Choose apples that are firm to the touch, without bruises, with good color and a pleasant smell. Avoid fruit with bruises or broken skin. Apples are sodium free, fat free and a good source of fiber. Most Colorado apples are harvested in September, however you can find them from August through June.
Ripe cantaloupe will have a distinctive aroma and the blossom end should yield to gentle pressure. Cantaloupes that were kept on the vine until fully ripe will have a clean depression where the stem was attached. Avoid cantaloupes that are shriveled, bruised or that have punctured or cracked rinds. Cantaloupe are very low in sodium, fat free and are high in Vitamins A and C. Look for ripe Colorado cantaloupe August through mid-October.
Carrots should be vibrant orange and well shaped with firm, smooth exteriors. Avoid soft or wilted carrots or those with growth cracks or splits. Carrots are low in sodium, fat free, high in the antioxidant Vitamin A and a good source of the antioxidant Vitamin C. Look for Colorado carrots August through November.
Look for cherries that are plump with firm, smooth and brightly colored skins. Good quality cherries should have green stems attached. Avoid cherries with blemishes, rotted or mushy skins, or those that are shriveled and dull. Cherries are low in fat, sodium free, a good source of fiber and a good source of the antioxidant Vitamin C. Look for Colorado cherries mid-June through mid-July.
Leaf lettuce should be crisp and well colored. Avoid leaf lettuce with yellow leaves or with leaves showing cracked ribs. Lettuce is fat free, very low in sodium and high in the antioxidant Vitamin A. Look for Colorado leaf lettuce June through October.
Good quality dry onions should be firm and hard with short, tight necks and dry papery skins. Slightly loose outer skin is common and should not affect quality. Avoid onions that show mold, decay, or blemishes. Onions are fat free, very low in sodium, a good source of fiber and high in the antioxidant Vitamin C. Look for Colorado onions August through March.
Peaches should be picked when the background color (not the red side toward the sun, but the backside of the fruit) has changed from green to white or yellow. If the peaches are to be eaten quickly, the best possible peach is one that has already started to soften on the tree, however, if they are to be stored then they should still be firm, but with the light background color.
All potato varieties should be uniformly sized, fairly clean, firm and smooth. Avoid potatoes with wrinkled skins, soft dark spots, cut surfaces or green appearance. Potatoes are fat free, sodium free, a good source of fiber, high in potassium and high in the antioxidant Vitamin C. Look for a variety of Colorado potatoes including Yukon Gold, Russet, Fingerling and Purple year-round
Sweet corn should have fresh green husks with silk ends that are free of decay or worms. Ears should be evenly covered with plump, consistently sized kernels. Avoid corn with discolored or dry-looking husks, stem ends, or kernels. Sweet corn is sodium free, low fat, a good source of fiber and a good source of the antioxidant Vitamin C. Look for Colorado sweet corn mid-July through mid-October.
Tomatoes should have bright, shiny skins and firm flesh. Avoid tomatoes that are soft or mushy, lacking in color, or have blemishes or growth cracks. Tomatoes are low fat, very low in sodium, a good source of potassium and high in antioxidants Vitamins A and C. Look for fresh Colorado tomatoes mid July through mid-October and greenhouse tomatoes year-round.
Choose a symmetrical watermelon that is heavy for its size. Watermelons are fat free, very low in sodium and high in the antioxidants Vitamins A and C. Look for Colorado watermelons August through September.