Organic Fruit? Or Conventional?
Plus, Making Fruit Recipes from Scratch
With What You Have On Hand


Welcome to our helpful article that helps guide you answer the question about which fruits must be organic versus conventional. Then, stick around as we show you how to select and clean your fruit, and ingredients that will match your selected fruit perfectly so you can build a recipe on-the-fly.

So, just how important is it to choose organic fruit over conventional fruit? As you'll learn, it can be very important for some fruits, and for others it's not as vital. We'll discuss this below.

The GENERAL rule is the thinner and more delicate the skin the more important it is to choose organic fruit. But there are exceptions to every rule, right?

When To Choose Organic Fruit


An apple with a bar code stamped on it

Have you ever heard of The Dirty Dozen? It's a list of the Top 12 fruits and veggies that are the dirtiest and most pesticide-laden out there.

Here are the non-organic fruits that appear on this Top 12 Dirty Dozen list:

  1. Apples
  2. Peaches
  3. Nectarines
  4. Strawberries
  5. Imported Grapes

The missing 7 of the Dirty Dozen are the "dirty veggies".

It's extremely important that you write these top pesticide-laden fruits (and veggies) down, memorize them, tattoo them on your body, whatever you have to do to remember to purchase these as organic fruit every time you shop.

Alternatively, there is a list out there called "The Clean 15", those fruits and veggies that contain the least amount of pesticides, in case you can't afford to purchase (or don't have access to) organics:

  1. Pineapple
  2. Mango
  3. Kiwi
  4. Papaya
  5. Cantaloupe
  6. Grapefruit

The missing 9 are the "clean veggies", which include tomato and avocado, even though these are "technically" fruits.

An apple with a sticker and number 94131

Okay, so you're armed with the fruits you need to buy organic. But how do you know if they're TRULY organic? Very simply. You know those little stickers that are attached to fruits and veggies? Here's a general rule about the numbers on these stickers:

  • If it's a four-digit number, that means it's conventionally grown;
  • If it's a five-digit number beginning with a 9, that means it's organic;
  • If it's a five-digit number beginning with an 8, that means it's genetically modified (GMO).

"Sassy, I don't have access to organic fruit where I live. What should I do?"

Great question.    ;)

You can peel the fruit of its skin. The only thing you need to know is that this doesn't remove the pesticides from the INSIDE of your fruit. The fruit did, after all, eat these pesticides and herbicides in order to grow so they've now become a part of the fruit itself. However, washing and/or peeling your fruits will certainly go a long way to removing the harmful substances for you.

Be sure to check for Farmer's Markets in your area. How can you beat just-picked fruits (and veggies) grown near you. In fact, the conventional fruits/veggies from Farmer's Markets grown by local farmers could very well be of better quality than some organics that are shipped for days to your local grocery store.

Or if you get the chance, join a local CSA group (Community Supported Agriculture), or start one up yourself. CSA's support your local farmers and the prices are usually incredibly reasonable -- for FRESH, ORGANIC produce! I love what Michelle from Brooklyn has to say about her experience with a CSA. Fun!    :)

Need some further guidance? Click here to locate a food co-operative or CSA near you.

Here in Reno, Nevada, our gor-geous Great Basin Co-op (who ALWAYS has fresh, organic produce, most of it locally grown) has created Dropp, where you can place an order for not only fresh produce, but many other products in bulk. Place your order one day, and pick it up the next day.

And if by some chance you live in an area that has NOTHING like any of this, start your own buying club. I'm sure your community will be happy to participate. Go for it!


Fruit List and Fruit Tips

Below you will find a list of some of the most popular fruits available. Included with each fruit is directions for how to clean your chosen fruit, "Vegan Flavor Matches" that will help you create your very own recipe, and a fruit nutrition link that may come in handy for you.

Those fruits that appear in BROWN are among "The Dirty Dozen" and should be purchased organic, or cleansed thoroughly with Veggie Wash® (or similar), rinsed well and peeled (if desired).

Ready? Let's play with our fruit!


Apples

How To Select Apples

Apple

Choose apples that are firm and solid...and ORGANIC. Beware of mushy spots, or those that are in some way bruised. Sometimes the skin may have a small tan rough spot, and this is fine and may actually indicate a very tasty apple.

How To Clean Apples

Rinse under running water and pat dry.

Apple Flavor Matches

Create your very own vegan apple recipe with some of your favorite ingredients from this list of foods that match perfectly with apples.

