Storing and Purchasing Fresh Produce
Culinary Institute of America
Fruits, vegetables, and herbs have always been an important part of the human diet, but consumers today are more aware than ever that these foods are nutritional powerhouses. They provide impressive amounts of complex carbohydrates, fiber, water, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, often with very little fat, modest amounts of protein, and no cholesterol. They come in a breathtaking array of flavors, colors, and textures as well.
For the most part, fruits and vegetables do not require the same careful portion budgeting that meats, poultry, and fish do. For this reason, they play a key role in producing the necessary flavor boost and eye appeal that can help dispel the myth of bland and boring nutritious cuisine.
As a healthier alternative to fat- or cream-based sauces, fruits and vegetables can be used in the form of purées, coulis, salsas, chutneys, compotes, and relishes to add flavor and texture to a variety of dishes. Dried fruits in particular are a clever way to introduce an additional plant element to a recipe. They are wonderful in salads, sauces, stuffings, desserts, grain dishes, and breakfast cereals.