Nutrition

Fruits and vegetables: A buying guide

By: The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Author: Canadian Living

Nutrition

Fruits and vegetables: A buying guide

By: The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

How much should you buy when a recipe calls for a pound of apples or a pint of blueberries? When are cherries likely to be in season locally -- and therefore cheaper and more nutritious? Click on the fruit link and the vegetable link below for answers. Here are some assumptions we make to arrive at the correct amounts:

• The fruits and vegetables are based on commonly available sizes found at the supermarket. Where there is a range, we have based amounts on the first figure; for example, for 2 to 3 apples, we have used 2 apples.

• As well, for chopped or sliced fruits and vegetables, we assume that they have been trimmed, pitted, stemmed and peeled where appropriate, as in our recipes.

• The indicated peak times are for fresh Canadian produce, although some, like carrots, maybe available year-round, while others, such as apples, are available from cold storage at other times during the year. Availability varies according to location and weather.

• For fruits and vegetables that are typically imported and often available year-round, lemons for example, wherever possible we have indicated peak times for these as well.

• Some vegetables and fruits are also available year-round frozen: cranberries, wild blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb, peas, corn, beans and broccoli are examples of produce that freezes well.

• Canned fruits and vegetables are also options: peaches, pears, pineapple, apricots and applesauce are a handy staple, as are canned tomatoes, beets, corn and legumes.

Apples (late August to April)

1 lb (500 g) = 2 to 3 apples
1 apple, grated or chopped = 1 cup (250 mL)
1 apple, sliced = 1 1/2 cups (375 mL)

Apricots (July to August)

1 lb (500 g) = 5 to 7 apricots
1 apricot, sliced = 1/2 cup (125 mL)
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Avocado (April to August)

1 lb (500 g) = 2 avocados
1 avocado, sliced or cubed = 1 cup (250 mL)
1 avocado, mashed = 1/2 cup (125 mL)

Page 1 of 4 - read page two for more on buying fruit!

Bananas (year-round)

1 lb (500 g) = 4 bananas
1 banana, sliced = 1 cup (250 mL)
1 banana, mashed = 3/4 cup (175 mL)

Blueberries (July to September)

1 pint = 12 oz (375 g) = 2 cups (500 mL)

Cantaloupe (July to September)

1 cantaloupe = 3 lb (1.5 kg) = 7 cups (1.75 L) chopped

Cherries (late June to early August)

1 lb (500 g) = 50 cherries = 3 cups (750 mL)
1 lb (500 g) pitted = 2 cups (500 mL)

Cranberries (September to late December)

1 bag = 12 oz (375 g) = 3 cups (750 mL)

Grapefruit (year-round; peak in winter)

1 lb (500 g) = 1 to 3 grapefruit = 1 cup (250 mL) sections
1 grapefruit = 3/4 cup (175 mL) juice

Grapes (August through early October)

1 lb (500 g) = 3 cups (750 mL) stemmed

Honeydew (July to September)

1 honeydew = 5 1/2 lb (2.45 kg)
1 honeydew, chopped = 12 cups (3 L)

Kiwifruit (year-round; peak In fall and winter)

1 lb (500 g) = 4 to 6 kiwifruit
1 kiwifruit = 1/2 cup (125 mL) sliced/chopped

Lemons (year-round; peak in winter)

1 lb (500 g) = 2 to 3 lemons
1 lemon = 1 tbsp (15 mL) grated rind; 1/4 cup (50 mL) juice

Limes (year-round; peak in fall)

1 lb (500 g) = 4 limes
1 lime = 2 tsp (10 mL) grated rind; 3 tbsp (50 mL) juice

Mandarins (November to January)

1 lb (500 g) = 3 to 4 mandarins
1 mandarin = 1 cup (250 mL) sections; 2 tsp (10 mL) grated rind; 1/3 cup (75 mL) juice

Nectarines (August to mid-September)

1 lb (500 g) = 4 nectarines
1 nectarine = 1 cup (250 mL) sliced or chopped

Oranges (year-round; peak in winter)

