10/30 – Health & Wellness Tip – Produce Guide

October is Vegetarian Awareness Month!

I love fruits and vegetables! And I love trying new foods! Because of this, it is important for me to have a guide on fruits and vegetables.

I have talked about my trusty produce guide before, I am again, and I am sure this won’t be the last time that I talk about it. I LOVE my produce guide (really known as my “produce bible”).

There are four main categories in the guide: Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs & Spices, and Specialties/Ethnic. An availability guide is also provided that displays the months during the year that various items are in season.

Here is the information provided in my produce guide for each food item:

This is my go-to produce bible - Dr. Richter’s Fresh Produce Guide ©2000

This is my go-to produce bible – Dr. Richter’s Fresh Produce Guide ©2000

  • Minimal nutrition facts – Serving size, Calories, Protein, Fat, Carbs, Fiber, and Sodium
  • General information
  • Selection & Storage – The information on how to store fruits and vegetables has saved me a lot of money over the years.
  • Preparation & Cooking tips – This is very basic information on how to use a food. I will get a sense for whether I can eat something raw or which cooking method to use and then I’ll look online to find some recipes.

I have owned this book for many years. Present-day, I know most people would prefer to use their phones to obtain this information. And, honestly, there are times that I would like to have this information at my fingertips…like when I am trying to select a fruit or veggie that I haven’t had before.

So, I did a bit of investigating to see what apps were out there that I could use when I’m at the farmers market or the grocery store. Here is information on the two apps I would suggest.

Both the apps have their benefits and I see using them together opposed to one instead of the other.

In Season Produce by ST Apps10302016_inseasonapp

Three ways to know what is in season:

  • Fruits and Vegetables are listed alphabetically showing the months available
  • Choose a specific month
  • Choose a season – Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Provides a “clean” list and a “dirty” list to help you know when to buy organic
Has a list of fiber-rich foods
Includes a list of “superfoods”
Negative for this app – Ads and pop-ups; IGNORE them

Perfect Produce by SparkPeople10302016_perfectproduceapp

Once you choose a food, more information is provided

  • What to consider when buying this food
  • How to store and prepare this food
  • Nutrition – the entire nutrition label, plus all the vitamins and minerals obtained from a serving
  • Recipes so you have some ideas how to use the food

You can also search for specific food items by using nutrients; So, you can see all foods high in Calcium or all foods high in Vitamin C
Negative for this app – You need to select a specific food to know when it is in season

I’d love to know if you have an app or book that you use as your “produce bible.”

by Michele Spear