  • Agave nectar
  • Allspice
  • Almonds
  • Bacon, vegetarian (Eat sparingly; this is not a health food)
  • Blackberries
  • Brandy
  • Brown sugar, organic
  • Butter, non-dairy
  • Caramel, vegan
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cheese, vegan
  • Cherries
  • Chestnuts
  • Cider
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Cocoa
  • Cognac
  • Cointreau
  • Coriander
  • Cranberries
  • Cream, non-dairy
  • Cream cheese, non-dairy
  • Currants, black
  • Curry
  • Dates
  • Ginger
  • Grand Marnier
  • Hazelnuts
  • Horseradish)
  • Lemon
  • Maple Syrup
  • Marshmallows, vegan
  • Mayo, vegan (I like Vegenaise)
  • Molasses
  • Nutmeg
  • Nuts, especially almonds or pecans
  • Oatmeal
  • Onion
  • Oranges
  • Pears
  • Pepper, black
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pineapple
  • Pistachios
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • Rosemary
  • Rum
  • Sauerkraut
  • Sausage, vegetarian (Eat sparingly; this is not a health food.)
  • Sherry
  • Sour cream, non-dairy
  • Squash
  • Sugar, whole cane organic
  • Vanilla
  • Vermouth
  • Vinegar
  • Walnuts
  • Wine, red
  • Yogurt, non-dairy

All about cooking apples including: Apple selection and storage, apple varieties, apple equivalents and substitutions, and apple recipes that are easy to "veganize" (refer to the Apple Flavor Matches above for ideas).

Apple Helpful Hints

  • Apples are healthiest when eaten raw;
  • Apples are available year round, but are best when in season which is Autumn (September - November);
  • Store apples in the refrigerator once ripened to your individual taste;
  • One pound of apples yields 3 cups pared and sliced or diced (equivalent to 3 medium apples);
  • Toss peeled and sliced apples with lemon juice to prevent discoloration.

Discover the Nutritional Value of Apples:

World's Healthiest Foods.com




Apricots

How To Select Apricots

Apricot

Choose apricots that are firm and plump, with a pretty yellow/orange/red color. Allow to ripen at room temperature, and store in the fridge for up to 5 days in a closed container. To hasten ripening, place in a paper bag and keep closed and away from light.

How To Clean Apricots

Rinse under running water and pat dry.

Apricot Flavor Matches

Create your very own vegan apricot recipe with some of your favorite ingredients from this list of foods that match perfectly with apricots.

  • Agave nectar
  • Allspice
  • Almond
  • Amaretto
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Brandy
  • Cabbage
  • Caramel, vegan
  • Cherries
  • Cinnamon
  • Coconut
  • Cognac
  • Cointreau
  • Couscous
  • Cream cheese, non-dairy
  • Cumin
  • Grand Marnier
  • Hazelnuts
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Lingonberries
  • Maple Syrup
  • Nectarines
  • Pecans
  • Peaches
  • Pineapple
  • Pistachios
  • Plums
  • Powdered sugar, organic
  • Raisins
  • Raspberries
  • Rice
  • Rosemary
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sour cream, non-dairy
  • Strawberries
  • Tarragon
  • Vanilla
  • Yogurt, non-dairy
  • Wine

All about cooking apricots including: Apricot selection and storage, apricot equivalents and substitutions, cooking apricots, and apricot recipes that are easy to "veganize" (refer to the Apricot Flavor Matches above for ideas).

Apricot Helpful Hints

  • Apricots are healthiest when eaten raw;
  • Apricots are best when in season, May - August;
  • Twist apricots in half to eat;
  • To peel apricots, blanch in boiling water for about 20 seconds and then plunge into ice water.

Discover the Nutritional Value of Apricots

World's Healthiest Foods.com



Bananas

How To Select Bananas

Vegan Banana Recipes and Tips

Bananas turn yellow when ripened, and are best purchased while still a little green to allow them to ripen on your countertop. Bananas are ripe when small brown specks appear. The riper the banana, the softer the banana.

How To Clean Bananas

No need to wash first. Simply peel.

Banana Flavor Matches

Create your very own vegan banana recipe with some of your favorite ingredients from this list of foods that match perfectly with bananas.