1 lb (500 g) = 2 to 3 oranges
1 orange = 1 tbsp (15 mL) grated rind; 1 cup (250 mL) sections; 1/3 cup (75 mL) juice

Peaches (mid-July to mid-September)

1 lb (500 g) = 2 to 4 peaches
1 peach = 1 cup (250 mL) sliced
1 peach = 1 cup (250 mL) chopped or diced

Pears (August to late November)

1 lb (500 g) = 2 to 3 pears
1 pear = 1 cup (250 mL) sliced or chopped

Pineapple (year-round; peak in winter)

1 pineapple = 2 1/2 lb (1.25 kg)
1 pineapple = 5 cups (1.25 L) chopped

Plums (mid-July to late September)

1 lb (500 g) = 5 plums
1 plum = 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped or sliced

Raspberries (July (some available until September)

1 pint = 12 oz (375 g) = 2 cups (500 mL)
2 cups (500 mL) = 1 cup (250 mL) puréed; 1/3 cup (75 mL) puréed and seeded

Rhubarb (forced: January until April, outdoor: early May to July)

1 lb (500 g) trimmed = 10 stalks
1 stalk, trimmed = 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped

Strawberries (early June to mid/late July, and some available until September)

1 quart = 30 strawberries = 1 1/2 lb (750 g)
1 quart = 4 cups (1 L) hulled
1 quart = 4 cups (1 L) sliced/chopped
4 cups (1 L) = 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) puréed

Watermelon (August to end of September)

1 medium-large watermelon = 14 lb (6.25 kg)
1 lb (500 g) = 3 1/2 cups (875 mL) cubed

Page 2 of 4 - Read page three for your veggie guide!

 

Vegetables

Artichokes (spring, fall)

1 large artichoke = 12 oz (375 g)

Asparagus (April to late June)

1 bunch = 1 lb (500 g) = 24 stalks
1 bunch chopped = 3 cups (750 mL)

Beans, green/yellow wax (July to late September)

1 lb (500 g) = 6 cups (1.5 L) whole
1 lb (500 g) = 4 cups (1 L) chopped

Beets (July to mid-October)

1 lb (500 g) = 1 bunch = 3 to 4 beets
1 bunch quartered = 2 cups (500 mL) = 2 1/3 cups (575 mL) chopped/sliced

Broccoli (July to late October)

1 lb (500 g) = 1 bunch
1 bunch = 4 cups (1 L) chopped florets; 2 cups (500 mL) sliced peeled stems

Brussels sprouts (September to November)

1 lb (500 g) = 24 sprouts = 4 cups (1 L)

Cabbage (July to November)

1 large green cabbage = 4 lb (2 kg)
1 lb (500 g) shredded = 6 cups (1.5 L)

Carrots (July to late September)

1 lb (500 g) = 4 large carrots; 1 carrot = 3/4 cup (175 mL) chopped/sliced = 2/3 cup (150 mL) grated
1 bunch = 9 small carrots = 12 oz (375 g) tops removed; 1 carrot = 1/3 cup (75 mL) chopped/sliced = 1/4 cup (50 mL) grated

Cauliflower (August to late October)

1 large cauliflower = 2 3/4 lb (1.375 kg) trimmed florets = 12 cups (3 L)

Celery (August to September)

1 bunch = 1 1/2 lb (750 g)
1 stalk = 1/2 cup (125 mL) sliced = 6 celery sticks

Corn (late July to late September)

1 cob = 8 oz (250 g) = 1 cup (250 mL) kernels

Cucumber (English, year-round and Field, June to early September)

1 English cucumber = 1 lb (500 g) = 12 inches (30 cm) sliced = 4 cups (1 L) chopped = 2 1/2 cups (625 mL)
2 to 8 small field cucumbers = 1 lb (500 g)

Page 3 of 4 - Keep reading for the rest of the veggie guide

Eggplant (August to late September)

