When You Want Good Food From the Grocery Store Think About Colors

The most colorful place in the grocery store is also the best place for food. The produce section is like Mother Nature’s crayon box. I would say everything is there.

I spend more time in that section than in any other area. Sometimes, my kids have to remind me that we have to leave to go somewhere else.

I am always wanting to try something new….a new type of apple….orange…or even a different vegetable. When it comes to apples, I love the honeycrisp. But, I don’t love the price. Experts in the apple industry say that the reason honeycrisp apples are more expensive is because of the lack of trees to support the popular national demand. So, when the stores run out, or the price just gets too high, I have to look for an ambrosia, or any other type of red sweet apple. Green and yellow apples cause my face to turn different shapes because of the tartness.

I am even learning tricks about picking bananas. Our kids are the lucky ones, though. One store in our neighborhood gets rid of their day-old fruit by offering it to the kids for free. Our three kids are banana-eaters. When it comes to picking the best bananas, I don’t chance it with the unripened ones, and hoping they will ripen later in the week. I buy ones that are about to ripen, and expect bananas to be the first fruit gone during the week.

I have had better luck with timing strawberries, grapes, plums, and other fruit. Another fruit that can be hard to time is the blueberry. I like to get those frozen. They last much longer, and taste pretty good. With frozen fruit, though, check the nutrition label for anything that might be added. I only buy fruit that has no added sugars or anything else.

Now to vegetables for more color. My white-colored vegetables are cauliflower, onions and garlic. The cauliflower is a good snack between meals. The onions and garlic are always part of my flavorings. My green-colored vegetables are spinich, broccolli, celery and cucumbers. My reds are tomatoes and peppers. Carrots are my orange. Olives are my black and another green.

I have started making vegetable wraps with cheese and other toppings. One wrap is a wheat tortilla with broccolli, shredded cheddar cheese, and sliced olives. It gets microwaved for one minute. Another wrap is a vegetable tortilla with sliced tomatoes, cheese and marinara sauce that is heated in the microwave for over a minute. A third wrap is spinich and broccolli, along with cheese and olives. Once again, heat in the microwave for about a minute. Other toppings that I use for these are: sliced onions, sliced red peppers, sliced green peppers, and picante sauce.

Another vegetable item that clears out the refrigerator is a fresh vegetable soup with a chicken or beef broth. Just add your favorite vegetables to the unsalted broth and serve it up for a healthy, warm and colorful meal for everyone.

I think what I have learned about cooking with fruits and vegetables is to use them everyday to make sure they get eaten, instead of thrown away.