  • Agave nectar
  • Almonds
  • Apricots
  • Bacon, vegetarian (Eat sparingly; this is not a health food)
  • Blueberries
  • Brandy
  • Brown sugar, organic
  • Butter, non-dairy
  • Caramel, vegan
  • Cardamom
  • Chocolate
  • Coconut
  • Cognac
  • Coriander
  • Cream, non-dairy
  • Cream cheese, non-dairy
  • Gin
  • Ginger
  • Graham crackers
  • Ice cream, non-dairy
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Maple Syrup
  • Nuts, especially walnuts
  • Oranges
  • Passion fruit
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Pineapples
  • Pralines
  • Powdered sugar, organic
  • Raisins
  • Raspberries
  • Rum
  • Sour cream, non-dairy
  • Strawberries
  • Sugar, whole cane organic
  • Tropical fruits
  • Vanilla
  • Yogurt, non-dairy

All about cooking bananas including: Banana selection and storage, banana equivalents, and banana recipes that are easy to "veganize" (refer to the Banana Flavor Matches above for ideas).

Banana Helpful Hints

  • Bananas are healthiest when eaten raw;
  • If your banana skin doesn't easily pull away from the banana, it will be bitter tasting;
  • Peel bananas, then wrap them in plastic wrap and place in the freezer. They're easily cut with a knife, and can be made into smooth and delectable smoothies;
  • A banana is known as a complete meal because it contains all the major vitamins;
  • Store at room temperature.

Discover the Nutritional Value of Bananas
World's Healthiest Foods.com



Berries

How To Select Berries

Vegan Berry Recipes and Tips

When selecting strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, choose berries that are firm. When buying a batch, you're likely to find 1 or 2 mushed or overripe berries -- be sure to discard these right away so they don't make the rest of the batch sad looking.

ALWAYS WASH BERRIES JUST BEFORE USE. Storing wet berries hastens their decay. They can be left on the counter top to ripen for a day or two, but then place in the refrigerator to stop the ripening process (strawberries are the exception).

In addition to the above, here are some extra berry tips...

Strawberries - Always choose organic strawberries. Once picked, strawberries won't ripen further. So be sure to choose berries that have a deep red color and attached green caps. Avoid strawberries that are dull in color or have green or yellow patches. Purchase strawberries just a few days prior to using as they're extremely perishable, and rinse just before using. Medium-sized strawberries are usually the most flavorful. Usually available year-round, they're best when in season, which is spring through mid-summer.

Blueberries - When choosing blueberries that are already packaged, shake the container a bit to be sure they move around freely; if not, it could mean berries are smooshed and bruised inside. Keep blueberries away from water until ready to eat since water causes them to decay. There's a whitish waxy protective surface naturally built into the blueberry that's supposed to be there and is completely edible. Blueberries are best when in season, mid-spring through mid-fall.

Raspberries/Blackberries - Always choose organic raspberries. Raspberries are some of the most perishable fruit out there, and should be GENTLY rinsed just before use so they retain their delicate shape. Blackberries are similar, but slightly hardier and don't have to handled quite as gently, although care should be taken. Be sure to look for berries that are firm and bright -- avoid those that are mushy or moldy; if you find some in your batch, discard before storing in the fridge for 1-2 days.

How To Clean Berries

Rinse under running water just before eating. Rinse only the amount you'll eat; don't store berries when wet.

Strawberry Flavor Matches

Create your very own vegan strawberry recipe with some of your favorite ingredients from this list of foods that match perfectly with strawberries.

  • Almonds
  • Apricots
  • Avocado
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Bananas
  • Basil
  • Brown sugar, organic
  • Caramel, vegan
  • Champagne
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Coconut
  • Cognac
  • Cointreau
  • Cream, non-dairy
  • Cream cheese, non-dairy
  • Curacao
  • Currants, black
  • Figs
  • Grand Marnier
  • Grapefruits
  • Guavas
  • Kiwi
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Maple Syrup
  • Mesclun
  • Nuts, especially hazelnuts
  • Oranges
  • Passion fruit
  • Peaches
  • Pepper, black
  • Pineapple
  • Port
  • Raspberries
  • Rhubarb
  • Sambuca
  • Sherry
  • Sour cream, non-dairy
  • Spinach
  • Sugar, whole cane organic
  • Vanilla
  • Violets
  • Wine, red
  • Yogurt, non-dairy

All about cooking strawberries including: Strawberry history, selection and storage, strawberry cooking tips, equivalents and substitutions, and strawberry recipes that are easy to "veganize" (refer to the Strawberry Flavor Matches above for ideas).