1 large eggplant = 1 lb (500 g)= 7 cups (1.75 L) sliced or cubed
1 small Asian eggplant = 6 oz (175 g) = 2 cups (500 mL) sliced or cubed

Garlic (August to October)

1 head = about 2 oz (60 g) = 10 cloves
1 clove = 1 tsp (5 mL) minced

Green onions (July to September)

1 bunch = 6 onions = 4 oz (125 g)
1 bunch = 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) chopped, white and trimmed green parts

Leeks (August to November)

1 bunch = 3 to 4 leeks = 1 lb (500 g)
1 leek = 1 cup (250 mL) sliced, white and pale green parts

Lettuce, Boston (June to September)

1 head = 1 lb (500 g) = 11 cups (2.75 L) torn

Lettuce, iceberg (July to end of September)

1 head = 1 1/4 lb (625 g) = 12 cups (3 L) torn

Lettuce, romaine (June to end of September)

1 head = 1 1/2 oz (750 g) = 14 cups (3.5 L) torn

Mushrooms, button (year-round)

1 lb (500 g) = 30 mushrooms = 6 cups (1.5 L) sliced/chopped

Onions, cooking (August to May)

1 lb (500 g) = 3 to 4 onions
1 onion = 1 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) sliced = 1 cup (250 mL) chopped

Onions, red (August to October)

1 lb (500 g) = 2 onions = 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) sliced
1 onion = 2 cups (500 mL) chopped

Onions, Spanish and other large, sweet varieties (August to October)

1 lb (500 g) = 1 onion = 3 cups (750 mL) sliced
1 onion = 2 cups (500 mL) chopped

Parsnips (September to November)

1 lb (500 g) = 3 to 4 parsnips
1 parsnip = 1 cup (250 mL) chopped = 1/3 cup (75 mL) mashed

Peas (mid-June to late July)

1 lb (500 g) fresh peas in pod 1 1/3 cups (325 mL) shelled

Potatoes (late August to late October)

1 lb (500 g) = 3 to 4 potatoes
1 potato = 1 cup (250 mL) sliced = 3/4 cup (175 mL) chopped = 1/2 cup (125 mL) cooked, mashed

Potatoes (new/mini) (July to September)

1 lb (5OO g) = 15 new/mini-potatoes

Potatoes, sweet (late summer)

1 lb (500 g) = 2 to 3 sweet potatoes
1 potato = 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) sliced = 2 cups (500 mL) cubed = 1 cup (250 mL) mashed

Radishes (June to September)

1 bag = 1 lb (500 g) = 27 radishes = 3 1/2 cups (875 mL) sliced
1 bunch = 12 radishes = 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) sliced

Rutabaga (October to December)

1 rutabaga = 2 1/2 lb (1.25 kg) = 5 cups (1.25 L)cubed
1 cup (250 mL) cubed = 1/2 cup (125 mL) cooked, mashed

Spinach (June to October)

1 bag = 10 oz (300 g) = 19 cups (4.75 L), trimmed and lightly packed; 10 cups (2.5 L) packed
1 bunch = 12 oz (375 g) = 16 cups (4 L), trimmed and lightly packed; 8 cups (2 L) packed

Squash, butternut (September to November)

1 large squash = 3 lb (1.5 kg) = 11 cups (2.75 L) cubed
1 cup (250 mL) cubed = 1/2 cup (125 mL) mashed

Sweet peppers (August to September; year-round greenhouse)

1 lb (500 g) = 2 to 4 peppers
1 pepper = 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) sliced = 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) chopped

Tomatoes (late July to late September)

1 lb (5OO g) = 2 to 3 tomatoes
1 tomato = 1 cup (250 mL) chopped

Zucchini (July to late September)

1 lb (500 g) = 4 zucchini
1 zucchini, halved and sliced = 2 cups (500 mL)
1 zucchini, chopped = 1 1/2 cups (375 mL)

Page 4 of 4

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Nutrition

Fruits and vegetables: A buying guide

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