Planning your purchase
- For better flavour, good nutrition and best value, buy fruit and vegetables when they are plentiful and seasonally at their best – in Australia this means peaches in summer, apples in autumn, asparagus in spring and cabbage in winter.
- Seek information on preparing vegetables and fruits that are new to you. Our A-Z produce guide is brimming with information and includes photographs and preparation tips.
- Plan ahead to provide a variety of vegetables to those for whom you cook. Our seasonal guide will help you to determine which products are currently in season.
- Spend some time browsing our recipe section to gain inspiration for different dishes and snacks.
- To add interest to your menu, make a habit of buying fruit, vegetables and herbs that you have not tried before.
- Be sure to consider the quantities you need. There is nothing more disappointing than not having enough or, having so much that you can’t use it while it is at its best.
Selecting and transporting home
- Buy the least perishable vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots and pumpkin first, then lastly, pick up the more delicate greens (eg: rocket) and fruit (eg: peaches and raspberries).
- To keep food fresh on hot days, park your car in the shade.
- Learn to touch fruit such as peaches, plums, avocadoes, and melons delicately to gauge their ripeness.
- To assess ripeness and sweetness, smell fruit like pears, apples, pineapples, mangoes, peaches and melons.
- Look for fresh, glossy herbs, as they will have the best flavour and aroma to inspire your cooking and last longer.
- Your greengrocer can help you select a product and advise you how to store it so it is to your liking and ready to eat for a special occasion.
- Store potatoes, onions, garlic, and uncut pumpkin in a dry place (not in the fridge).
- Most vegetables, for example, carrots, cut pumpkin, zucchini, eggplant, capsicum and broccoli, are best stored in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator.
- Keep mushrooms in paper bags in the fridge.
- Store bananas, oranges, lemons and pears (until they ripen) in a large fruit bowl in a well ventilated, cool part of the kitchen and away from the sun.
- Store apples and ripe pears in the refrigerator to keep crisp.
- Buy fresh vegetables often and consume them soon after purchase. Avoid storing them for more than 3-4 days.
- Store all berries in the refrigerator.
- Store unripe avocados in the fruit bowl. Ripe ones can be refrigerated.
- Store tomatoes in a brown paper bag at room temperature with top loosely open to ripen and gain flavour.
- Store fresh herbs in the refrigerator in a sealed freezer bag. They keep well for 4-6 days.
- Keep your refrigerator vegetable crisper clean and dry for best storage and rotate produce gently every day or so.
- Small quantities of left over fresh vegetables such as carrots, beans, broccoli, snow peas and celery are great for stir fries or soups.
Detailed tips for selection and storage of products may be found in our A-Z guide under individual listings. You will also find our recipe and seasonal guide most helpful for planning your purchases and inspiring your menu. Our preparation videos will also show you how to prepare and cut a range of fruit and vegetables.