Blueberry Flavor Matches

Create your very own vegan blueberry recipe with some of your favorite ingredients from this list of foods that match perfectly with blueberries.

  • Agave nectar
  • Almond
  • Apricots
  • Bourbon
  • Brown sugar, organic
  • Cinnamon
  • Cocoa
  • Cognac
  • Cointreau
  • Cream, non-dairy
  • Cream cheese, non-dairy
  • Currants
  • Curry
  • Ginger
  • Grand Marnier
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Maple Syrup
  • Onion
  • Orange
  • Peaches
  • Pecans
  • Pineapple
  • Powdered sugar, organic
  • Raspberries
  • Sour cream, non-dairy
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Sugar, whole cane organic
  • Thyme
  • Walnuts
  • Yogurt, non-dairy
  • Zucchini

All about cooking blueberries including: Blueberry selection and storage, blueberry cooking tips, equivalents and substitutions, and blueberry recipes that are easy to "veganize" (refer to the Blueberry Flavor Matches above for ideas).


Raspberry Flavor Matches

Create your very own vegan raspberry recipe with some of your favorite ingredients from this list of foods that match perfectly with raspberries.

  • Almonds
  • Apricots
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Basil
  • Brandy
  • Brown sugar, organic
  • Buttermilk, vegan (1 cup non-dairy milk plus 1 Tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar)
  • Caramel, vegan
  • Champagne
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus fruits
  • Coffee
  • Coconut
  • Cognac
  • Cream, non-dairy
  • Cream cheese, non-dairy
  • Currants, black
  • Lemon
  • Mangoes
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pepper, black
  • Pineapple
  • Pistachio
  • Sour cream, non-dairy
  • Sugar, whole cane organic
  • Vanilla
  • Wine, red

Blackberry Flavor Matches

Create your very own vegan blackberry recipe with some of your favorite ingredients from this list of foods that match perfectly with blackberries.

  • Agave nectar
  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Cream, non-dairy
  • Green beans
  • Lemon
  • Maple Syrup
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Raspberries
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Sugar, whole cane organic

Discover the Nutritional Value of Berries

Strawberries
World's Healthiest Foods.com

Blueberries
World's Healthiest Foods.com

Raspberries
World's Healthiest Foods.com


The Path To Whirled Peas

Learn how to be vegan as you...
  • Create flavorful meals in 30 minutes or less—without recipes;
  • Choose the best vegan ingredients while $aving money;
  • Stock your kitchen with a wide range of plant-based foods;
  • Target your YOU-nique nutritional needs;
  • Establish a new routine to match your new lifestyle;
  • Take a FREE cooking course!
Sassy's Top 10 Vegan Ingredients eBook Cover

 Join us today for this tasty adventure!
We respect your email privacy.




Citrus Fruit

How To Select Citrus Fruit

Lemon and lime slices

There are many delicious citrus fruits, and this section will focus on four of them: Grapefruit, lemon, lime and orange. When choosing you citrus fruits, look for skins that are smooth. The fruit should be brightly colored, and feel heavy compared to its size. Avoid those with soft spots or other obvious damage.

How To Clean Citrus

Rinse under running water and pat dry.

Grapefruit Flavor Matches

Create your very own vegan grapefruit recipe with some of your favorite ingredients from this list of foods that match perfectly with grapefruit.

  • Agave nectar
  • Avocado
  • Bananas
  • Brown sugar, organic
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Campari
  • Cashews
  • Champagne
  • Cheese, vegan
  • Chicory
  • Cabbage, Napa
  • Chestnuts
  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus fruits, other
  • Coconut
  • Coriander
  • Curacao
  • Garlic
  • Gin
  • Grand Marnier
  • Mayo, vegan (I like Vegenaise)
  • Mint
  • Mustard
  • Onion, red
  • Oranges
  • Pineapple
  • Pomegranate
  • Red chili pepper
  • Raspberries
  • Rosemary
  • Rum
  • Sesame seeds
  • Shallots
  • Sherry
  • Strawberries
  • Sugar, organic
  • Vodka

Lemon Flavor Matches

Create your very own vegan lemon recipe with some of your favorite ingredients from this list of foods that match perfectly with lemon.

