41% is pectin. Fiber contains no calories, and is a necessary element of a healthy diet, helping to sustain blood sugar levels and promoting regularity. High fiber diets may also help reduce the risk of colon cancer and can help reduce serum cholesterol. Pears are a good source of natural fiber.
Fresh pears offer potassium; 210 mg in a medium size pear. Although it is an element lost easily through dehydration or perspiration brought on by active lifestyles or strenuous exercise, potassium is necessary for maintaining heartbeat, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, as well as carbohydrate and protein metabolism. Replenish potassium by eating fresh vegetables, fruits or legumes containing high potassium content— pears are an excellent choice
Fresh pears contain Vitamin C. One medium size pear provides 7 mg, or 10% of the RDA for Vitamin C. As one of the antioxidant vitamins, Vitamin C is essential for normal metabolism and tissue repair, helping prevent free radical damage the destructive by-products of the body's metabolic process. Vitamin C improves the immune system and promotes healing of cuts and bruises and guard against a number of infectious diseases. Fresh pears are a good source for Vitamin C
Sweet, succulent pears are perhaps the most glorious of fall fruits. Selecting them can be easy if you consider the following: avoid pears with bruises or cuts and dark brown colors; purchase pears while slightly green because they ripen better and faster off the tree; look for pears with a smooth unblemished skin; ripe ones will yield slightly to gentle pressure at the stem end. If you plan to bake pears, select those that are fairly firm
If pears are unripe, place them in a paper bag at room temperature for 2 to 3 days or store them in a ventilated fruit bowl in a cool, dark place, and refrigerate as soon as they ripen. Ripe pears should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag up to 3 days. They continue to ripen after harvest.
Wash and Eat
There's no need to peel a pear... their tender, edible skin is an additional source of fiber. A medium sized pear provides 4 grams of fiber, or 16% of the recommended daily value. Always wash all fresh fruits and vegetables before serving.
The word "Pineapple," is derived from the word pina, which was used to describe a pine cone by the Spanish. Later, it was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands which are now the leading producers of this fruit.
Pineapples are sold fresh and canned and all have a sweet flavor.
Select pineapples with a nice fragrant smell. Avoid those pineapples with sour or fermented odors. It is really ripe if you can easily pull one of the leaves out of the top.
Store at room temperature for 1 or 2 days before serving to allow the pineapple to become softer and sweeter. Store in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days or cut pineapple into chunks and store for up to 7 days. Cut up pineapple also freezes well.
The plum is a drupe—a pitted fruit—related to the nectarine, peach, and apricot, but it is far more diverse than its relatives, coming in a wider range of shapes, sizes and especially skin colors. Its flavors also vary from extremely sweet to quite tart. Some plum varieties are specifically bred so that they can be dried and still retain their sweetness, and these are used for prunes.
Good to know: Plums stimulate the bowel movement. Its skin contains a substance that is responsible for that effect so if you peel the fruit you won't be bothered with the well-known side effects of this lovely fruit.
Plums should be plump and well colored for their variety. Plums are usually about 3-6 cm in size. If a fruit yields to gentle pressure, it is ready to eat, however, you can buy plums that are fairly firm, but not rock hard and let them soften at home. They will not increase in sweetness. Ripe plums will be slightly soft at the stem and tip, but watch out for shriveled skin, mushy spots, or breaks in the skin
To soften hard plums, place several in a loosely closed paper bag and leave them at room temperature for a day or two; when softened, transfer them to the refrigerator. Ripe plums can be refrigerated for up to three days.
Plums are juiciest at room temperature, but always wash them before eating or cooking. To pit freestone types, cut the fruit in half, twist the halves apart, and lift out the pit. To slice or quarter clingstone plums, use a sharp paring knife and cut through the flesh towards the pit.
European plums are better than Japanese varieties for cooking. Cooked plums are usually eaten with the skins on, but if you need to peel them, first blanch them in boiling water for about 30 seconds.
Baking: Place halved, pitted plums in a baking dish and sprinkle with sugar and spices to taste. Try adding a few spoonfuls of fruit juice, instead of water, and cover. Cook until tender, check during baking and add more liquid, if necessary. Cooking time: about 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
Poaching: Plums can be cooked whole (prick them with a fork first), halved, or sliced. For serving whole, cook the fruit unpeeled to retain the shape. Place the fruit in simmering juice, wine, or a mixture of water and sugar and cook until tender. Cooking time: 3 to 8 minutes (European plums cook much faster than Japanese plums).
Watermelon is one of the tastier fruits.. People can't seem to get enough of the sweet treat, and nutritionists have long appreciated the health benefits watermelon provides. Recently research has shed new light on its potential health benefits. Watermelon contains high concentrations of lycopene, an antioxidant that may help reduce the risks of cancer and other diseases.
Watermelon consists of 92% water and 8% sugar, so it is aptly named.
When to look for them in your grocery store:
The natural sweetness of watermelon makes it a favourite anytime of the year. It is a perfect addition to a salad, salsa, or cool drink. Top chunks of sweet watermelon with fruit flavored sherbets or sorbets.
Choose firm, symmetrical, fruit free of cracks, bruises, soft spots or mold. Ripe watermelon will have a healthy sheen, a dull rind, dried stem, and a buttery yellow underside where it touched the ground. There should be a melon like smell or fragrance. Thump if you must, sound should be dull and hollow. Lift them, weight should be heavy for size.
Avoid watermelons that are very hard, white or very pale green in color on the underside, indicating immaturity. An immature watermelon will be slightly acidic.
Once picked, watermelon will not ripen easily. If unripe, try putting the whole melon in paper bag un-refrigerated. This sometimes works to ripen them. Watermelons can be kept for short periods of time, up to 2 weeks, uncut at room temperature. Wash watermelon with soap and water before cutting. Once cut, package what is not eaten in closed plastic containers or bags and put back in the refrigerator.