  • Agave nectar
  • Almonds
  • Artichokes
  • Blueberries
  • Cardamom
  • Chocolate
  • Cream cheese, non-dairy
  • Currants, black
  • Ginger
  • Lime
  • Mint
  • Poppy seeds
  • Raspberries
  • Sesame
  • Strawberries
  • Zucchini
  • Vegetables, all

Lime Flavor Matches

Create your very own vegan lime recipe with some of your favorite ingredients from this list of foods that match perfectly with lime.

  • Agave nectar
  • Bananas
  • Basil
  • Cherry
  • Chipotles
  • Chocolate
  • Coconut
  • Cream cheese, non-dairy
  • Jalapeno
  • Garlic
  • Lemon
  • Peanuts
  • Raspberries
  • Rum

Orange Flavor Matches

Create your very own vegan orange recipe with some of your favorite ingredients from this list of foods that match perfectly with oranges.

  • Almond
  • Apple
  • Basil
  • Brandy
  • Cardamom
  • Chipotle Peppers
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Coconut
  • Cointreau
  • Cranberry
  • Ginger
  • Grand Marnier
  • Lemon
  • Mangoes
  • Olives
  • Onion
  • Pecans
  • Sherry
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Vanilla
  • Walnut

Citrus Helpful Hints

  • Lemon/Limes are in season from the spring to the fall, Grapefruit is in season in the colder winter months, and oranges winter through summer;
  • Allow citrus to ripen on your countertop, then refrigerate;
  • When citrus starts to get soft and cave in, it's waaaay overdue to be tossed.

Discover the Nutritional Value of Citrus

Grapefruit
World's Healthiest Foods.com

Lemon/Limes
World's Healthiest Foods.com

Oranges
World's Healthiest Foods.com



Cranberries

How To Select Cranberries

Cranberries

Choose cranberries that are firm to the touch as this indicates the freshest and tastiest berries. You can actually store unwashed cranberries in the refrigerator for 2-3 months. When you remove them from the fridge, they may appear wet, which is fine. But if they're shriveled, sticky, or otherwise looking sad, then toss.

How To Clean Cranberries

Rinse under running water just before eating.


Cranberry Flavor Matches

Create your very own vegan cranberry recipe with some of your favorite ingredients from this list of foods that match perfectly with cranberries.

  • Apples
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Cream cheese, non-dairy
  • Fennel
  • Ginger
  • Jalapeno
  • Lemon
  • Mustard
  • Orange
  • Pears
  • Powdered sugar, organic
  • Pumpkin
  • Raspberry
  • Sausage, vegetarian
  • Sour cream, non-dairy
  • Sugar, whole cane organic
  • Sherry
  • Walnuts
  • Wine, red

All about cooking cranberries including: Cranberry selection and storage, cranberry cooking tips, and cranberry recipes that are easy to "veganize" (refer to the Cranberry Flavor Matches above for ideas).

Cranberry Helpful Hints

  • Cranberries are healthiest when eaten raw;
  • Cranberries are in season in the colder months of October through December;
  • Store unwashed cranberries in the fridge; rinse just before eating;
  • Cranberries should be a very deep rich red color.

Discover the Nutritional Value of Cranberries

World's Healthiest Foods.com



Figs

How To Select Figs

Fig halves

Figs should have a very faint delectable sweet aroma. If they smell sour, they likely are. You can allow figs to sit out on your counter to ripen for a day. Once ripened, fresh figs should be kept tightly covered in the fridge and enjoyed within 2 days. Dried figs should also be kept tightly covered in your cupboard and used within a few months; any longer and they become very dry and brittle.

How To Clean Figs

Rinse fresh figs under running water, remove stem, and pat dry.

Fig Flavor Matches

Create your very own vegan fig recipe with some of your favorite ingredients from this list of foods that match perfectly with figs.

  • Agave nectar
  • Almonds
  • Anise
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Brown sugar, organic
  • Caramel, vegan
  • Cheese, vegan
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Coconut milk
  • Cointreau
  • Cornmeal, organic
  • Cream, non-dairy
  • Cream cheese, non-dairy
  • Curacao
  • Ginger
  • Lemon
  • Marsala
  • Mint
  • Molasses
  • Nuts (not peanuts)
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pepper, black
  • Port
  • Raspberries
  • Rosemary
  • Sherry
  • Sour cream, non-dairy
  • Strawberries
  • Thyme
  • Vanilla
  • Walnuts
  • Wine, red

All about cooking figs including: Fig selection and storage, fig history, and fig recipes that are easy to "veganize" (refer to the Fig Flavor Matches above for ideas).

Fig Helpful Hints

  • Figs are healthiest and at their most delicious when eaten raw;
  • Dried figs are available year round, but fresh figs are best when in season which is June through September;
  • Store figs in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Discover the Nutritional Value of Figs

World's Healthiest Foods.com



Kiwi

How To Select Kiwi

Kiwi cut in half

Choosing a kiwi is very similar to choosing an avocado. To begin with, be sure the skin is smooth and free from soft spots or bruising. When gently pressed in the palm of your hand, a ripe kiwi will have a slight give to it. If it's still hard, leave it sit out on your countertop at room temperature until ripe. At this point you can leave out at room temperature or refrigerate.

How To Clean Kiwi

Rinse under running water and pat dry just before eating.

Kiwi Flavor Matches

Create your very own vegan kiwi recipe with some of your favorite ingredients from this list of foods that match perfectly with kiwi.

  • Agave nectar
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Cream cheese, non-dairy
  • Cucumbers
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Nuts, especially cashews, hazelnuts and macadamias
  • Oranges
  • Passion fruit
  • Pineapple
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries

All about cooking kiwifruit including: Kiwi selection and storage, cooking with kiwi, and kiwi recipes that are easy to "veganize" (refer to the Kiwi Flavor Matches above for ideas).

Kiwi Helpful Hints

  • Kiwi are healthiest when eaten raw;
  • Kiwi are available year round;
  • Store kiwi on the countertop or in the refrigerator once ripened to your individual taste;
  • Add kiwi to any salad for a dramatic flair.

Discover the Nutritional Value of Kiwi

World's Healthiest Foods.com




Melons

How To Select Melons

Cantaloupe

Choose melons that are heavy for their size. Beware of mushy spots, or those that are in some way bruised. Pick up the melon and firmly hit it with the palm of your hand. If it sounds hollow, you may have a winner. Sometimes the rind may have small tan rough spots, and this is perfectly acceptable. In fact, I always look for melons that have these rough spots because it usually indicates a very delectable melon.

In addition to the above, here are some extra melon tips...

Cantaloupe - Look to the end opposite the stem; it should be slightly soft and nicely fragrant. If it smells too strong, then it's likely overripe. If it's green, then let it sit on your counter for a few days until it's ripened and has turned a pretty cream or yellow color. Then place in your refrigerator. Once cut, cantaloupe can only stay unrefrigerated for 2-4 hours before it starts to break down and become inedible AND dangerous due to various bacteria that have likely formed. Scary! Who knew?    ;)

Watermelon - Look for a creamish color on one side of the melon that looks different from the rest of the rind. This is the side that was resting on the ground while ripening. If this marking isn't there, then chances are it was picked prematurely and the taste will be affected.

Honeydew - Unripe honeydews are whitish-green, and when mature turn a creamy yellow color. Look for those that have smooth and shiny rind, not a fuzzy one.

A Casaba's skin should be bright yellow.

Crenshaw (my all-time favorite melon) will be yellow or creamy white.

How To Clean Melons

Rinse under running water and pat dry.

Remember, never mix melons with any other foods.

Discover the Nutritional Value of Melons

Cantaloupe
World's Healthiest Foods.com

Watermelon
World's Healthiest Foods.com



Papaya

How To Select Papaya

Papaya

Choose a papaya that is mostly yellow with a slight give when pressed with your fingers. Be sure to smell your papaya - there should be no strange odor.

How To Clean Papaya

Rinse under running water and pat dry. Cut in half and remove seeds. Do not eat peel.

Papaya Flavor Matches

Create your very own vegan papaya recipe with some of your favorite ingredients from this list of foods that match perfectly with papaya.

  • Avocados
  • Basil
  • Bell pepper, red
  • Cayenne
  • Cherry
  • Chiles
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Ginger
  • Grapefruit
  • Jalapeno
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Mangoes
  • Mustard
  • Onion, especially red and sweet
  • Oranges
  • Passion fruit
  • Peaches
  • Pineapple
  • Port
  • Tomatoes
  • Scallions
  • Strawberries
  • Sugar, whole cane organic
  • Vanilla

All about cooking with papaya including: Papaya description, papaya selection and storage, papaya cooking tips, and papaya recipes that are easy to "veganize" (refer to the Papaya Flavor Matches above for ideas).

Papaya Helpful Hints

  • Papayas are healthiest when eaten raw;
  • Papayas are available June-October. After they've been picked, they only stay fresh for 7-10 days; so by the time they reach your store and your grocery cart, you likely have only 3 days to enjoy your fruit;
  • Papayas turn to mush very quickly, so store in a plastic bag in your fridge once ripened.

Discover the Nutritional Value of Papaya

World's Healthiest Foods.com



Pears

How To Select Pears

A pear

Always choose organic pears. Pears have a very delicate, paper-thin skin and therefore are shipped in their unripened state to avoid damage. Choose pears that are smooth and healthy looking, with no bruises or mold. Sometimes the skin may have a small tan rough spot, and this is fine and may actually indicate a very tasty pear. Pears are ripe when they can be gently indented with your thumb.

How To Clean Pears

Rinse under running water and pat dry.

Pear Flavor Matches

Create your very own vegan pear recipe with some of your favorite ingredients from this list of foods that match perfectly with pears.

  • Agave nectar
  • Almonds
  • Anise
  • Apples
  • Blackberries
  • Bourbon
  • Brandy
  • Brown sugar, organic
  • Caramel, vegan
  • Chablis
  • Cheese, vegan
  • Cherries
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Cognac
  • Cranberry
  • Cream, non-dairy
  • Curacao
  • Currants, black
  • Figs
  • Ginger
  • Grand Marnier
  • Grappa
  • Hazelnuts
  • Ice cream, non-dairy (especially vanilla)
  • Lemon
  • Lingonberries
  • Marsala
  • Nutmeg
  • Nuts
  • Oranges
  • Pecans
  • Pepper, black
  • Pineapple
  • Quinces
  • Raisins
  • Raspberries
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato
  • Thyme
  • Vanilla
  • Vinegar, balsamic
  • Walnuts
  • Wine, red

Pear tips including: Pear selection tips, pear varieties, and pear recipes that are easy to "veganize" (refer to the Pear Flavor Matches above for ideas).

Pear Helpful Hints

  • Pears are healthiest when eaten raw;
  • Pears are available year round, but are best in their late-summer to mid-fall time frame;
  • Store pears in the refrigerator once ripened to your individual taste;
  • Store pears away from other foods as they tend to absorb these different aromas.

Discover the Nutritional Value of Pears

World's Healthiest Foods.com




Pineapple

How To Select Pineapple

Pineapple

When selecting your pineapple, smell the area near the stem; it should smell sweet -- if it smells musty or nasty, put it down and move on. Secondly, be sure there are no soft spots or bruises, and beware of darkened "eyes".

Once pineapples are picked, their ripening process is complete, so they will not ripen any further; however, if you leave them to sit out on your counter top, they will get juicier and sweeter. The area near the base of the pineapple is usually the juiciest and sweetest. After letting your pineapple sit on your counter top for a couple days, place in a bag in the fridge until ready to use.

How To Clean Pineapples

No need to clean them -- simply slice.

Pineapple Flavor Matches

Create your very own vegan pineapple recipe with some of your favorite ingredients from this list of foods that match perfectly with pineapples.

  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Brandy
  • Brown sugar, organic
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Coconut
  • Cognac
  • Cointreau
  • Cream cheese, non-dairy
  • Cucumbers
  • Ginger
  • Grand Marnier
  • Grapefruits
  • Hazelnuts
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Mangoes
  • Melon
  • Mint
  • Nutmeg
  • Oranges
  • Papayas
  • Pecans
  • Pretzels
  • Raspberries
  • Rhubarb
  • Rum
  • Strawberries
  • Sugar, whole cane organic
  • Vanilla

All about pineapples including: Pineapple history, pineapple selection and storage, pineapple equivalents, and pineapple recipes that are easy to "veganize" (refer to the Pineapple Flavor Matches above for ideas).

Pineapple Helpful Hints

  • Pineapples are healthiest when eaten raw;
  • Pineapples are available year round, but are best when in season which is March through June;
  • Although pineapples can be frozen, it's not recommended because it changes the flavor.

Discover the Nutritional Value of Pineapples

World's Healthiest Foods.com




Heart with quotes"Very useful information. Thanks a million."
-- Charis F., Santa Rosa, California

Back to the top - Guide to Conventional and Organic Fruit


Learn how to be vegan on The Path To Whirled Peas - Click here!